Aftercare Instructions of Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

tummy tuck aftercare


  • Right After the Operation

What to Expect: You will be given water for 2 or 3 hours and a meal 4 or 5 hours after the operation. Strong painkillers would be given in specific timing as they are narcotic kind. If you are feeling any unusual heat and some other unusual sensations (like numbness) in your body, do not be afraid as these are normal reactions after a tummy tuck operation. In a short period of time, all will disappear.

What to Do: At the hospital, all the medication will be given by nurses, but after discharge, you should take your pain-killers, antibiotics, and vitamins from a pharmacy as directed to manage your temporary discomfort. Do not take aspirin or similar products that can increase your blood circulation during this period. You will have skin dressing (bandages) over your incisions, which will be checked and changed (if necessary) every day in the hotel by MCAN Health nurses. You can take a shower in accordance with your surgeon’s instructions. 

It is important to get out of bed early after your surgery (with assistance on the first day) to prevent postoperative problems. Please take 15-20 deep breaths and move your legs each hour to keep your lungs clear and to increase blood circulation. After your checkup with the doctor, start wearing your compression garment and wear it continuously for 6 weeks. Before you go to shower, wash your corset, then dry and wear it again. You should not take your anti-embolism socks off until your surgeon tells you to do it.

  • First Few Days

What to Expect: Bruising and swelling are very normal after the surgery. Your abdomen may feel tight. Your drains will be removed around 3-5 days. 

What to Do: Stay on a soft diet, high in protein for 2-3 days and avoid spicy food which can cause nausea and gas. After this period, you may resume to a normal, high protein diet. Do not go to the sauna, bath or etc. The heat and steam provoke the swelling. 

first few days
  • 1-2 Weeks

What to Expect: Do not forget, your guide is your body. Always listen to your reactions. Keep away from any activity that causes any pain or discomfort. 

What to Do: Do not drive for 7-10 days. Smoking is not suggested because it may cause bad wound healing. Restrict smoking for at least 2 weeks after your surgery. You should sleep in V position for 1 week for the healing quality of your scar. For the first 10 days following surgery, avoid raising your blood pressure because it will cause bleeding. You can drink one cup of green tea to decrease the edema after 10 days.

1 2weeks
  • 3-4 Weeks

What to Expect: Swelling and bruising will start subsiding at this point. However, it is normal to feel that your abdomen is still tight. 

What to Do: For at least 3 weeks, avoid bending down, heavy lifting and straining. You may resume sexual activity after 3 weeks. 

It is important to walk slightly in a bending position for 1 month to release tension on the suture line. You may try to straight up slowly after this period.

3 4weeks
  • 1-6 Months

What to Expect: You’ll notice significant improvements gradually during this period. Swelling will continue to decrease and the treated are will start to take its final shape around the 6th month.  Your stitches will dissolve by themselves in around 6 weeks, so they would not be removed. 

What to Do: After 6 weeks, you can stop using compression garments. Abdominal stress on your muscles will stretch or break the sutures if you exercise before 6 weeks. Any kind of exercise can be started after 3 months. You can start swimming after 6 weeks if your healing is complete, however avoid swimming pools. You can swim in the pool after 8 weeks. It is good to walk for 15-20 minutes a couple of times every day.

1 6 months 1
  • 6 Months and Beyond

What to Expect: Beyond 6 months, your scars will improve. Although you may experience some fluctuations in the swelling, you will see significant improvement around 6 months. The final results can be seen around 1 year. 

What to Do: Maintain a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet and walk everyday. Try to avoid habits like smoking or consuming excessive alcohol. Keep in touch with your appointed nurse. 

NOTE: If you feel extraordinary symptoms, please do not wait any longer and contact us immediately.

Please remember each body is unique, therefore the healing period changes from person to person. However, adhering the aftercare instructions is very important  to reach the optimal results.

6 months and beyons


Yes,  it can be harmful to expose the area where stitches are located to sunlight as it raises the possibility of hyperpigmentation, causing the stitches line to darken. It can also slow down the healing process or worsen  the scar. For the optimal results, stay out of the direct sunlight, wear sunscreen, or cover up when you’re outside for at least 6 months.

After the operation, please keep the incisions clean and dry and wear your corset as directed to minimize the scarring. After your stitches are dissolved, you can start using scar cream or silicone tapes. Protect the incision site from the sun.

To maintain long-term optimal results after abdominoplasty, you should follow a balanced diet to maintain your weight. Incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine is also important. Avoiding smoking and limiting the alcohol consumption is very beneficial because these factors affect the quality of the results. You can continue to wear your compression garment a bit longer than 6 weeks to support the healing process, if your surgeon recommended it.

After the operation, keep an eye out for excessive swelling or persistent pain and monitor your temperature for fever. Look out for your skin’s appearance around the treated area to check if there are signs of infection, such as redness or warmth. If you observe any unexpected bleeding please get in contact with your nurse.

Yes, the lymphatic massage is advised to manage swelling, promote better healing and shaping process. It is recommended the have the massages twice a week and at least 10 sessions. 

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Dr. Ceran believes combining an artistic approach and technical expertise yields the most favorable patient results for plastic surgery. His proficiency extends beyond the technical aspects of plastic surgery as he is genuinely dedicated to comprehending the desires and objectives of his patients and assisting them in attaining the most optimal outcomes possible.

Published by MCAN HEALTH