The tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is probably one of the most transformative procedures that a patient will undergo. It can truly yield dramatic results and patients are often stunned and also thrilled with their new look.
However, by being a surgery that can yield some of the most dramatic changes to the body, the tummy tuck is also one of the most extensive procedures a patient will undergo. Often paired with liposuction, the tummy tuck removes excess skin and fat around the abdomen, tightens the skin and also repairs and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall.
So what does all this mean? Well, how extensive your recovery is will usually mirror how intense your procedure was, and because the tummy tuck is one of the more invasive procedures, it does have the longest recovery time and also the most discomfort during this time.
One of the trickiest but most important parts of your tummy tuck recovery is how you walk and carry yourself following the procedure. Here’s what you need to know.
Before & after a tummy tuck and breast lift
Abdominal Tightness is Normal Following a Tummy Tuck
The tummy tuck recovery requires a full 2 weeks off from work, and you can expect for it to take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to feel like yourself again. Some patients prefer to take 3-4 weeks off from work to really rest and recover. As a tummy tuck patient, this is something you may want to consider, especially since you’ll need to take care how you walk and move around in the first 2-4 weeks following the procedure.
In the first days following your abdominoplasty it’s very normal to feel tight in the abdomen and for your abdomen to be swollen. You’ll need to take it easy and when you walk, you’ll have to walk slowly and with a slight micro-bend at the hips.
You May Feel Tired and Lightheaded After Your Surgery
We’re very serious when we say that it’s super super important in the first days of recovery to take it easy and to take things slow. When you’re getting up out of bed, go slowly, sit on the edge of the bed for a couple of minutes before you stand up, and be sure to take baby steps wherever you go.
If you feel lightheaded at any time you should sit down or lie down and allow yourself to recover before getting up again.
After surgery your body needs to adjust from the medications you’ve been given for surgery and to manage your pain. It also needs to adjust to the changes it’s undergone. This means that it’s completely normal for you to feel lightheaded when getting up after you’ve been lying or sitting down.
That being said, you absolutely want to avoid fainting and injury, so you want to err on the side of caution and move very slowly to give yourself some time for your blood pressure to readjust and stabilize and to counter any light-headedness.
How to Walk After a Tummy Tuck
How you walk following your tummy tuck is important for your recovery, but also for your final results.
After your tummy tuck you’ll need to walk with a slight hunch or slouching. This is because you need to let your body adjust after the skin tightening and muscle tightening that your body underwent.
The catch is that you’ll need to walk this way for two weeks. After two weeks you’ll find your tissues are relaxing a bit more and you’ll slowly be able to get a little straighter and have better posture over the following two weeks so that at one month you’re able to stand up completely straight.
It’s normal for your back to feel really really sore after being hunched over for so long, but keep in mind that it’s only temporary and it doesn’t mean anything is wrong. Also, take care not to overextend. The hunched or slouched way of walking is just a micro-bend, so you don’t have to be at 90 degrees, just a slight bend at the hips. This will be more comfortable and relieve some of that pressure on your back.