Consequences of Not Wearing the Binder After Tummy Tuck?

I'm 9 days post op Tummy Tuck. I was asked to wear a binder for 6-8 weeks if not my stomach would get bigger. It it is very uncomfortable and caused my cut to bleed. Is this normal? And if I don't wear the binder will my stomach really get bigger?

Doctor Answers (6)

Review it with your doctor


An abdominoplasty binder is supposed to help, not hinder. We use it to help with swelling and some patients find comfort in its support. It sounds like yours is too tight if it caused bleeding in your incision. A binder that is too tight can cause indentations and affect the circulation. Bring it to your doctor and review the way you are wearing it. Your surgeon may recommend that you discard the abdominal binder, or he/she may want to fit you with one that is looser.

Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Importance of Binder after Tummy Tuck


Hi there-

There are tummy tucks, and then there are tummy tucks... What I mean to say is that the importance of the binder to your particular outcome is going to depend on the details of your surgery.

Because this is the case, really the only person who could give you a responsible answer to your question is going to be your surgeon.

I would give him/her a call and ask if the binder is vital to the achievement of your goals, and if there is anything they can recommend to make the binder less uncomfortable to wear. I'm sure they will have the answers you need.

Congratulations on your new body!

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Call your surgeon regarding stopping the binder after a tummy tuck


You should contact your surgeon in regards to the limitations and recommendations after your tummy tuck surgery. Only he or she will have the best idea if compression is essential to maintaining your result.

If you have had an aggressive diastasis repair use of external compression may be supportive in the same way a cast is useful after repairing a fracture. This may provide rnecessary reinforcement when you cough, sneeze, etc.

If however, the diastasis was minimal, you could easily forego the use of the binder.

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

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Tummy Tuck

Not all compression garments are created equal. As with surgeons and surgery centers, you tend to get what you pay for. In my practice we provide the compression garments for abdominoplasty patients (there is no added fee for compression garments), and we have tried out almost every major company’s garments. We have been happiest with Marena’s compression garments as the fabric is very soft, elastic and comfortable yet durable. They are also the most aesthetically pleasing garments we have used. If modified with scissors the fabric does not ‘run’ or split.
If the garments are not pleasant to wear then patients will inevitably discontinue their use earlier than would be ideal. Some practices ask patients to purchase their own garments (I’ve even heard of patients being sent to Wal-Mart for this), which is leaving an important part of the postop care regimen in inexperienced hands. If a practice advises you to purchase your own compression garment, they are probably more interested in controlling costs than your postoperative comfort.

I am not dogmatic about compression garment use. If a patient states that they would prefer not to wear it, or would prefer to discontinue its use early, we allow the patient to do so. That being said, the vast majority of our patients wear their garments for the full four-week protocol, and some use them for longer than four weeks on their own volition. Garment fit and comfort is everything. If the fit is right and the patient is comfortable, then patients feel better, have a more pleasant recovery, experience less edema and more rapidly return to normal activity.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Compression garments after tummy tuck

Please ask your surgeon regarding your compression garment. It may not be fitted properly if it's causing problems with your recovery. A compression garment is designed to help ease swelling and facilitate your recovery. It also helps your body conform to its new sleeker contours. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Binder is mainly for support


Depending on the extent of your tummy tuck, the decision as to how long to wear a binder is determined by your plastic surgeon. If your binder is uncomfortable and causing you to bleed, perhaps it is to tight. If you loosen the binder and still continue to have problems, I would recommend contacting your surgeon to discuss whether you should continue to wear the binder.

A binder should help give you support while you heal not cause you discomfort.

David A. Robinson, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 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.