Swelling is a normal side effect after a tummy tuck, no matter which incision type you have. Just like many other side effects, swelling will vary based on your individual immune system and healing process.
Swelling is temporary and will go away with time. Adhering to Dr. Small’s aftercare instructions following your tummy tuck in Long Island will help swelling go down. Infection or other complications can cause swelling to persist and prolong the recovery period. Controlling swelling will promote healing and help you see results faster.
Why do our bodies swell after a tummy tuck?
Once surgery is complete, your body sends white blood cells and other healing compounds to the surgery site to jumpstart the recovery process. Increased fluids will cause the area to grow larger during the initial stages of healing.
Swelling is a completely normal response to an injury, which is why most swelling will be located near the incision site. A compression garment will be provided, which reduces swelling and yields better results.
Ways to Decrease Swelling
Strenuous exercise and excessive movement will negatively impact your recovery. It is a good idea to go shopping before your surgery to ensure that you have everything you need during the initial stages of healing while your movement is limited. Buy food, water, and anything else you might want while you relax and heal at home.
Some tips for minimizing swelling include:
- Stay hydrated
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Refrain from smoking
- Avoid foods with a lot of sodium
- Keep the area clean
If you try reintroducing an activity and you experience pain or discomfort, stop and try again at another time. Listen to your body and don’t rush your recovery.
How long will I need compression garments?
Patients typically wear a compression garment for about five to six weeks after their procedure. At first the garment should be worn at all times, and Dr. Small will let you know when you can start taking it off or only wearing it for part of the day, and when you can stop wearing it altogether.
When will my swelling go down?
The majority of swelling resolves after approximately two months. About 80% of the swelling should subside, but many patients have minor swelling that can persist up to one year after surgery. At the two month mark you will have a good idea of what your final results will look like and you will be able to resume most activities. Your follow-up visits will become less frequent, although Dr. Small is always willing to answer questions in between office visits.