The recovery time for a tummy tuck is very important. The most well known complication following a tummy tuck procedure is a complication of fluid, known as seroma. The reason why seromas form is all of the abdomen, or the stomach, muscle wall is sitting close to the skin wall. When there is friction between the muscle wall and the skin wall, fluid accumulates.
Fluid also accumulates as a result of the surgical procedure. After a tummy tuck surgery, drains are placed. The drains are removed at around one week after the surgery, it is very important to keep an abdominal binder on and to move around as little as possible. We want patients to walk around and to move around because we don't want anyone getting blood clots in their legs. However, we also don't want friction between the muscle wall and the skin wall because this will result in a fluid collection. Therefore, we tell patients to try to take it easy for at least two weeks.
There should be no side to side motion that would cause friction between these two structures and the abdominal binder should be worn for at least that period of time to prevent that accumulation of that fluid. So, after surgery, it's very important to take it easy for at least two weeks and then beyond that, it's still important to not perform any heavy lifting or heavy exercises beyond that.