Robert M. Wald, Jr., MD - The Aesthetic Institute
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Orange County | Fullerton, CA

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Category: Abdominoplasty

Activities to Avoid After a Tummy Tuck Surgery

5 Minute Read: 

a woman holding belt loops


A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a procedure that can help you with getting your abdominal area flatter and smoother, especially after pregnancy or weight loss. Although this surgery can have outstanding beneficial effects, it is definitely considered a fairly invasive procedure. This means that there are a few activities to avoid after a tummy tuck to get through the recovery period as seamlessly as possible.

A tummy tuck can help you keep the weight off, but you have to be careful after surgery since the recovery period can last up to 12 weeks. As your abdominal muscles heal, you must abstain from doing certain activities for the time being. Since patients sometimes tend to overestimate themselves, it is crucial to keep in mind that you have to allow your body to recuperate after a tummy tuck to reduce the risk of complications on your way to recovery.

a woman measuring the waist of another woman after a tummy tuck

A tummy tuck is third on the list of most popular aesthetic surgeries in the U.S.

Therefore, you might have to make some changes to your daily routine for a few weeks. Read on to find out what you should avoid doing after a tummy tuck surgery – and for how long.

Avoid Driving After a Tummy Tuck

You will most likely be put into general anesthesia before the surgery to ensure you do not feel any pain or discomfort. However, when you wake up after the procedure, the anesthetic might make you feel a bit lightheaded and woozy. That is why you should not attempt to drive after the surgery for some time (and especially soon after the surgery!). So…

Do not drive yourself home after the surgery

Your surgeon might give you the green light to go home on the day of the procedure. However, it is best if a family member or a friend drove you home. If you decide to take a taxi home, it is still recommended that you have someone to stick by your side. Since you might be too out of it after the tummy tuck, they can help you put on your clothes, get in the car, and arrive home safely. 

Keep in mind that you can also choose to spend the first night at the surgical center if you feel too weak to head back home immediately.

Do not drive for a few weeks after the surgery

It would be best if you did not attempt to drive your car even after the anesthetic wears off completely. You will probably have to take strong pain relievers for some time after the procedure, which is why you want to wait until the pain and the swelling go away. Even if your surgeon does not prescribe painkillers, you will not be able to drive for quite some time. Either way, be sure to consult your surgeon every step of the way.

Avoid Eating Salty Foods

Surgeons usually prescribe a strict diet their patients are required to follow after a tummy tuck. Since you will experience swelling in the abdominal area, salty food is not allowed, especially in the first week after the procedure.

Salty, processed, and frozen food makes your tummy bloat, making the healing process unnecessarily painful.

Exercising Is One of the Activities to Avoid After a Tummy Tuck Surgery

So, although you might have gotten used to exercising prior to the surgery, it is best if you do not attempt to go to the gym several weeks after the procedure. Simply put, your muscles are entering the process of repair to ‘fill in’ the space left empty after fat and skin have been removed from your belly. Since your core muscles are recovering, weight-lifting or aerobic activities will disrupt the healing process, which is why you should avoid working out at least two weeks after the surgery.

a woman in a red sports bra holding a water bottle, symbolizing activities to avoid after a tummy tuck

One of the activities to avoid after a tummy tuck is going to the gym or doing other demanding exercises. You should move minimally during the first few weeks.

For this reason, be sure to avoid activities that might strain your core muscles excessively. For instance, if you have to lift your baby, be sure to do it while you are sitting down. Also, activate your arms and thighs, so you do not hurt your stomach muscles when you are doing it.

When it comes to other activities that involve lifting bulky items, such as relocating to a new home, it is best if you leave the heavy lifting to those who have the experience and strength to do this for you. No matter how strong you might feel, hiring professionals to help you with your move is definitely a better option than risking disrupting your muscle repair.

Keep Your Body Active by Walking After the Surgery

However, this does not mean you shouldn’t move your body at all. Sometimes patients take this recovery guideline too literally and stop engaging in a physical activity altogether. Although you shouldn’t exercise vigorously, it is essential to walk after the surgery. Succumbing to the pain and turning into a couch potato is also not suitable for your recovery process. You need to start activating your stomach muscles by walking normally a few days after the surgery.

