Loose Abdominal Skin, Stretch Marks, Muffin Top, Jelly Roll?
If you feel frustrated about your tummy every time you put on a pair of jeans, a tummy tuck may be the answer to help restore a tighter, flatter appearance.
The main concerns that patients always ask about this procedure are:
- How much time do I have to take off work?
- How much pain will I have?
- What is the scar going to look like?
As far as recovery time, there are surgical drains under the skin for at least one week. It is difficult to drive or go to work with these in. You become much more mobile after the drains are removed and can begin to walk upright and for longer distances during the second week. By the second week, the main issue is fatigue. Remember, your body is using a lot of energy just to heal your surgical wounds. Therefore, working from home on your computer may be possible, however sitting at a desk for eight hours would be quite uncomfortable. By the third week, most patients could manage sitting at a desk for a few hours without problems. Some people have jobs that allow them to go back part-time the third week post-op. After three full weeks of recovery, the average person could return to a full eight hour day of light work/clerical. Those with physical jobs/lifting may need more time.
The pain does not typically come from the incision itself. The plastic drains that exit from the skin below the incision cause the most discomfort. Because most people also have their muscles tightened to enhance a flat appearance, there can be pain and tightness centrally as well. Raising up and sitting stress the abdomen and cause a feeling of pain/tightness. Expect to take your prescription pain pills regularly the first five days–then perhaps lighter use of narcotics gradually or even over the counter medicine after that. Most women compare the pain of a tummy tuck to that of a c-section.
You can guess where your scar will end simply by grabbing the roll or flap of skin and tapering it towards your sides until you can no longer squeeze a large amount of skin. Hint: the more loose skin you have, the longer the scar will be. The placement of the scar can be customized to be best hidden under your preferred style of clothing and undergarments. Most women now choose a lower straight-across scar, as compared to the 1980’s when French cut garments were popular, and patients wanted the scar to taper upwards to remain hidden under the high cut sides.
Tummy tuck surgery can dramatically change a person’s body, and thus their entire outlook and self- esteem. Generally, the recovery and scar are a small trade-off for this life-changing procedure!