Drainless Abdominoplasty Recovery Mountain View
My patients are generally back to work in 12-14 days. This is for non-strenuous jobs including office settings, salons and being able to drive. If patients are nurses, some may want to take another 1-2 weeks off so they will feel secure moving patients. Patients are mobile right after surgery because they have no drains, catheters, or pain pumps. They get Exparel, a long-acting local anesthetic, that is injected under the abdominal fascia during surgery. Exparel gives pain relief for three days and is most effective in the first 24 hours in my experience. It decreases the need for and amount of narcotic pain medication.
Patients do have to sleep with pillows under their back and under their knees to maintain a 30-40 degree flexed position during the first week, and they have to walk bent over at the waist 30-40 degrees and gradually straighten up as the week progresses. This is because the abdominal incision is closed in this flexed position, and I want them to take the tension off the closure until the skin relaxes. Most patients feel tight in the first week or two and this feeling gradually goes away over the first month.
The incision has a flexible, adherent tape called Prineo dermabond applied at the end of surgery. After about three days, the abdominal binder and the dressing gauze can be removed and the patient can shower. The tape stays on for three weeks, so there are no further dressings. Since there are no drains, no catheters and usually less discomfort due to Exparel use, patients get up and around and feel better sooner than otherwise. This accelerates the healing process and is why most of my patients are back to work in two weeks, even after long procedures involving circumferential body liposuction as well as a tummy tuck.
At three weeks, we remove the Prineo tape and patients either use BioCorneum silicone gel or Embrace silicone scar control pads for the next several months.
You can find dozens of answers that patients have about tummy tucks at my Q and A page on RealSelf.com