Walking after surgery is also crucial for a bowel movement. When you do not move at all, gastrointestinal gases can pile up and increase the amount of post-op pain the patient feels. Additionally, light exercise increases blood flow, which speeds up the healing process.

a woman experiencing stomach pain

Your stomach might hurt if you stay inactive after the surgery.

So, although you might experience pain when you move or even stand up straight in the first few weeks, it is important to endure the pain and engage in short walks as often as possible. 

All in all, we hope this short article on activities to avoid after a tummy tuck surgery has helped you visualize what your healing process should look like. We wish you a quick recovery!

Liposuction or Tummy Tuck: Which Is Right for You?

6 Minute Read: 

When it comes to cosmetic surgery that can help you lose some weight and make you feel better in your skin, liposuction and tummy tuck are the two most common ones. Although both of these procedures will improve your midsection appearance, make no mistake, they are far from similar. They both involve incisions and require anesthesia. They are both performed by a plastic surgeon. Also, they are both cosmetic procedures, which means that your insurance won’t cover them. But this is where similarities end. To decide which is right for you, liposuction or tummy tuck, it’s useful to know about the procedure, recovery, potential complications, and who will benefit the most from them.

a woman measuring her waist


What Do They Involve, and Who Are the Best Candidates?

Both liposuction and tummy tuck will tackle the problematic abdominal area, but they will do so in two widely different ways and address different problems.

Liposuction, I.E., Body Contouring

Liposuction is the less invasive of the two and highly effective. It’s a procedure that removes persistent fat deposits not only in the abdominal region but also on the hips, thighs, buttocks, upper arm, back, under the chin (a.k.a. double chin), and even above the knees. It’s worth noting that while it will successfully eliminate fat deposits, it will do nothing regarding skin tightening. Also, it is vital to remember that liposuction is not a weight-loss tool. It will improve your body contour, but if you suffer from obesity, this procedure is not for you.

A girl in a bathing suit in the field, choosing between liposuction or tummy tuck


Liposuction is a great option to get rid of stubborn fat deposits

Abdominoplasty, I.E., Tummy Tuck

This more invasive surgery deals with fat and excess skin caused by stretching due to drastic weight shifts and pregnancy. Also, if sit-up muscles have gotten separated during pregnancy, the surgeon will bring them back together, creating a tighter, flatter, and stronger abdominal wall. A tummy tuck is not the right option for you, however, if your BMI (body mass index) is over 30, or you are actively trying to lose weight. Moreover, if you plan on having more children, you may want to postpone a tummy tuck. Finally, you will have to reconsider should you happen to suffer from any chronic heart conditions.

Procedure and Recovery

As already mentioned, liposuction and abdominoplasty are two very different procedures, and the recovery, therefore, also differs significantly.


As the word itself suggests, liposuction involves the suction of fat. Firstly, the surgeon can either opt for intravenous sedation or apply a local anesthetic. They will then create small incisions around fat deposit areas and insert a cannula, a thin tube, underneath the skin. Next, they have to break up the fat cells, and they can do so using different techniques.  For instance, they can use ultrasound, vibrations, or laser to loosen the fat. After that, it will be easier to remove it using medical vacuum suction.

After the procedure, swelling, draining, and bleeding are common occurrences. The whole recovery process will depend on the size of the area that has been worked on and if several sessions are necessary. The surgeon might recommend wearing a compression garment to help with the healing process. Also, you can be discharged from the hospital on the same day. After only 48 hours, you can resume your regular daily activities. However, it is advisable to refrain from heavy lifting and extensive cardio workouts.

Tummy Tuck

We have already mentioned that abdominoplasty is a more invasive surgery, so it requires general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision at the bottom of your stomach, exposing the muscles. If necessary, they will sew the muscles back together, pull the skin tightly, and cut off the excess. The entire procedure usually lasts between two and three hours, but it may as well last up to six hours. Finally, you have to prepare for having a large scar, usually extending from hip to hip. However, it fades drastically after a year and can be easily covered with clothes.

a set of surgical tools

A tummy tuck is a more invasive surgery that requires general anesthesia, and the recovery is longer. It is an important consideration when deciding which is right for you, liposuction or tummy tuck.

