A View Into the First 24 Hours After Tummy Tuck Surgery

By: Dr. Sean Kelishadi, M.D. FACS


Woman laying down

Major weight loss and pregnancy may have left you with loose skin or pockets of fat that can’t be eliminated with regular diet and exercise. Once stretched out, the skin and muscles won’t necessarily return back to their original positions. This issue can ultimately affect a person’s self-confidence, as it causes the stomach to protrude and clothes to fit awkwardly. 

At SSK Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach, CA, a tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty) resolves to make the abdomen slimmer and firmer. The procedure involves removing excess fat and skin along with the tightening of the abdominal muscles. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Kelishadi offers tummy tuck surgeries in Orange County so you can get back the appearance you want. 

Our experienced staff knows that the body is affected by many factors following surgery, which is why we are here to help. For instance, a middle-aged person will recover from a tummy tuck differently than a younger person, and the first 24 hours following a procedure are essential in the healing process. Here’s how to successfully recover from a tummy tuck. 

About the procedure technique 

During your initial consultation at SSK Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach, CA, Dr. Sean Kelishadi will assess the area and learn about your cosmetic goals. Once we decide that a tummy tuck is the right decision for you, Dr. Kelishadi will let you know whether it will be an outpatient procedure or if you will stay overnight in a recovery area for monitoring. There are several strategies we can use to minimize your discomfort, including the use of a pain pump, a device that delivers a local anesthetic in controlled doses. Our staff has many tools in-office to make sure you have a comfortable experience. 

While some need a full tummy tuck to eliminate large pockets of fat and excess skin, others may get a mini tummy tuck that spans from beneath the lower rib cage to the pubic bone. This is also called a bikini makeover and sometimes includes other procedures such as a breast lift or augmentation. This surgery or combination of procedures may require a different set of instructions for care.

Rest and recovery 

No matter which procedure you choose, it’s important to rest and recover once you are home. Following the tummy tuck, our staff will offer instructions for aftercare along with a prescription for pain medication. For the first 24 hours after surgery, avoid activities that are strenuous or involve pushing, pulling, or picking up heavy objects. We encourage you to arrange for a responsible adult or family member to help with typical household activities or childcare for the time being. After a few weeks, you will be able to return to doing light chores. You will need to have a consult with Dr. Kelishadi before resuming intense activities such as exercise. Here are some general tips for the first 24 hours after your tummy tuck: 

  • Get plenty of sleep. It’s important to rest any time you feel tired. 
  • Take any prescribed or over-the-counter medication only as directed. Let SSK Plastic Surgery know if you need to take any other medications, especially blood thinners such as warfarin or aspirin. 
  • Try to walk, but don’t push yourself too hard. Every day, you can increase the amount by a small amount. This will increase blood flow and prevent blood clots while on bed rest. 
  • You may take a shower if Dr. Kelishadi allows it. Pat the surgical incision dry and be sure not to immerse the area in water. 
  • Do not engage in abdominal exercises, bicycle riding, running, or weight lifting for at least 6 – 8 weeks. 
  • Ask your physician when you can return to your job, drive, or engage in sexual activity. 

If you experience any worrying symptoms such as excessive bleeding or severe pain in the abdomen that does not go away, call Dr. Kelishadi immediately so he can offer you guidance. 

Contact Dr. Kelishadi in Orange County 

Once the healing is complete, it’s important to stick to a plan to ensure the results are long-lasting. SSK Plastic Surgery encourages a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen to maintain your investment and the attractive results you have achieved. We are thrilled to be part of this process and will partner with you at every step so you can enjoy the results. 

Want more information about recovering from a tummy tuck? Call Dr. Sean Kelishadi and his expert medical team in Newport Beach, CA, today. We will serve your cosmetic needs and offer you details specific to you, your procedure, and your health history. 

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.