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Purpose of Binder After Tummy Tuck?

I've done a lot of research on Tummy Tuck and about the doctor I have choosen to do the procedure. I'm feeling great and excited about it. I only have one concern; my surgeon says he does not use binders after surgery. He feels they don't do much and that they are over used by other doctors. What exactly is the purpose of a binder after a Tummy Tuck and is what he says true, that they don't really do anything for the Tummy Tuck results as far as for better appearance or comfort?

Doctor Answers 23

Binders are always helpful after tummy tuck

I answered this very question yesterday from another individual concerning how long to wear a binder and how should it fit. The binder is very helpful after abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, and it should fit snug and comfortably without being tight. The binder supports the abdomen as you sit, stand up, deep breathe, or cough as needed, and supports the back as well as the abdomen.

During the tummy tuck procedure, there is often a repair or tightening of the muscle layer in the abdomen to improve the tone and contour. The pull on the muscle is reduced with the support of the binder and will improve your comfort. Also, the area exposed as the skin excess is removed is large and prone to collect fluid called a seroma. The binder will reduce movement and friction in the tummy, and reduce swelling and the potential for fluid to accumulate. In general, you will get up easier, feel better, and possibly heal faster with a binder so I would certainly wear it.

How long for the binder? We have patients wear them for the first two weeks. They will fit nicely under loose clothing, and we always recommend a cotton T under the binder, pulled down past your bottom. The cotton is cleaner and more comfortable on the skin and the newly healing incision, After two weeks, we transition into a Spanx with a high waist (the Higher Power) for about two weeks longer, or until confident without.

Best of luck


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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I always have my patients use a binder

A tummy tuck creates a large open space under the are of your abdomen that is undermined. Therefore, there is a tendency to have fluid accumulate into this space if it is not closed off. A binder, keeps this area under tension and allows healing to occur and lessens the chances of fluid buildup. Surgical drains are often used together with the binder to minimize a fluid build up (sermoma or hematoma). It is possible that your Doctor is using a tissue glue called Tisseal which can minimize the need for a binder in some patients. I still believe that the binder also gives support to the muscle layer that has been tightened at the time of the tummy tuck. For these reasons, in my hands, a binder works well for my patients. If your Doctor is able to obtain great results without fluid build up without the use of a binder, then I commend him/her.

David Rankin, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Using A Binder After A Tummy Tuck-

There is no science to support the claim of better results after a tummy tuck with using a binder. Yet every abdominoplasty patient that I operated on over the last twenty years has found using the binder post surgically not only beneficial in lessening the pain but routinely describes the binder as "comforting" in the immediate post operative period. Therefore, having learned from my patients, I routinely recommend using an abdominal binder after undergoing a tummy tuck.

Z. Paul Lorenc, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Abd binder

THE binder makes swelling go down more quickly.  Trust me, it is a good thing and will help you immensely.  Best of luck.

Support garments for tummy tuck recovery

abdominal binders when worn well and of correct fit can help to reduce abdominal swelling and to give patients abdominal wall and back support and some relief of muscle spasm and pain

S. Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Does Compression Work After a Tummy Tuck?

The rule of compression after abdominoplasty is two fold. 1. It is to decrease swelling. 2. Also, to improve patient comfort. I have patients wear either  a compression garment or an abdominal binder for two weeks post operatively and convert to a spandex type of garment up to a month after a procedure. Living in Dallas, TX I really don’t have patients wear these garments for more than two weeks day and night.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

I strongly disagree.

I use them 100% of the time, and my patients love them too!

They compress the tissues and decrease the time that drains remain in. They help the tissues redrape. They support the repair and hlep the patient be more comfortable. In fact, after I discontinue the binder, many, many patients tell me that they go on to wear it because it gives them "a sense of security".

I am not saying I am wright, and he is wrong, I am stongly disagreeing with the comment.


Your doctor is right; binders don't do much.


There are no good scientific studies about this, but I can tell you that, in New York City, we use binders on some patients and not on others, and both groups do just fine.

It's all about how the surgery is done.  And suction drains for about a week are important.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Many opinions on this

When there are several opinions on a subject, it means there is no true answer! Binders can help early on with compressing and keeping the skin adherent to the abdominal wall. It can also assist in early ,light bleeding. Binders will not make the result better or worse if you wear it or do not wear it. Your result will not be different if you choose the surgeon who does not use them . many patients like the "comfort" that the binder affords them, so I use them for a week or two.

Michael S. Beckenstein, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Compression after tummy tuck absolutely helps.

Hi there-

Just as with any other operation, there will be some swelling after your tummy tuck... wearing a compression binder will limit the degree of swelling, and accelerate its resolution.

Additionally, the suture repair of your muscles will be a bit vulnerable for the first few weeks, and wearing a binder helps to support the repair while it heals, lowering the risk of the disrupting the repair.

Finally, the binder will greatly diminish the discomfort that most patients experience after this surgery, as it provides support during healing.

The only potential drawback is that compression may decrease blood flow in the tissues, and some believe this contributes to the risks of delayed healing or to the risk of developing a blood clot in your legs. It is my opinion that good surgical technique will maintain excellent blood flow in the tissues, and that proper attention to details before and after surgery will minimize the risk of blood clots. I do not think that the use of a binder really has much to do with these risks, and that the benefits far outweigh them.

I think that if you are comfortable with your surgeon, and feel he/she has a good understanding of your goals, and that you have a good chance of achieving them in his/her hands, I would trust his/her recommendation and follow their instructions carefully.

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.