How long does it take for results to be noticeable after a tummy tuck? (Photos)

Im 48 hours post op and I still look round in the mid section. I had 11 pounds of tissue removed or 5,000 grams. Also I had 1000 ml of lipo to my flanks and 500 ml to lateral chest as my Dr said he was going to be aggressive in the flank area. I am constipated as of now. My last bowel movement was 11am on 11/15 Tuesday. I have been able to eat anything that the family eats just get fuller a little faster. Is there still hope that I will shrink up some more and my body size will slim over time.

Doctor Answers 9

Six Months to See Results

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Dear tummy dad,

You are going to need at least six months for the swelling to subside fully and be able to assess your result. In addition, your constipation is most likely due to your narcotic pain medications. Contact your doctor for the particular protocol he or she wishes to employ in this regard and try to limit your narcotic pain medicine by taking prescription dosing Motrin or Naprosyn with regular Tylenol.

I hope this has been helpful.

Robert D. Wilcox, MD

Give it time

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We need better photos to see what is going on, however, you are too early too tell what your final result will be.  You should already see a very big difference if that much skin was removed and it will only get better as the swelling goes away.  Talk to your plastic surgeon.

Healing after a tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question. The best person to advice you is your specific surgeon as every surgeon will have his/her own preferences as to recovery for specific procedures. That said, healing after a tummy tuck is usually pretty straight forward.  There is a process of swelling and bruising that peaks at 3 days after surgery and then undergoes the first stage of major resolution in the first 2 weeks after surgery.  The lateer phase of healing takes place over the 2-3 months after surgery where everything really settles and softens.  It is after this time that we are getting close to the final result, though this varies patient to patient. 

How long does it take for results to be noticeable after a tummy tuck?

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You may need 6 months or more in order to see your final result after tummy tuck. It is always best to ask these questions of your chosen surgeon as recommendations may be different.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Swelling after tummy tuck

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 Hi, you will definitely be swollen right now. The swelling is more pronounced when tummy tuck is combined with liposuction. Make sure you follow your surgeon's instructions and don't do too much as this will prolong swelling. 

All the best,

Dr. Blagg

Austin, TX

TT results

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Thank you for your question. It is common to have swelling at this stage of post op. Usually it takes about 4-6 months to see the difference. please follow instructions from your PS


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Thank you for the question and without pre and post op photos to compare one can only give a general response and that is an abdominoplasty with liposuction removes excess skin and fat outside the abdominal wall but does not touch that inside.  So someone with a wide girth prior to surgery will still be wide but without excess skin

Dr Corbin

How long does it take for results to be noticeable after a tummy tuck?

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Congratulations on having undergone the tummy tuck procedure. Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year (or greater) for complete skin redraping to occur. Time and patience will be your "best friends".


Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

Tummy tuck results

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Thank you for the question and photos! It is rather difficult to fully assess your situation without an in-person exam. That being said, you cannot expect to observe final results of your tummy tuck 48 hours after surgery.  It is likely that you're experiencing post-op swelling, which is not uncommon and may take up to 6 months to resolve. Give it time, avoid heavy lifting or other strenuous activity for 4 to 6 weeks, and make sure to alert your plastic surgeon in case you experience severe post-op discomfort.

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon would be the best way to assess your needs and obtain a reliable medical advice. Best of luck! Dr. Michael Omidi.

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.