The length of time you will need to heal and recovery from an abdominoplasty depends on the extent of the procedure, and whether it is combined with another procedure such as liposuction. Typically, abdominoplasty is combined with liposuction for enhanced results. Other factors that affect healing time are your age, health and weight.

Everyone is different in the amount of time it takes for them to recover. So, numbers provided are only “ball park” numbers. Typically, it will take up to six weeks to fully recover from a tummy tuck and liposuction; and up to nine months to see final results.

Dr. Gupta is amazing and is the best plastic surgeon out there. I have been a patient of his for the past 10 years and he has always been super caring and sensitive to my needs. I love how he really works with you and your needs. I would highly recommend him to any friend or family member. Thanks for being amazing!

Smoking and Recovery

To be considered a good candidate for abdominoplasty, you must not smoke. Smokers are much more likely to have complications after surgery, especially poor wound healing. This is why we require our patients to quit smoking for at least a month before, and a month after surgery. Quitting will significantly lower your risk of complications from the surgery, including cardiopulmonary complications.

Plan ahead for a comfortable and healthy recovery

There will be downtime, and discomfort so it is important to plan for help for you, around the house and with children while you recover.

Before your surgery, Dr. Gupta will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your incisions, activities to avoid, how long to wear the abdominal compression garment, what to eat, when to shower, and medications to take to prevent infection and for pain. You will also learn the signs of infections, and when to call Dr. Gupta. Take time to discuss scarring with Dr. Gupta, and the treatments he recommends that can improve and minimize the appearance of your scar.

Recovery Timeline

Going home from the procedure you will need help for at least the first several days. You will be uncomfortable, sore, bruised and swollen; and lifting your legs and twisting will be painful and difficult.

Swelling is normal, and a compression garment will help resolve swelling, and provide support while you heal. The majority of swelling will resolve within 3 months.

The area around your incision may feel numb, this is normal and may resolve over time. Your scar may start out red and raised but will fade over time.

Most abdominoplasty patients find it difficult to stand erect for a week after surgery due to pulling on the incision, and from repair of the diastasis rectus. Sleep is restorative, but you don’t want to sleep on your stomach.  Dr. Gupta will discuss how to find the perfect resting position for you. Sleeping on an incline with pillows for that purpose will help you to rest and take tension off of your incision. Using pillows under your knees can help take the pressure off of your abdomen.

Feeling tired is entirely normal as healing requires lots of energy. That is why we recommend rest and relaxation, and restrict activities for this period. However, it is important to be ambulatory from the first day after surgery to prevent blood clots, and promote blood flow.

Do not attempt to do more than rest, because you can increase risks related to healing. Often it takes up to two months for patients to be comfortable doing everything they did before surgery, without feeling tired.


Most patients can drive a car in about five days, when they are off of pain medications.

Many patients can return to work two weeks after surgery, if the work is sedentary in nature. If the job requires lifting and bending you may need up to six weeks of healing before returning to the job or to your exercise routine.


You should wait at least 3-4 weeks before flying, and take medications before flying to prevent blood clots in your legs that can travel to your lungs and cause death. Lifting luggage after a tummy tuck can compromise results, and increase the risk of bleeding. Ideally, you should wait until you are healed, and recovered before flying, that is about 6-8 weeks. By this time, your incision and muscle tightening will be well healed.

Patients in San Diego are fortunate to have access to Dr. Anshu Gupta and his expertise. His experience, artistry and superior surgical skills will provide you with a flatter, firmer abdomen and contours that are proportionate with your body.

It is well established that patients who have aesthetic interventions experience better mood, self-esteem and self-confidence. Abdominoplasty will make you feel better about yourself.  Thinking about it? Call Verve Plastic Surgery in Solana Beach, CA today.

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