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Is It Necessary to Sleep with Girdle 3 Weeks Post Tummy Tuck?

I am 3 weeks post tummy tuck. My girdle is extremely uncomfortable to sleep in. I take it off halfway through the night, but use the binder. Can this affect my results?

Doctor Answers (5)

Is it necessary to sleep with girdle 3 weeks post-tummy tuck?

+1
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 this time, most allow you to loosen or remove during resting/sleeping.  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!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

If girdle is uncomfortable 3 weeks after tummy tuck usually can be removed.

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Thank you for your question. Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon for advice on compression garments and girdle after tummy tuck.

in my practice if compression garments aren't comfortable I recommended patients do not wear them.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Girdle & Binder after Tummy Tuck

+1

For most of my patients, I allow them to stop wearing the firm binder 2 weeks after surgery (unless they wish to wear it longer). I do recommend the GelZone abdominal wrap, which provides some support and scar treatment, starting 1-2 weeks after surgery. Check with your surgeon but in most cases, patients can stop wearing it by weeks.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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+1

I believe compression is important and use it in all of these cases. Your surgeon will have specific instructions for you which you should follow

Michael Hueneke, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Girdle after Tummy Tuck?

+1

You will probably be just fine removing your girdle if it is “extremely uncomfortable”  but always best to check with your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 781 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.