Reducing Bruising and Swelling after Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Tips To Reduce Bruising And Swelling after Abdominoplasty Surgery

According to Psychology Today around 71% of women and 63% of men are unhappy with the look of their abdomen. It’s no surprise that many see a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) procedure as the way to regain the stomach shape and look they want.

Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) surgery popularity is on the rise, here at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery, this is a surgical procedure and a option for anybody who has extra fat tissue on the belly and would like to change the appearance.

Abdominoplasty is a procedure with long-term results. When done in sanitary conditions by a specialised plastic surgeon, it yields results with a relatively short recovery time and few complications. However, bruising and swelling are a part of the recovery process.

What Is A Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty?

A tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that;

  • Removes a part of or all the fat tissue found on the abdomen and hips,
  • Tightens the abdominal muscles,
  • And removes excess skin.

It alters the stomach to a different shape, especially after one or more pregnancies or significant weight gain and weight loss. The wanted results of a tummy tuck surgical procedure are a tight, shaped and flat stomach. Some reasons for Abdominoplasty are better health and no more skin irritation that is a result of loose chaffing skin.

What To Expect During A Tummy Tuck Or Abdominoplasty Recovery?

  • A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure done under general anaesthesia.
  • The recovery takes some time since the scope of the procedure is large. Your plastic surgeon will follow your recovery and make any adjustments to the recovery plan if necessary.
  • The first-week post-op is the week with the most discomfort. Regular occurrences during this time include swelling, bruising, pain and general discomfort, as well as generally feeling tired and sleepy.
  • It is essential to listen to your body and understand that you can speed up the recovery process and make it more comfortable for you.
  • In the following weeks, the majority of swelling will dissipate, and you will be able to slowly resume your normal daily routine.
  • You may experience bruising and skin discolouration after a tummy tuck. These are normal.
  • You should avoid lifting anything heavy, as your abdominal muscles need to recover after the abdominoplasty procedure, which can take several weeks.
  • As the weeks go by, your plastic surgeon at Coco Roby Plastic Surgery will allow you to resume more and more activities.
  • After eight weeks, you can enjoy most daily activities, and after 12 even more strenuous ones, such as KickBoxing, lifting in the gym and long swimming sessions.

Why Do Bruising And Swelling Happen After A Tummy Tuck?

As mentioned above, bruising and swelling after a tummy tuck is to be expected after surgery. After a tummy tuck procedure, this occurs because your surgeon cuts tissue and removes excess skin to give you the look you want. This results in mild stress to the tissues being operated on, and the tissues respond by bruising and swelling.

Furthermore, when your specialist plastic surgeon makes an incision, some damage to blood vessels is inevitable and results in a small amount of blood flowing into the surrounding area. This is common during cosmetic surgeries and is known as bruising.

If the bruising is particularly prominent, covers a large area, and is prominently dark, this may be a hematoma. What happens during the recovery time is that this blood gets closer to the surface of the skin, where it stays until the white blood cells slowly disintegrate the red blood cells and restore skin colouration after a tummy tuck. During this healing time, the bruise may go from red to dark purples, yellow and then back to your skin colour.

Swelling is also a result of the stress that the tissues on your belly experience during an Abdominoplasty. The damaged cells release fluids, and the vascular system may take longer to remove them. Moreover, during the recovery time, your body will be building a lot of new tissues to reconnect the skin to the underlying tissues and close the wound. Your body also sends more white blood cells to the affected area to remove any damaged cells. All this activity and fluid moving around causes swelling.

How Long Do Bruising And Swelling Last After Abdominoplasty?

Bruising and swelling are signs that your body is healing after the procedure. During the first few days post-op, swelling will rapidly appear. Bruises can take a few days to thoroughly surface and will change colour after your tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).

In general, most of the swelling will dissipate after the first week and will gradually decline as time passes. Unfortunately, some swelling will remain in place for up to three months post-op, but after the initial few weeks of the abdominoplasty procedure, it will be so that most people around you won’t even be able to notice it. Remember, swelling is a symptom of your body healing, and some of it will stay until the healing process is complete. However, there are ways to speed up the healing process and get rid of swelling after an abdominoplasty faster.

Best Ways To Reduce Bruising And Swelling After an Abdominoplasty

  • Your surgeon will give you information regarding the best ways to reduce bruising and swelling after an abdominoplasty.
  • Remember that every case is different and that everybody has a different body
  • Make sure to follow and understand all advice given to you by your surgeon. This will ensure a quick recovery time.

1. Wear a Compression Garment After The Abdominoplasty

After the abdominoplasty procedure, your specialised plastic surgeon will give you a compression garment to wear for several weeks. Your surgeon will instruct you on how long you will need to wear the compression garment. Make sure to follow these instructions, as a compression garment helps the body reabsorb the fluids released into the area faster and reduces swelling. Wearing a compression garment after an Abdominoplasty also results in faster recovery, less stress on the stitches, and better overall results from the procedure.

