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 43

Results from a tummy tuck

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

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

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

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

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.

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

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. 

Swelling from Tummy Tucks can last for months

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

3 months to see the results of a tummy tuck

It takes 3 months to see the final results.  Expect 2-4 weeks for the swelling to go away, and then for the duration of about 3 months the wounds on the inside continue to heal and as they do they contract.  Your abdomen shape will continue to change slightly during those 3 months.  For the scars, you want to wait about a year.  It takes about a year for scars in general to complete healing.  Initially they will be red, raised, noticeable.  Then they will slowly fade away.  In some cases the color does not fade away and treatments are available to fade the redness of the scar to make it much less noticeable

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 371 reviews

How long to result of tummy tuck

It usually takes at least 3 months to see the result; in some patients it may take longer than 3 months.   The final result is apparent only after all the swelling is gone.  While all patients have swelling initially, some patients have swelling that takes a while to resolve.  You may have difficulty fitting into your pre-surgery clothes.  Once the swelling has dissipated, your clothes will fit again and, in some cases, you will wear a smaller size.  If you are still swollen at the present time, you might consider wearing bike shorts during the day to help keep the swelling down.

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Timing for tummy tuck results

The majority of your results should be fairly immediate in terms of the contour and shape of your abdomen. Swelling may persist for several months, but can be lessened by wearing postoperative garments or binders. Incisions typically heal in the first 4-6 weeks and stop changing in appearance by 1 year.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Noticeable Improvement VS FINAL Results from a Tummy Tuck

The extent of undermining, muscle tightening and associated liposuction done with a Tummy Tuck would prolong swelling. But you should see a noticeable improvement immediately after a tummy tuck which would improve as the swelling subsides. By 4 months after surgery much of the swelling should have resolved and by 6-8 months you should be able to see the final results.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 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.