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Tummy Tuck Aftercare

Your Guide To Tummy Tuck Aftercare

This guide is for patients who have undergone their Tummy Tuck surgery and require post operative advice and care during their first 28 days of recovery

General Anaesthesia

As part of your surgery, you were administered General Anaesthesia. It is not uncommon for the anaesthesia to cause nausea or sickness whilst at the hospital but it is unlikely that the feeling of nausea is still present after leaving our hospital. After leaving the hospital, the anaesthesia will still be in your blood stream, which will make you feel slightly tired and sleepy.

An important factor to note is, as the Anaesthesia is slowly dispelled from your body, through your urine etc. you may feel jittery or shaky for about 30 minutes while your body readjusts itself.

The feeling is much like having too much caffeine and is more noticeable in patients with a smaller frame and weight.

Movements & Activity

Try to rest as much as possible as soon as you get home and ensure any activity and movement is kept to an absolute minimum.

Whoever is caring for you on your first night after surgery, can be of great assistance by:

  • Helping you remove your shoes when returning home and assisting with changing your clothes.

This is to ensure you are not moving your abdomen up and down which may cause discomfort.

  • Bedside assistance

Try to remain in your resting position. Those who are caring for you can bring you water, refreshments etc. to ensure you are not having to get up and lie down multiple times.

Again this is just a precaution so you can avoid the possibility of dizziness or an aching pain to your breasts or lower back

Eating & Drinking Requirements


There are no precautions needed when eating after a Tummy Tuck surgery however, try to avoid any meats or food that requires persistent chewing to break down – such as a steak as these may cause digestion discomfort.


For the first 24 hours, try to drink 2 litres of Water. Any soft drinks and juices are also fine to drink at room temperature.

Do not drink any alcohol and avoid smoking in the first 7 days after surgery. Both these have an adverse affect to the healing progress. The thumb rule here is that anything that delays your recovery, can increase the chances of affecting your final results.

Your Medications

It is important to take all medications that we have given you. In most cases you would have been given:


Take 400mg every 6 hours. Ibuprofen is to help with any swelling and inflammation


Take 2 tablets every 4 hours. This is to control any slight pain/discomfort.

Most patients feel no pain at all, but do not be concerned if there is slight pain. You can avoid any onset of pain if you continue to take both the above tablets on time as soon as you leave the hospital.

If you are on any other prescription medications, please continue to take them as per normal after surgery, unless you have been told otherwise..

For all herbal supplements, dietary products, vitamins etc. you can restart these after 48 hours after your surgery.


The most common pain after Tummy Tuck surgery can occur after the general anesthesia has worn off, you may feel discomfort under the bikini line where any incisions were made. This is usually from the tightening of skin to adapt to the new abdomen contour.

Sleeping At Night

Sleeping for almost all patients on the first few nights is uncomfortable, as most patients are used to sleeping on their side.

On your first week, it is important you sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated. This is to ensure good blood circulation, which gives a better healing time.

If you end up sleeping on your side from the second week, ensure you are elevated slightly higher with a double pillow, and ensure you do not place any body weight on your stomach.

Advice About Bruising

Bruising is common after a Tummy Tuck surgery is performed. If you have bruised instantly after surgery, while at the hospital, the likelihood is that you may recover quicker. Bruising is very minimal and is usually at the bottom of the abdomen.

  • If your swelling/bruising starts after 24 hours , there is increased likelihood that you will have a delayed recovery and your swelling may continue for up to 24 hours longer after surgery.
  • If you have little swelling and bruising after 48 hours, the chances are in your favour, you may not bruise at all and your recovery may be relatively quick.

Every patient’s defence mechanism to trauma is completely different and for this reason you may recover faster or slower that a person who you know has had this surgery before.

What is important to remember is that swelling and bruising are not scars, your skin will heal quickly and disappear completely once you have recovered. Do not be concerned at all if you bruised more than expected as within your recovery time off, this will permanently disappear.

Recovery Tips


  • We may have discussed with you Silicone Gel that is applied after 4 weeks when the incision lines have turned pinkish.
  • It is imperative you continue taking Ibuprofen after your surgery to keep the swelling down as best as possible. In some cases we may give you a stronger anti-inflammatory tablet to help with any swelling at your 7 day post operative appointment.
  • Keep your compression garment on full time for at least 6 weeks. This is to ensure you feel secure in movements and the swelling is kept to a minimum. Taking the compression garment off after a few days/weeks will encourage a return of the post surgery swelling adn

How To Change/Remove Your Dressings

All dressings must only be removed at your 7 days post operative appointment with our nursing team. There may be instances where we ask you to return the day after surgery for a dressing change. Your dressing may be changed up to 3 times for hygienic reasons.

Showering & Hygiene


The earliest shower would be the day after surgery in the evening.

Important tips to ensure you shower correctly without disrupting your surgery results:

  1. Try to use a hand shower to clean you body, wash your body as normal, but only use a wet sponge or wipe to clean on and around your addomen area.
  2. Keep the temperature of the water to luke warm. You will want to ensure your shower cubicle/bath is not over steaming. Steam may cause reopening or infection of your breast incisions.
  3. Do not take any baths for 28 days and under NO circumstance should you submerge your body under water.
  4. When washing your hair, keep your head tilted back and ensure no water touches your adbomen area.

Checking For Infection

Remember that with any surgery where incision have been made, there is always the possibility of a bacterial infection in the early days of recovery.

In the rare case that this happens, you will be prescribed a course of antibiotics for 5-7 days to be taken orally.

Collecting a bacterial infection is nothing to be concerned about and as long as it’s treated within good time and will not affect the final results of your surgery.

Returning To Your Routine

  • The first 7 days after surgery, try to rest and relax at home, and don’t begin any strenuous exercises.
  • Returning to work can be from 14 days from your Tummy Tuck procedure.
  • Returning to the gym can be from 4-6 weeks after the surgery for light cardio exercise, running and cycling.
  • Returning to heavy weight lifting can be from 8-12 weeks after surgery only. Any lifting before, may cause sharp breast pains for a few days.
  • Returning to swimming/sauna/spa only after 8 weeks. This is to ensure all incisions are fully healed and are not susceptible to infection.
  • Returning to any cosmetic treatments to the body should only be considered 12 weeks after your surgery.

Flying After Tummy Tuck Surgery

  • Short haul flights of 2 hours or less can be taken 24 hours after your surgery. You will have special guidance provided about this.
  • Mid haul flights of 2-4 hours can be taken after 7 days
  • Long haul flights of 4-12 hours can be taken after 4 weeks from your Tummy Tuck surgery


If you have any particular questions, please do not hesitate to email us 24 hours a day at info@berkeleysquaremedical.com

Sanjay Rai

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Sanjay Rai

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