People who have stronger muscles recover more quickly. It is vital that surgical dressing is changed regularly, and after a day, the patient should be up and walking to prevent blood clots. Moreover, there will be a need for antibiotics and painkillers, and the surgeon may have to insert a surgical drain. Wearing a compression garment is also advised. The initial recovery phase lasts about six weeks, but the complete disappearance of swelling is expected after four months. Finally, there can be no physically strenuous activities, and several check-up appointments with the doctor are necessary.


Like every surgery, these two also pose a certain amount of risk. After both procedures, you can experience numbness, but it’s usually only temporary in the case of liposuction. Also, fluid accumulation is possible in both cases and will require draining. Moreover, infections can happen after both procedures, but in the case of a tummy tuck, it’s more common, and there can also be wound complications. In terms of more severe complications, fat embolism is a possibility in the case of liposuction, but it’s not that common. It happens if a loosened piece of fat gets trapped in the blood vessel and travels to the heart or brain. Furthermore, tissue necrosis is a complication that may follow a tummy tuck. If damaged tissue doesn’t heal or it dies, it must be removed. All in all, it is evident that abdominoplasty is a riskier surgery.

Results and Which to Choose?

Doctors claim that the results of both surgeries are permanent. However, weight gain can alter the results. Naturally, the trimmed skin after the tummy tuck cannot return, but it can stretch out again in case of pregnancy or significant weight gain.

Consultation with a doctor is advisable to determine the right option for you. The procedures are also commonly combined. The decision will depend on your body’s current appearance, numerous health factors, and the results you want to achieve.

Go for It!

Upon obtaining all the necessary information, all you need to do is make an appointment. If you are new to Orange County, you are in luck, for here, you can find some of the best cosmetic surgeons. They can eliminate all your doubts and help you decide which is right for you, liposuction or tummy tuck. If you need help settling down in Orange County area, doing something to make you feel good about yourself will definitely do the trick. 

How a Tummy Tuck Can Help You Keep the Weight Off

5 Minute Read: 

Fit woman in sportswear

Our tummies are, unfortunately, the hardest places to lose persistent fat. When you struggle for too long to lose weight, and when your healthy diet and exercises have failed, you may think there is no solution left. The good news is that there is always a solution, even for those few stubborn pounds left around your belly, so don’t despair. Tummy tuck (also known as abdominoplasty) can help you lose those pesky fat deposits and help you prevent gaining unwanted pounds ever again. This article will explain how and why a tummy tuck can help you keep the weight off.

Long-lasting benefits

According to research, a tummy tuck is the third most popular plastic surgery procedure in the USA. Many decide to do it in the pre-beach season to transform their appearance for the summer. This procedure is popular around the world because of the incredible results and long-lasting benefits.

Flat belly of a fit woman

Tummy tuck is the third most popular plastic surgery procedure in the USA

Contouring of the abdomen, removing excess skin and fat

Contouring the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat is the primary goal of the tummy tuck procedure. This means that it is not intended for weight loss purposes. However, weight loss is something that most people who undergo this procedure hope for. The main reasons why people decide to undergo this procedure are:

  • After one or more pregnancies – a tummy tuck can tighten weakened and stretched abdominal muscles, and it removes stubborn skin and fat deposits on your belly
  • For age-associated reasons – our skin loses elasticity, and the body’s ability to burn stored fat decreases
  • Because of weight changes, significant and quick weight losses

There are a few common misconceptions regarding abdominoplasty, including the one that only women decide to do it. Despite this belief, the fact is that a large number of men choose to undergo this procedure, and it’s no surprise. Men have a genetic predisposition to gain more belly fat as they age. Some people are also genetically predisposed to accumulate more belly fat than others, regardless of their gender.

