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How Long After a Stomach Surgery Do You Need to Wait Before Having a Tummy Tuck?

I went to the ER for problems urinating and found a mass pushing on my ureters and bladder (fibroid) had removed and had to lose my uterus (hysterectomy). The doctor did a vertical incision belly button to pubic bone. He could not do the traditional horizontal bikini incision. And now that I am going to be home recovering from these how long should I wait to just get a tummy tuck. I had the surgery on Thursday June 19, 2008.. also a 45 min surgery ended up being almost 3 hours because the fibroid mass weighed more than 9 pounds...

Doctor Answers (15)

Tummy Tuck After Abdominal Surgery

+2

I would concur with my colleagues and recommend you wait about 4-6 months.  Since your surgery was back in 2008, you are ready to proceed.   The good news is  that your plastic surgeon should be able to remove the vertical scar from your umbilicus (belly button) down to your waist crease.   A new bikini line scar will be required to achieve the improved tummy contour.


Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

How Long for a Tummy Tuck After Abdominal Surgery

+2

Expert opinions vary, but I recommend you might wait 6 months to allow abdominal swelling to fully resolve, and healing to progress, before trying to get an optimal cosmetic result.

Since it's been 2 years since your abdominal surgery, it sounds like you're ready for your tummy tuck consultation!

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Wait time between surgeries

+2

The reason for waiting after your surgery is to not only allow your surgical area to heal but also for your body to recover from the stress of the first surgery before undergoing another one. Typically, 6 months to 1 year is the time period for adequate healing to take place.

Since a tummy tuck is an elective procedure, you can discuss with your board certified plastic surgeon what the ideal timing is for you after a comprehensive consultation and examination.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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You can have a tummy tuck as soon as you wish after hysterectomy.

+1

Abdominoplasties are sometimes done concurrently with hysterectomies.  If they are staggered, most patients would wait until they are stabilized after the operation before having a tummy tuck (a few days to a few weeks).  However, if you are stable after the procedure and did not lose much blood, you can have the tummy tuck whenever you wish.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

You should be ok now

+1

As your surgery was 2 years ago, as long as you feel fully recovered and get clearance from your OB/GYN,  you should be able to proceed.  Consult with a plastic surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for abdominoplasty. 

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tummy tuck after abdominal surgery

+1

My recommendation to patients is to wait 6 months to undergo an tummy tuck after any abdominal surgery.  Six months will allow all of your abdominal tissues to recover from what sounds like an extensive procedure.  When the soft tissue of the abdomen has returned to a "normal" state, the plan for a tummy tuck can be more accurate.  Operating on tissue that is still swollen or inflammed will only lead to complications and a poor outcome. 

Naveen Setty, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Timing of Tummy Tuck

+1

I usually recommend waiting 3-6 months from previous abominal surgery before proceeding with tummy tuck.  This allows most swelling to recede.

Dustin L. Reid, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Tummy tuck after abdominal surgery

+1

There is no right answer to this question- since we're talking about a totally elective procedure (tummy tuck)- its reasonable to wait 6 months and allow your body to recover from what sounds like a major pelvic operation. The vertical scar that you have will be removed by the abdominoplasty. Make your plastic surgeon aware of your pelvic operation and prepare a copy of your operative report from your pelvic operation for the plastic surgeon to review prior to your tummy tuck consultation. 

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Wait at least 6 months before a tummy tuck

+1

I'm very glad to hear that you are doing well after what sounds like a difficult and complicated abdominal surgery!

Once you have completed the healing process, you may be a great candidate for a tummy tuck. The vertical scar that you have now should be able to be removed at the time of the tummy tuck.

When you go to your plastic surgery evaluation, try to bring a copy of the operative report from your gyn surgery to the plastic surgeon's office. This will give him or her a better idea of what you experienced and will also help in the planning of the surgery.

During your evaluation, your plastic surgeon should also perform a thorough exam to look for hernias, adhesions or other obstacles that may complicate your tummy tuck.

Best-
Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Board Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery
MIAMI AESTHETIC SURGERY
305-576-3443

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Delay between major surgery and cosmetic surgery

+1

I typically wait 3-4 months between surgeries but I certainly would consult with the other surgeon regarding the need for a more prolonged recovery. There may be other factors which would prolong the interim between the procedures and it would be unlikely that I would perform this any sooner.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.