Tummy Tuck Final Results

I had a full tummy tuck early October. I'm still having a hard time getting my pants buttoned. When should I expect to see the final result?

Doctor Answers 46

Results from a tummy tuck

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A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a significant operation and takes a little time to completely recover from. Though you may not feel great, you will see a significant difference right away. Any hanging excess skin will be gone immediately after your surgery. You can use that for encouragement as you go through the initial 2-3 weeks of healing.

As with most operations there is a three stage healing process. You really will see immediate improvement from your procedure. Once you get past the first 2-3 weeks you will see the new shape of your body. Swelling will be resolving and you will feel a lot better. Then you will enter the second phase of healing which lasts 2-3 months. The remainder of your swelling will resolve over that time.

At first you may not fit into pants that fit you well before your surgery. As the first three months go by your body will shrink with the decreasing swelling. At three months you will be more or less back to normal and likely fitting into smaller clothing that you wore before surgery. The final stage of healing can take up to a year. There may be small areas of numbness or firm skin. This will slowly resolve over time. At one year, its about as good as it gets. You will like the results immediately, love them at three months, and have forgotten all about the healing process at one year.

I hope this info helps!

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Much of the initial swelling after a tummy tuck resolves...

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Much of the initial swelling after a tummy tuck resolves in the first few weeks. However, it is common to have swelling or fullness in the lower abdomen or tummy area due to having the lymphatics divided as part of the surgery. This swelling is often improved with massage and wearing of a compression garment, but can persist for several weeks.

If you are planning a big vacation to the beach to show off your new figure, I’d recommend leaving as much time as possible for the results to improve; ideally 6 months or more. Most patients, however, get the majority of their final shape in 2-3 months.

The scar from a tummy tuck improves with time for a year or more, and postoperative scar care is important in maximizing the result. Massaging the scar and protecting it from sunlight and tanning are the most important factors. Additionally, topical application of silicone or Mederma are perhaps also beneficial.

Difficulty buttoning pants after tummy tuck can last a few months

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You will see the results of your tummy tuck immediately. However, wound healing progresses for at least a year.

Problem buttoning pants can be the result of pulling the abdominal skin down. The skin on your waist on the sides of your abdomen is also pulled down, so many patients have this problem.

In time as you are able to stand fully upright and straight the sides of your abdomen will stretch, your posture will improve and the problem buttoning your pants should go away.

Tummy tuck results show after swelling subsides

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After any surgical procedure, you will have swelling for several weeks.  Most of this swelling will resolves by about the 6th week after your surgeon.  The remaining 10% or so, will take several months to be completely gone.  Compression graments and early massaging will help to resolve early swelling.

Length of time to see results of a tummy tuck

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Generally, if this is any indication, we wait approximately 3 months before getting our pictures in order to assess the results of a tummy tuck. However, this can vary tremendously based on the extent of the procedure (i.e. mini will recover faster than a full tummy tuck) as well as the length of the incision, extent of liposuction and muscle repair.

Furthermore the results can be enhanced with an exercise regimen.

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

How long after Tummy Tuck will I see my final results?

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Hi there-

You will see a dramatic improvement immediately, but of course should expect some swelling for a few weeks to months, depending on the details of your surgery. As with all swelling, it subsides gradually, and so you will find yourself looking better almost daily after the first few days, but expect the final result to take a month or two. 

Tummy Tuck Results

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Thanks for your question -

You should notice an immediate improvement in contour and skin excess. Any surgery is associated with swelling and scar maturation.

This part of the recovery can take 3-6 months to resolve. Most of the improvement will take place in the first few weeks. There may be a small amount of variability in your swelling which can change as the drains are removed and as your activity level increases.

I hope this helps.

When can you see your final results after a Tummy Tuck?

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Ultimately, a tummy tuck aims to achieve what weight loss and dieting alone can never achieve - a tight firm abdomen, with a much more pleasing body contour. The time needed for complete recovery varies from person to person, but typically takes over 6 months to be achieved. Expect to experience varying amounts of swelling and bloating for possibly several months.

Eddy Dona, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Tummy tuck results

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Tummy tuck results can take up to six months although my patients report great satisfaction much sooner in the healing process.  This depends on a variety of factors including the amount of postop swelling, the condition of the preop abdomen (if you had a lot of hanging skin which the surgery removed, you'd probably be dancing for joy even if the abdomen remained swollen for a while), and the extent of surgery performed.  Try to be patient and remain in close contact with your plastic surgeon during the healing process.

Swelling from Tummy Tucks can last for months

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While a TT certainly removes skin and fat, tightens muscles, and suctions fat from the waist it certainly take a few months to get back into that bikini.      I have seen patients take 6 - 9 months for the swelling to resolve.  Most are looking great at 3 and back in their 2 piece bathing suits by 6 months.       

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 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.