A tummy tuck can help you keep the weight off by reducing your appetite

It’s not just about getting a tiny waist and an athletic-looking belly. One of the positive effects that you’ll have after the tummy tuck is that you’ll feel full much more quickly when you eat. People who have a lot of fat removed during their procedure are expected to continue losing weight. Many patients who have had a tummy tuck done report increased satiety and reduced appetite. Eating less while at the same time feeling less hungry may sound like a dream, but it’s a reality and one of the most obvious ways of how a tummy tuck can help you keep the weight off.

Restoring your self-confidence

We all know that belly fat is stubborn. Carrying a lot of pesky body fat and skin on your abdomen is discouraging and undoubtfully frustrating. People can easily start having depressing thoughts believing that they’ll never lose weight on their own, no matter how hard they try. In those cases, a tummy tuck is a real lifeline.

After the surgery and tummy tuck recovery, you’ll look in the mirror and finally be proud of what you see. That feeling can inspire you to maintain your results and body weight by committing to a healthier lifestyle.

Many people can attest to how they started to feel more comfortable in their bodies, finally, after many months or years of struggle. The improvements are not just of aesthetical and cosmetical value but primarily in restoring self-confidence. Everybody would agree that feeling comfortable in your own body can have an incredibly positive impact on many aspects of your life.

A real motivation to maintain a healthy body weight

If you previously had trouble sticking to a healthy diet and exercise and didn’t see many results, a tummy tuck surgery can be a trigger and a boost you need to stand by your healthy routine.

Abdominoplasty is your opportunity for a fresh start, to get you back on the right track to a more fulfilled life. You’ll be more motivated to maintain a good look and good shape, maybe even get defined abdominal muscles you always dreamed of. After a tummy tuck, it will be much easier to exercise regularly. It can help you stay motivated and keep up with it. Abdominoplasty can have notable improvements to your appearance, but to get the best possible results on the scale, you’ll need to put your time and effort into training. There’s just no substitute for exercising when it comes to losing and maintaining weight, so choose your favorite sports activity and dedicate yourself to it. It’s the key to maintaining a fit appearance long after the surgery.

Woman in a purple shirt and grey leggings doing a stretching exercise

You’ll be more motivated to maintain a good look and good shape by exercising and eating healthy

Are you a candidate for this procedure?

There are two types of tummy tuck:

  1. A mini tummy tuck is for those with loss of elasticity of the lower abdomen skin, with no need for muscle tightening.
  2. An extended tummy tuck is for people with a lot of excess skin after a significant weight loss.

The right candidate for a tummy tuck procedure is a person of overall good health, with no underlying diseases, close to their ideal weight, who needs to sculpt their abdomen.

Of course, it requires careful thinking and consideration before making the final decision. It’s essential to be adequately informed by your doctor and be physically and mentally ready for plastic surgery. You’ll need to be familiar with all the details of the process and recovery.

The procedure lasts for about 2-3 hours, and it’s done under general anesthesia.The recovery period is usually around two weeks, and following the doctor’s advice during that period is absolutely necessary.The final results of a procedure become apparent six weeks after the surgery.

A chance to transform your lifestyle, not only your looks

Before deciding to undergo a tummy tuck procedure, you should do all the necessary consultations, tests, and medical examinations with your doctor. It’s crucial to have realistic expectations. A tummy tuck can help you keep the weight off, but getting long-lasting benefits and outstanding results requires discipline and effort on your behalf. Finally, the transformation of your body and consequentially the transformation of your whole life will be well worth it.

What Should I Expect During My Mommy Makeover Recovery?

Many patients decide to undergo Mommy Makeover surgery, which can reverse many of the adverse effects of pregnancy and childbirth. While most women prepare sufficiently for the days leading up to the surgery, not very many typically look into what they should plan for after their surgery is completed. 


So what should you expect during your post-op recovery? Here are some details on what you will likely experience and some tips on how to have a comfortable and smooth recuperation.

Woman resting in bed

What Happens After I Get Home?

Every Mommy Makeover is customized to match each patient’s needs, so the procedures that were included in your surgery will affect your recovery. 


Typically, the breasts and midsection are wrapped in a support bra or a compression garment. You may feel sensitivity and tightness in the chest region and experience mild bruising and swelling. Redness may also occur around the incision locations.


