Showering After Tummy Tuck

How Long Do You Recommend Waiting After a Tummy Tuck to Take a Shower?

Doctor Answers 10

Showering after abdominoplasty.

Existance of the drains is the main reason for doctors not allowing the patients to take a shower after an abdominoplasty. Occasionally, drains may stay in more than a few days. In this situation I allow my patients to take a shower while protecting the drain entry site as much as possible.

Showering After Tummy Tuck

Following a tummy tuck, I have my patients wait until after their drain tubes are removed to begin showering fully. This is usually between 5 and 10 days .During that time, sponge baths are allowed. In general, a surgical incisional wound is sealed by 48 hours after surgery. Therefore, most surgeons have patients keep surgical wounds dry and covered for 2 to 3 days after surgery, before they begin showering. However, when drain tubes are present, there is a risk of bath/shower water entering the surgical site through the drain site and causing an infection, necessitating a more prolonged period prior to showering. Use of advanced dressings and wound closure products such as skin glue and occlusive bandages may allow immediate sealing of surgical wounds and sooner showering after surgery, even with drain tubes.   

Max Polo, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

One Can Shower the Day After A Tummy Tuck

I have all my tummy tuck patients shower the very next day. This is whether they have a drain in or not. Not onlydo patients feel better when they shower but it also gets them moving and doing something that is more of a normal activity. I have never seen any infections as a result of this practice nor do I think an exiting drain from the skin exposed to water and soap in the shower poses any risk.

How long before showering after a tummy tuck?

I let my patients shower the next day. Realistically, most of them do not feel like getting into the shower with drains and pain pump attached. Most of my patients wait 2-3 days. You should always have someone with you at the first shower and have a plastic chair, because you can get light headed when you unzip your compression garment.

Showering after tummy tuck / abdominoplasty

Questions like this should really be answered by your surgeon since very surgeon has different approaches and they know your case best.  However, for our patients, we do not restrict showering.  You can shower the next day if you want.  We like our patients to be clean and we have not found any reason to restrict washing yourself after surgery.  We do caution against taking a bath where your incisions will be submerged under water until all the incisions are completely healed - usually around 3 weeks.


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Showering after tummy tuck

We generally allow patients to shower the next day, but advise that they wait until they are very sure that they will not get light headed after taking off all of the binders and garments.  Passing out in the shower is less than ideal.  We do not use drains, so there is no special consideration for that, however patients may have a pain pump and they just shower with it in the pouch.

Tummy tuck post operative directions-


I recommend you discuss this directly with your operating physician.  We all have different ideas on what is safe and we are each responsible for results of our rules.  I think that following your physician's advise is critical in any surgery so that the end result is as controlled as your physician can and allows better understanding as to what to expect.


Dr. Kimberley O'Sullivan

Kimberley Lloyd O'Sullivan, MD
Pawtucket Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Showering after Tummy Tuck

I allow my patients to shower the day following their tummy tucks.  My nurse creates a "necklace" from trach tape which serves as a device from which the drains can be suspended without pulling on their insertion sites.  This is a question which should be addressed to your surgeon as he/she may have a different opinion.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Showering after a tummy tuck

I usually recommend waiting until after the drains are out before showering.  This is about 1-2 weeks on average.

Showering After Tummy Tuck

I allow my patients to shower the day after surgery. I rarely use drain tubes for tummy tucks, but I would allow showering with or without the drain tube. No tub baths for two weeks.

Mark Preston, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 18 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.