2. Cold Compress After An Abdominoplasty

  • Cold Compresses after an Abdominoplasty can help reduce bruising and swelling.
  • When you apply a cold compress to the tissue it reduces the temperature which helps reduce the swelling and inflammation by slowing down metabolism locally.
  • Ensure you apply no pressure to the area and that the cold compress is not too cold to avoid getting any burns.

3. Hydration After Abdominoplasty

Hydration after abdominoplasty is vital as it promotes fluid circulation through the body and carries away any liquid discharge from the damaged cells faster. It also promotes good circulation to the incision area and speeds up the recovery time.

4. Healthy Diet After A Surgical Procedure

  • A healthy diet is important in everyday life, not just before and after a surgical procedure.
  • A healthy diet full of fibres, vitamins and minerals will promote healthy bowel movement, speed up your metabolism and boost your immune system.
  • Some surgeons recommend using supplements to ensure that you meet all your daily needs for vitamins and minerals.
  • Make sure to consult your plastic surgeon at Coco Roby Plastic Surgery for more information.

5. Rest And Sleeping After An Abdominoplasty

It is normal to feel tired and drained after any surgical procedure, so make sure to get plenty of rest. However, it’s also important you do not avoid moving around while healing since movement promotes blood flow. Make sure to continue resting as soon as you feel tired.

After an Abdominoplasty, you should sleep in a reclined position for at least several weeks. This will reduce any strain and stress on the abdomen tissues and help the recovery time. You should always sleep on your back following an abdominoplasty procedure.

6. Medication After An Adominoplasty

  • Your surgeon will suggest some pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications, as well as antibiotics for after.
  • Pain relievers are there to numb the pain and remove discomfort.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine aids with swelling, and antibiotics are to reduce the chances of developing an infection.
  • Make sure to take all medication as prescribed by your surgeon.

7. Red Light Therapy After A Tummy Tuck (Adominoplasty)

Red Light Therapy after an Abdominoplasty effects on the healing process, recovery time and comfort. At Coco Roby Plastic Surgery, we offer red-light therapy. Consult your plastic surgeon for more information on when this therapy can be administered and what their recommendations are.

How to get rid of a hematoma after a tummy tuck?

If you experience a hematoma formation, make sure to contact your doctor. They can properly assess your condition and propose the best solution. In some cases, the doctor may drain the blood accumulation. A surgical procedure may be necessary to remove an encapsulated hematoma after an Abdominoplasty.

Lots Of FAQs Answered

Is Bruising Normal After A Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

  • Yes, bruising is normal.
  • Some blood vessels get damaged during the procedure, and some blood is released into the surrounding tissues.
  • This is a regular occurrence that results in bruising.

How Tight Should A Compression Garment Be After Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

  • A compression garment should be snug and feel a little tight around your body.
  • A compression garment should never be too tight, cause any blood flow issues or prevent you from breathing properly.
  • For the best advice and an example of how tight a compression garment should be, consult your specialised plastic surgeon at Coco Roby Plastic Surgery.

What Happens 2 Weeks After A Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

  • Most of the swelling will be gone.
  • You can return to your workplace two weeks after a tummy tuck procedure.
  • Take longer time off work if it is physically strenuous.

What Is A Hematoma After Abdominoplasty?

  • A hematoma after a tummy tuck is a large-scale bleeding under your skin.
  • It is a more severe form of a bruise that may end up looking like a tender bulge.
  • If you experience any hematoma, make sure to contact your surgeon for further advice and a check-up.

How Long Does It Take For Swelling To Go Down After Abdominoplasty?

  • It may take up to three months for the swelling to completely disappear after abdominoplasty.
  • However, most of the swelling dissipates after the first week.

Why Is My Stomach Hard After Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

  • Your stomach will stay swollen and somewhat hard for weeks or even months after.
  • If you have concerns that the tightness or the hardness of the stomach is too pronounced, you may want to schedule an appointment with your specialised plastic surgeon so that your case could be assessed in person.

What Helps With Swelling After Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

  • By using/doing the following you can help reduce swelling after;
  • Wearing compression garments
  • Using cold compresses
  • Movement – get up and walk around your house, do not stay stationary
  • And drink plenty of water

When Should I Call The Doctor After A Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

You should call the Doctor after if you:

  • Have symptoms of torn internal stitches after a tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty) (such as your waistline becoming wider after an injury or fall),
  • Are having wound healing problems? This includes;
    • Redness and swelling around the incision site only
    • Itchy feeling
    • Puss formation
    • Fluid discharge
    • Bleeding
    • Torn stitches
  • Have signs of internal bleeding after an Abdominoplasty;
    • Sudden headache
    • Numbness
    • Weakness
    • Or, protruding swelling at one point of the abdomen
  • Are in a lot of pain,
  • Feel as if your overall health state is deteriorating beyond what is considered normal after a surgical procedure.

Further Reading