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My skin appears loose after a Tummy Tuck. Is this normal during the healing process? (photo)

I would like to know 4 things. The first thing being how tight does the binder need to be? How long should I wear it? The swelling, When does this typically go down? The skin appears a little loose in the tummy area is this normal during healing until it attaches back fully?

Doctor Answers (8)

Abdominoplasty post operative care

+2
Your binder should be snug but not uncomfortably tight. It is there to keep some of the swelling down (and also helps to keep bandages in place if you still have bandages). Some surgeons do not use a binder after abdominoplasty and some use them up to 6 weeks. I find that the binder helps support the abdominal wall as the healing process is happening, and my patients feel more comfortable with it on. So I tell people to wear it as long as it is making them feel better. Your result would not change significantly if you took it off the day after surgery.

You look as if you have had an excellent result from your tummy tuck. I can see by some stretch marks near your belly button that you are still pretty swollen (stretch marks tend to look darker and more pronounced when you have swelling.) You can expect for this swelling to go on for at least 6 to 8 weeks and maybe a little bit longer. I advise people to wait at least 6 to 8 months before they judge their final result. Don't worry....during that time, you will see daily improvements and you will be able to watch yourself get better and better...

In the picture, I can not see any loose skin. I wonder if it really is loose skin or the swelling that you are seeing. You can be sure that the swelling will get better and the contour of your abdomen will continue to improve. Loose skin may not improve, but I have a feeling that by the looks of your picture, what you are seeing is simply some residual swelling.

Congratulations...you really do have a lovely result and you can count on improvements to it over the coming weeks/months.

Good luck and I hope this helped!!


New Haven Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

After TT

+2
Answering your questions:
1.-The compression garment is to hold on the swelling and to help your skin to reattach to the muscle. It will not shape your body, we as surgeons do the sculpting job.
2.-My personal opinion (based on the reason of wearing a CG) is no more than 8 weeks.
3.-Swelling will remain very bad for almost 6 weeks and then will go down little by little until the next 4-6 months. You will be looking better each day.
4.-The skin will be looking loose for at least 4 weeks, then it will be looking better and tighter unless the skin on your abdomen, sides and back is loose because of stretch marks or after weight loss process.

Be encouraged. You will be looking great after several more weeks.
Dr. Cardenas

Laura Carmina Cardenas, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Tummy Tuck Postop

+2
The skin can appear loose as the swelling improves during the recovery process.  The skin should contract with time but you may have lost some elasticity in your skin since you have stretch marks on the abdomen.  I have my patient wear a binder for a few weeks and then transition patients to a compression garment which may be more comfortable.  The binder and garment helps minimize swelling and ensures everything lays smoothly as the skin contracts.  Good luck!

Eugene Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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Early TT results

+2
It looks from your pictures that you are in the first few weeks of healing.  Everything will change significantly with more time (all for the better!).  Hang in there.  The binder should be supportive and not uncomfortable, I have patietns wear them for 6 weeks.  The swelling can take months to clear but most folks are looking good at 8 weeks.  Final results take about 6 months.  Good luck!

Mahlon Kerr, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Tummy tuck healing

+1
Thank you for your question and photograph.  Your result this early looks quite good and will definitely improve with time.

My best advice to you is to consult your plastic surgeon and specifically follow your surgeons advice regarding compression garment and time for healing.  Only your plastic surgeon who performed your operation and has direct contact with you is in a position to answer your questions.  Please do not follow online advice.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Tummy Tuck Issues

+1
Thanks for  your picture but it does not give me the whole story.  Your skin will have some looseness (suppleness) and it will not be rigid.  Garments have their own pressure built in and i recommend that it is worn for about 6 weeks.

Dr. ES

Earl Stephenson, Jr., MD, DDS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

My skin appears loose after a Tummy Tuck. Is this normal during the healing process?

+1
I would like to tell you one thing.... Please call or see your operative surgeon with all these postoperative questions/concerns! You need to be followed by the surgeon, over the internet responses should not be followed since we do not know your medical or surgical history. Only my personal post operative protocols should be followed by my personal patients. In GENERAL terms: Binder from 4 to 6 weeks, maybe, Tightness is determined by your surgeon, Not sure about what looseness and re attachment means....////

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Questoins such as yours

+1
should be directed at your surgeon rather than the gallery of observers.  Your surgeon knows what was done at surgery and is best equipped to help guide you through the recovery journey.  Your surgeon is equally as motivated as you are to have a great result in the end and if your surgeon is not, I would wonder what made your choose this particular surgeon.  In my practice, the binder is worn as snugly as tolerated.  Swelling can take weeks to subside.  The binder is worn up to 6 weeks if muscle work was done.  And some laxity is normal... you must judge your results standing and not sitting.  And if you lost a lot of weight, you're going to have a lot of loose skin still but your contours will be improved.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.5 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.