How Long Do Most Doctors Wait to See a Patient Again After a Full Tummy Tuck?

I'm having a full tummy tuck and small hernia repair next month. My first post-op appointment is nine days later. Is this normal? It seems like a very long time to wait to have the tubes removed. Don't most doctors want to see patients sooner to remove the dressings and to check for problems?

Doctor Answers 22

Tummy Tuck Appointment

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My normal routine, if all goes well during surgery, is to provide my office and pager number and my cell phone to each patient so they can easily contact me 24-7 if any problems or questions arise after their tummy tuck.  If tummy tuck is combined with another major procedure, patients often stay overnight in the surgery center with two nurses, and I see them early the following morning.  If they go home after tummy tuck, I call to check on them that evening or the next morning.  If all is well, the first post surgical office appointment is 2-4 days after the procedure.  Usually, patients are anxious for the first appointment.  They want the dressing changes so they can see their early result, and they want to begin showering, which is not allowed (sponge bathe only) until after that first dressing change 2-4 days following the procedure.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Every practice is different, however...

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We all have different routines. I see my tummy tuck patients back the next day for the first postoperative appointment. I am aware of how uncomfortable that is, but it ensures that the patients are up and moving and allows me to address nausea, pain etc. Nine days seems like a long time.

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Tummy Tuck Post-operative visits

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In my practice a patient would be seen the day after a tummy tuck, or no later than day 2. 
Seeing patients soon after surgery and seeing them often is important not only for the prevention of post-operative complications but for patient peace of mind. 
Post-operative appointments are scheduled prior to surgery and the price of post operative visits is included in the price of surgery.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Follow up for tummy tuck surgery

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I see all tummy tuck patients either 48 hours or 72 hours after the surgery.


DR Tachmes

Tummy Tuck

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I call my tummy tuck patients the night of surgery and see them the following day. 

David Bray, Jr, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck followup

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Every surgeon has his own routine. Some use drains while others do not. If your surgery is down as an out patient, I would first see you in three to four days. If you stay overnight and I released you in the morning, I would not see you for a week or so. Much depends on when you surgeon thinks your drains will be removed and you can keep in touch by phone.

Richard Linderman, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon

How Long Do Most Doctors Wait to See a Patient Again After a Full Tummy Tuck?

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In my personal practice I see ALL my post TT patients on day 2. But if you are not comfortable waiting 9 days than discuss with your chosen surgeon. 

Follow up after tummy tuck

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I usually call the patient on the night of surgery, and see them the following day.  Drains are usually removed at the next visit which is typically 3-5 days later.  I would have a difficult time waiting 9 days to see my post op patients! 

Marialyn Sardo, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Post op visit after Tummy tuck surgery

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 Every surgeon's routine for postoperative care is different. Personally, I ask to see my patients one to four days after abdominoplasty surgery. This may be slightly longer if the patient has a nurse observing him/her. I also like to communicate with my patients via phone on a daily basis as much as possible during the healing process. In my practice, drains are usually moved one to 3 weeks postoperatively depending on the drain output.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your postoperative care, communicate with your surgeon prior to surgery. Best wishes.

Close follow-up after a tummy tuck is important....

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Although every plastic surgeon is different, close follow-up after a tummy tuck surgery is important to make sure your healing goes as smoothly as possible.  I see my patients one day following surgery, again at one week, two weeks, and at four weeks.  If all is well at four weeks following the tummy tuck, the next visit is at six months for a final post-op visit and pictures.  There are many reasons to see a patient frequently the first week or two, mainly to determine the drains are working, they don't have a hematoma, they are eating well, the garment fits properly, etc. 

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.