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4 Weeks Post-op - Should I Still Be Wearing Padding Between my Binder and Scar?

I am still wearing padding (combine ABD Pad) between my biinder (which is rough) and my scar. How long I should do this for and could this be causing the swelling in my belly? I am still very bloated above the cut-line. I find my binder very rough and am not sure what else I could put between the scar and binder to protect it? Thank you.

Doctor Answers (3)

4 Weeks Post-op - Should I Still Be Wearing Padding Between my Binder and Scar?

+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. 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

Padding Between Tummy Tuck Incision and Binder?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Your plastic surgeon will have specific suggestions for you. It's best to follow his/her advice given that he/she is responsible for your care.

Generally, I suggest the use of pads between the incision and binder to prevent irritation of the suture line. Around this time,  patients may switch from binder to compressive garment ( which is generally softer but still useful for a edema  control).

Best wishes.

 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 794 reviews

Compression after tummy tuck

+1

Hello,

Thank you for the question.  Most patients do not wear padding under the abdominal binder at 3-4 weeks after their tummy tuck but each patient and each surgeon has his/her own specific ways of doing things.  If it feels good you can continue to do so.  Some patients will cut the top off of a T-shirt and have that as a lining between the skin and the binder.  The swelling or fullness that you are swelling can should be evaluated by your plastic surgeon to verify if its swelling, seroma, abdominal wall, or fat.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 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.