After a Full Tummy Tuck, How Long Before the Skin Tightness and Uneveness Goes Away?

I had my full TT and lipo 7 weeks ago. I still feel extrem tightness and uneven skin to the point of not being comfortable with out my garment and not being able to wear a bra because it hurts too much on my rib cage. When does it go away?? anything I can do to improve the situation.?

Doctor Answers 8

After a full tummy tuck - how long before the skin tightnes and uneveness goes away?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! Numbness after any surgical procedure is expected for several weeks to months following. As the nerves to the area are traumatized and will then experience a temporary neuropraxia, a transient loss of nerve conduction. This usually resolves over the next 6-12 weeks, but depending on the procedure performed, sometimes much longer. Typically this should resolve by 1 year. As it goes past this date, the likelihood of the sensation returning is small. However, it can take up to 2 years. If no return from there, it is unlikely to return. It should be discussed that persistent sensory changes may develop following any surgical procedure.

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating and neuropraxia resolving is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp, shock-like pains. These will be normal to experience, and actually a promising sign. Usually, normal sensation returns, but is is also possible to have decreased sensation or even increased sensation to the areas affected. Re-educating nerves postoperatively is often helpful and will allow proper instruction for the affected sensory nerves - methods include using different textures to the affected areas when showering, bathing, applying lotion, etc. If bothersome, there are some medications that may be helpful, including Neurontin for pain for hypersensitivity. You can try various textures such as washcloths, loofahs, cotton sheets, etc. Massaging the areas is also beneficial for the incision to make the finest scar possible. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision/scar as the nerves will make its way from the periphery to this location. If continual pain arises, evaluation is warranted. After ruling out other causes, one rare explanation may be that a neuroma has developed and may require surgical excision. This is very unlikely unless a large sensory nerve has been transected inadvertently during the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tightness and irregulairities after tummy tuck

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The tightness will ease with time and generally is better by 3 months after surgery but may take upwards of a year to feel completely norma and the scar to fade and smoothenl. I find that core strengthening with a Pilates or Yoga regimen can help improve the muscle repair and ease the tension that is felt.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Tummy tuck recovery time

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It may take several months (6) for the tightness to resolve.  If the unevenness is due to swelling or scarring one would anticipate slow improvement over 6 months to 1 year.  Liposuction can cause contour irregularities that may improve but no necessarily resolve with time.

Robert Sleightholm, MD
Brampton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Skin Tightness after a Tummy Tuck

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Certain positions can cause some discomfort.  2 months post-op you will have some residual swelling and inflammation and the wounds are not mature yet, so yes this can be normal.  Sit straight and try to get up to move frequently, this will help with the swelling.

Gary Motykie, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

How long before skin tightness goes away after a tummy tuck?

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Patients whp receive this procedure should expect a significant recovery process. This can include swelling, bruising, discomfort, and uneven areas. These symptoms commonly arise because of swelling throughout this area that every patient may experience differently. In our practice, we feel that it is important to give every patient to garments after their surgery. These garments help manage the swelling and provide welcome support for the patients. We typically recommend that our patients use these garments up to four months after their surgery. If you continue to have swelling seven weeks after your procedure, that may very well be normal. Your best bet is to inform your plastic surgeon of your concerns and let him or her evaluate your abdomen to determine if the swelling is expected or if additional treatment is necessary.

Tighness after abdominoplasty & liposuction

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Your concern is common and takes time to resolve. It may take 3 to 6 months before you feel an improvement. For now, discuss this with your plastic surgeon and ask if it is OK to start a stretching program and massage the area.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Tummy tuck discomfort

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At 7 weeks you should start feeling a bit better. The swelling will slowly go away and the skin will eventually soften up a bit, but this varies from patient to patient.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tightness after a tummy tuck.

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It is not unusual to take a good 3-6 months to be fully recovered including the scars maturing.  Some patients find it quite annoying to have the numbness on the abdominal skin, but this usually improves.  Speak to your plastic surgeon.  Especially after a TT and lipo just the healing from the lipo often takes 3-4 months so be patient.  Good luck.

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.