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How Long Does the Average Patient Wear Their Girdle After a Tummy Tuck?

Are there times after the recovery period has ended that a patient may want to wear the girdle again?

Doctor Answers 21

Compression after tummy tuck.

The compressive garment after tummy tuck is necessary for 3 weeks post surgery.  I suggest that a "Spanx" type garment is used for an additional 3 weeks.  After 6 weeks, a mild sports garment may complete the transition.  No active "abs" exercise for 3 months  is suggested.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

How long does the average patient wear their girdle after a tummy tuck?

Hello! Thank you for your question!. The tummy tuck procedure is an excellent method for contouring of your abdomen, often removing the excess skin as well as tightening the abdominal wall. After nearly all surgical procedures, a potential space is created from where the surgical procedure/dissection was performed. This is especially true for the tummy tuck, in where the abdominal flap is raised off of the abdominal wall and then redraped atop the area to contour the abdomen. The procedure alone promotes swelling and inflammation, which typically lasts for 6-12 weeks. This may even last longer if liposuction has been performed in addition. During this time, a few things may be done to allow adherence of the abdominal skin/soft tissue to readhere to the abdominal wall and close that space. Many surgeons use drains to evacuate the expected serous fluid from building up. Stagnant fluid as such may be a nidus for infection as well as does not allow the tissue to adhere back to its normal anatomic position. Drains usually are removed once output is <30cc/day - usually removed within 3-4 weeks on average, sometimes longer. When this occurs, a seroma may develop - which may require aspiration or surgical evacuation to rid this in order to optimize your result.

This is not an uncommon reason for persistent swelling and/or bulging in a certain area of your belly. Of course, thwarting the development of a pseudobursa, or seroma capsule, is always best, to provide the best result as well as avoid any future procedures for this. This may be a troubling consequence and often compromises your overall result. Thus avoiding this complication, in whatever manner, is the objective. "Drainless" tummy tucks are becoming more popular - basically, the overlying tissue is physically sutured to the abdominal wall to close the potential space. In addition, most surgeons typically restrict vigorous activity/strenuous exercise as well as lifting restrictions of usually <20#, especially the core, for 6-8 weeks to allow healing to continue. Most also often recommend an abdominal compression-type binder or garment, which will serve to provide compression as well as assist to decrease swelling and eliminate the dead-space of the area for at least 6 weeks as well. After the initial binder, many patients like the Spanx garments. Most patients are able to return to most activities within a couple of weeks, provided they adhere to the restrictions.

Overall, this is a procedure with a high satisfaction rate. Discuss the procedure and postoperative instructions/restrictions with your surgeon, as these will vary among surgeons. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

How Long Does the Average Patient Wear Their Girdle After a Tummy Tuck?

Opinions vary. I have had experience with hundreds of Tummy Tucks and stopped using binders-compression garments-girdles in my Tummy Tuck patients.

In MY opinion, not using such garments after a Tummy Tuck  is
- a LOT more comfortable to the patient (Happier patient leads to quicker recovery)
- it allows MUCH easier breathing (less fever and pneumonias),
- easier movement (decreased risk of deep vein clots),
- decreased interference with blood flow in the skin of the lower tummy (with less wound complication due to ischemia - lower blood flow resulting in tissue death)
- NO appreciable increase in swelling
- Saving on the cost of purchasing and maintaining these garments.

In summary, it is cheaper AND leads to quicker recovery to NOT use a compression garment. So what's NOT to love?

Peter A Aldea, MD


Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Garment following tummy tuck

Thank you for your question.  In our practice, we require patients to wear the compression garment, which we provide, 24 hours per day for one month following surgery.  Many patients chose to switch to a spanx type of garment after one month and continue wearing this for added support and comfort for another month.

Best of luck,

Christopher J. Morea, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Wear Your Garment For About 6 Weeks After Your Tummy Tuck

You should ask your surgeon about this, however I generally recommend patients wear their compression garment day and night for 3 weeks then another 3 weeks during the day only.

Girdle / Elastic Garment Time after Tummy Tuck

Three to six weeks is the usual range for most patients to wear elastic garments, but if it feels comfortable to wear a Spanx or similar garment then there would be no harm in doing so if a good fit.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

How long does a patient wear the compression garment after surgery?

I generally recommend my patients wear the Veronique compression girdles four to six weeks after liposuction surgery.  The abdominoplasty procedures depend on the extent of the surgery, a mini-abdominoplasty is 3 weeks while a full abdominoplasty is 6 weeks.


Many of my patients will put their garments on for support up to three months after the surgical procedure.

Rondi Kathleen Walker, MD
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

How long to wear a girdle?

There is not any real science for how long to wear a girdle after tummy tuck. I recommend 6 weeks because is gives you support of the muscle tightening. Many patients choose to wear it for several weeks more as it gives them a little more help with swelling throughout the day. As long as the girdle fits well it should be comfortable and give you a sense of security.

Compression garment

I recommend using a compression garment for 6 weeks after a tummy tuck.  Many of my patients find them comfortable and want to wear them even longer for that extra "support".  I have a few patients who can't stand wearing them so we monitor the swelling closely and will get them out of the garment and into something lighter such as spanx as soon as possible.  The garment if meant to help reduce swelling and prevent fluid collections from accumulating (seromas).  They are not meant to be torture devices, however.  Good luck!

Wear the garment for as long as you get a benefit

I tell my patients to wear the garment for 4-6 weeks, and this inital garment is generally a stiffer material.  After that I recommend going to a more breathable and more comfortable garment that conceals easily with clothing.  Since swelling and bruising can be slightly different from person to person, some may derive more benefit from the garment than others.  Some women really dislike the garment, while some find good support and comfort in their garment.  As you recover and become more active after the 1st month, you'll find that you may have some swelling which will respond well to some form of compression.  In the end, I suspect that every patient will decide for themselves how long they wish to wear it.  

Tito Vasquez, MD, FACS
Southport Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.