Dr. Patronella’s Tummy Tuck Recovery Guide

Preparation for a Tummy Tuck

These recommendations have a specific purpose such as reducing risk of bleeding (herbal supplements, aspirin, Advil, etc.), blood clots (estrogen hormones, smoking), wound healing complications (smoking). Begin 2-4 weeks before surgery.



Continue or begin conditioning exercise such as aerobic exercise, yoga, Pilates, swimming or weight training. Strengthening your body through aerobic exercise will enable you to recover from surgery more quickly.


Tummy tuck recovery tips from a patient’s perspective

Pamper and Care For Yourself

For at least one to two weeks following your tummy tuck procedure, it will be important for you to pamper and care for yourself and to allow others to, as well. When you’re a busy mom who is used to caring for others and running a busy household, it can be tough to switch gears to be on the receiving end of care. However, as one tummy tuck patient and mother of grown children advised, “Be kind to yourself and rest.” Doing so will speed your recovery and help you to return to your normal daily routine feeling more refreshed and renewed.

  • If you have young children, you will want to arrange for help to care for them.
  • Some patients plan to have a cleaning service come to their homes prior to their surgery and/or while they are recuperating.
  • Consider preparing or purchasing meals ahead of time that can be frozen and reheated.
Items You May Need

In addition to making arrangements for household help, it will be helpful for you to have certain items on hand prior to your surgery:

  • Loose, soft clothing such as yoga pants or sweatpants—you’ll temporarily be more swollen than usual, so loose clothing will be most comfortable. Also you’ll want to avoid anything with a snug waistband that could potentially irritate your incision.
  • Antibacterial soap for your hands and antibacterial body wash—this will be important to help prevent infection of your incision.
  • Books, magazines, DVDs, recorded television shows, a laptop—these are nice to have on hand while you are recovering and taking it easy.
  • Laxatives such Miralax and Ducolax—constipation is common the first week following surgery.
  • A big water bottle—you will need to ensure you drink plenty of water and/or fruit juices to help you stay hydrated—at least eight cups a day, or 16 cups if you have liposuction.


Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline

The Day Before Tummy Tuck Surgery

1. To reduce constipation after surgery, eat a liquid diet, and have a bowel movement, even if a laxative or Fleets enema is required.

2. To reduce the risk of infection, thoroughly cleanse with antiseptic soap at least the night before and the morning of surgery. Areas of most concern include the armpits, genitalia, and anal areas. Do not shave the pubic area.

3. Take a Xanax or sleeping medication to help you sleep, if needed.

Copyright © 2015 Christopher K. Patronella, M.D. All rights reserved.


As Dr. Patronella's patient coordinator for nearly 20 years, Eva Cadena will work with you to ensure that your experience is professional, courteous, and rewarding in every way. Please call her with any questions you may have.

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