Discomfort can be addressed with prescription pain medication. Refrain from physical activities such as lifting, pulling, pushing, twisting, or anything that can irritate the skin or body. Your surgeon tracks your progress and will let you know when it is safe to resume regular activities.

How Can I Ensure a Comfortable Experience?

Establish a relaxing environment by preparing things prior to your surgery is the best way to make sure that you are comfortable and content during your recuperation. Some tips for a comforting atmosphere include:


  • Having all of your prescriptions filled before your procedure
  • Following all of your post-surgical care instructions
  • Arranging for adequate childcare, as you will be unable to lift anything
  • Scheduling a friend or loved one to drive you home and stay with you for the first few days
  • Stocking plenty of pillows where you will be spending most of your time
  • Sleeping and getting plenty of rest
  • Drinking water to stay hydrated
  • Gathering plenty of entertainment, such as books, magazines, television, electronic devices, and your cell phone
  • Being sure to have all charging cables and spare batteries handy
  • Beginning to walk around the house after the first day or two

When Can I Resume Work?

Every patient will feel different after their procedure, but most patients can return to work in a couple of weeks. 


After at least four weeks, you can begin introducing regular activities, as long as your doctor has cleared it. It is important to listen to your surgeon and your body; avoid overexerting yourself—it can prolong your healing process.


It will usually take a few months for you to feel back to normal. Remain patient with your recovery and get plenty of rest.

What Results Should I Expect?

Dr. Robert Wald takes his time with each patient to understand their desires and preferences and creates a personalized surgical plan accordingly. 


Mommy Makeover before and after photo

In their Mommy Makeover, most patients choose to include breast augmentation to enhance their breast volume and cleavage, a breast lift to improve their nipples and areolas while simultaneously raising the breasts, a tummy tuck to remove excess abdominal fat and skin for a tighter stomach, and liposuction to reduce fat in stubborn locations. 


Regardless of which procedures you decide to include in your Mommy Makeover, most patients feel a significant improvement in their overall body contour after they have healed. 


To learn more about Mommy Makeover surgery, please call our office for a consultation at (714) 312-3549. You can also fill out our contact form.

What Can I Expect After a Tummy Tuck?

Wald Patient Tummy Tuck. Before and AfterPeople choose tummy tuck surgery to restore the toned and lean contours of their abdomen following weight loss, pregnancy, or because they have age-related laxity. While a tummy tuck can transform the contours of your body, it does require a thorough surgery with a recovery period that will leave you out of commission for several days. However, most people feel that this recovery time is worth the dramatic results they achieve. Planning ahead for your tummy tuck can make the recovery process less intimidating.

Controlling Discomfort


While we all wish there were never any discomfort following surgery, some pain and discomfort are impossible to avoid. The tightening of abdominal muscles can be particularly troublesome for certain people. Luckily, pain medications taken on a strict schedule will alleviate the soreness. Most patients say the first 48 to 72 hours are the worst; after that time, milder pain medications can be used to control discomfort.

Changing Your Bandages

While it may sound intimidating, it is simple to change your bandages and clean your incisions. Your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions for the cleaning process, including telling you what materials can and can’t be used on the incision area. Proper care of the area helps prevent infection and decreases the chance of you developing unsightly scars.

Taking Time Off

You will spend the first 48 hours of your recovery with minimal exertion. You’ll likely feel tired, though you should get up and slowly walk around. Even after the first 48 hours, you need to take it easy. Your body is trying to heal itself, and incisions are still fresh. Placing stress on your body too quickly can slow the recovery process and put you at risk for tearing an incision. Depending on the physical nature of your work, most people can return to work within two weeks.

Wearing a Compression Garment

Throughout the recovery process, you will wear a compression garment, which reduces the amount of post-operative swelling and promotes further tissue contraction. This process helps you achieve your desired shape. While some people may find the compression garment uncomfortable at times, it is a key part of creating the look you want.

Dr. Wald Looks forward to
helping you reach your
cosmetic goals.
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Robert Wald, MD
100 E. Valencia Mesa Drive, Suite 300
Fullerton, CA 92835

Phone: 714-312-3549
Fax: 714-738-1862

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