Primary Reason for Hospital Stay After a Tummy Tuck?

Some surgeons recommend an overnight in the hospital after a tummy tuck, but I could go home the same day. What is the main health risk that they are monitoring in the hospital, or is it just to be able to give better pain medication?

Doctor Answers 15

Overnight hospital stay after Tummy Tuck is a very nice option but not essential

I operate in a hospital thus my patients have the option of staying overnight. It is very interesting that many choose to do so since they have the option.

The benefits are nursing care, more effective pain medications, and the opportunity to see the doctor on round the next morning.

Patients who have a mini tummy tuck more frequently choose to go home after surgery, but for full abdominoplasty I recommend that they stay overnight.

Certainly id multiple procedures are done such as combined abdominoplasty and breast lift or augmentation or liposuction of other areas I strongly recommend an overnight stay.

For patients who choose to go home after surgery they must be accompanied by someone who can care for them. It is illegal for a hospital to discharge a patient alone after General Anesthesia in my State  Massachusetts.

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Primary Reason to Stay in the Hospital After A Tummy Tuck?

The majority of my patients and patients in the Washington, DC metro area go home after a tummy tuck.  The main reasons to stay overnight are:

1. Tummy tuck is combined with other procedures - breast reduction/augmentation and liposuction

2. Severe post-operative nausea and vomiting

3. Pain control

4. Medical reasons - blood pressure monitoring requiring a 23 hour stay

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

Top reasons to stay overnight after a tummy tuck


There are a handful of reasons why some patients stay overnight after a tummy tuck including:

1) Patient/surgeon preference

2) Treatment/prevention of nausea/vomiting

3) IV pain medication

4) Expert care (no one at home to take care of patient)

5) Fluid management (IV fluids)


All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Hospital stay after a tummy tuck

In the United States, most tummy tucks are done on an outpatient basis with patients going home the day of surgery. The two main reasons why a patient might need admission are 1) excessive post-operative pain and 2)inadquate oral intake because of nausea/vomiting.  When patients are admitted after surgey these two problems can be better treated in that patients can be given pain medicine and fluids by an iv. Currently, anesthesia providers are experts at preventing and treating nausea and vomiting.  Also, pain is usually well controlled with oral pain meds.  Some patients will also benefit from the use of pain pumps.   Fortunately, it is extremely rare for patients to require admission after a tummy tuck. 

Kelly Gallego, MD, FACS
Yuba City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Hospital stay after TT

Most patients across the country go home after tummy tuck surgery. I do most of my surgery out of a hospital setting where my patients have the option to stay or go home. Over 90% of my patients choose to stay overnight. Granted it is a special program which only costs an additional $300 but they find real value in it. Why? It's nice not to have to home directly after the surgery and anesthetic. They can be treated for any pain or nausea. I think the biggest benefit is the fact that they can continue to receive IV fluids, which not only decreases nausea but also keeps you well hydrated and reduces blood clots (DVT). Also compression stockings (SCDs) are continued throughout the night which also decreases DVT. The nurses also help you deal with the drains and getting in and out of bed. In summary, while hospital stays after tummy tuck are not necessary, there is great value in using them if they are readily available.

Tummy tuck and post operative hospital stay

The majority of my patients recover at home after a tummy tuck and do quite well.   However, I counsel my patients that should they have excessive post operative pain or untoward medical problems, such as nausea or blood pressure problems,  they may need to be admitted to a hospital for the first 24 to 48 hours after the tummy tuck

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Overnight stay after abdominoplasty

we did this for years and have stopped this in the last ten years.   it is not necessary.. pain can be controlled with proper care.  it is safe and reasonable to go home

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

"To or Not To" Stay Overnight after Tummy Tuck

In my practice whether an abdominoplasty patient stays overnight depends on if there are combined procedures that may require further monitoring of hydration status, blood pressure and/or pain control. During the consultation the determination is made if overnight stay would be necessary.  Different surgeons will have their own criteria for overnight admission.  You will have to determine your comfort level with the surgeon of your choosing reasons "To or Not To" admit you overnight.

Dr. ES

It depends on the surgery

Tummy tuck is a significant amount of surgery.  Often is may be accompanied with liposuction and sometimes breast surgery.  If it is a long case 6 or more hours i offer a 23 hour stay for comfort and monitoring.  The patients health plays a significant decision on every aspect of this type case.  If you are in good health and a 4 or 5 hour case and good support at home, then it sounds reasonable.

I always use a pain pump for comfort.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Tummy tuck recovery

I have performed over 700 tummy tucks over the past 6 years. I rarey require an over night stay unless the patient is over 50 years of age or has other health issues.

Frank L. Stile, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 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.