How long does it take to walk straight after a Tummy Tuck?

Doctor Answers 14

How long does it take to walk straight after tummy tuck?

Hi and thanks for your question. You have probably figured out that because there are so many different answers, there is not one answer. Confusing right?

There is a reason tummy tuck patients are bent at the waist after the procedure. This position mirrors the position the patient is in when the excess skin is measured, removed, and the incision repaired. How quickly they straighten up depends upon how quickly the skin stretches, allowing them to straighten up. Skin elasticity plays an important role here. Severe sun damaged skin (chronic sun tanners have this)  takes the longest in my experience while the skin of massive weight loss patients tends to stretch the fastest. 

Remember, your goal for this procedure is to tighten skin that is lax, so the earlier you can straighten up without undue tension, the less tight the skin is going to be in the end. (Tension on the skin =bad, because it interfers with bloodflow) . I always tell my patients that " the good news is that your skin will eventually relax, but the bad news is ....that your skin will eventually relax!"  

Good luck, ask your surgeon for guidance,  and give yourself time to recover At your own pace. In the end, You'll be glad you did!

Joel A. Williams, M.D., F.A.C.S.


Dalton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Walking straight after Tummy Tuck

It can vary from patient to patient.  I usually instruct my patients to walk bent for at least 7 days.  The reason for this is because if you straight up to soon, you place more tension on the incision and can cause some delay healing.  You are typically numb in the lower abdomen, so if you do pull something you may not feel that tension.  Yes it does cause you to have lower back discomfort, but this goes away gradually when you straighten up.  You will benefit from a better scar too with less tension.

Ernest Layton, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

How long does it take to walk straight after a Tummy Tuck?

You can stand up straight whenever you want, you won't pull anything apart. But most patients are more comfortable bent forward for several days and there is no problem with doing that. But bending forward does put stress on the lower back and can cause back discomfort. That goes away when you straighten up.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Typically about a week

The healing process after full abdominoplasty is different for every patient. There are patients that walk straight the very next day after surgery. On the other hand there are many that have hard time for over a week or so. We all have different tolerance for pain and therefore it is really hard to predict how soon you feel like yourself again. I usually suggest to plan for about 1 week off fro non-physical and refrainn from heavy physical activities and lifting for at least 4-6 weeks.

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

How long does it take to walk straight after a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck procedure varies from patient to patient.  Same goes for the recovery. Most patients are able to walk up-right within 2 weeks.  Some patients may take longer.  At my clinic, we do encourage the patients to try to walk upright after about 1 week. Speak to your surgeon regarding post-operative recovery and what you can expect.

Frank Lista, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Walking straight following abdominoplasty

This is a good question.  In short, the tighter the abdominoplasty, the longer a patient may walk with a bend at the waist.  I believe most should walk straight within 2 weeks.  Most return to the office in a few days with a 10 degree bend at the waist.  However, this resolves with adequate pain control and skin relaxation.

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Walking straight after tummy tuck has no fixed time table

Every patient is different.  Every tummy tuck is different.  However most patients can walk straight in 2 weeks

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

How long does it take to walk straight after a Tummy Tuck?

You should be expected to be able to walk straight in a week. At that point, most of patients are ready for the removal of their drains and few are also able to drive their own car to the office if they live locally.

Maan Kattash, MD, FRCS, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

How long does it take to walk straight after a Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for your question!  Tummy tucks affect people's ability to walk straight differently.  There are some individuals who can almost walk straight immediately and others can take even up to a few weeks.  It is due to multiple factors such as the person's skin elasticity and how much loose skin they had pre-operatively. In my patients who are already very thin and they just want their abdomen's more tight, they can walk bent over slightly for weeks, yet their long term end result is fantastic and what they envisioned for their bodies.  Massive weight loss patients my be able to stand more upright from the beginning due to the combination of the skin removed from their back side and the front side.  I hope this helps!!

Joel B. Beck, MD, FACS
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Time to stand streight after TT.

Since your question has generated a wide variety of answers,   I thought a simple explanation  might clarify the issue.  Needless to say this is a question for your treating plastic surgeon. 

However, the time to stand upright depends on the technique used for the tummy tuck.   There two basic approaches:
1.   the standard bed sheet approach in which the skin flap is pull tight and anchored with suture at the line of the incision (above the pubis) This technique leave a large void or deadspace under the skin flap.....requiring drains,  bent posture, and minimization of activity to prevent fluid accumulation under the flap.    So 1-2 weeks of bent posture is often recommended.
2.  The Progressive Tension sutures technique,  which firmly anchor the flap to the underlying fascia (muscle covering).....converting the two layers into a single unit,...... and there allowing for early resumption of the upright posture,  early mobilization, and NO drains.    In a recent publication of nearly 600 cases,  PTS improved the safety of the procedure in our practice. 

Harlan Pollock, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 5 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.