Seattle I’m thinking of having a tummy tuck. What can I expect after surgery? Tyrone T.

Hi  Tyrone, after the surgery, expect your abdomen to be very swollen.  The swelling and pain will dissipate over the next couple of days.  There may be bruising, but this will go away as well.  Be careful to watch out for elevated temperature or bleeding from the incision.  Some numbness of the abdomen can also be expected but sensation will come back gradually over several months.  It’s best to sleep with your head and shoulders elevated for the 1-2 weeks using 2-3 fluffy pillows to keep your head up.  You will be lying down a lot and may have problems standing upright for a week, so sitting may be more comfortable.  Getting up and down from a sitting position or in and out of bed will be difficult and will hurt.  But don’t be dismayed, everything will continue to get easier as the days pass. Full recovery after tummy tuck could be several weeks.  You will have a follow-up visit with your surgeon about 3-4 days after your tummy tuck surgery. Your drains will be checked, your incision examined, and generally checked to see how you are doing.  Your sutures may be removed 5-10 days after surgery, but may be left in for 2 weeks or more. Parts of your incision may heal faster than other parts, so your surgeon may take some sutures out and leave others in a little longer.