How Long Does It Take to Completely Heal Inside After a Tummy Tuck?

I had a tummy tuck six months ago and I still have some dimples in the skin on my stomach. Will they go away? Will the skin get a little firmer or tighter?

Doctor Answers 6

How long does healing take after TummyTuck

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Great question, typically I tell my patients that you can return to daily activities at 2 weeks, but you will feel like you had surgery for 6 weeks, you will like/love your new shape in clothes at 6 weeks but will be unhappy naked, you will continue to have swelling , lumps and bumps for up to 6 months. Aesthetic results typically occur at 6 months, At 3-6 months you will love the way you look naked, but the healing process will continue for 12-18 months, it does take a while for things to return to normal. 

Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

How Long Does Healing Take?

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Full healing from a surgical procedure takes approximately 12 to 18 months. Having said that most of the noticeable changes will occur within the first 6 months of the post operative period. If there are persistent deformities (the dimples) at 6 months post-op it is not unreasonable to expect that some type of revision will be required.

At this point a follow up with your plastic surgeon to address your concerns and discuss available options would be more than appropriate.

Best wishes.

Depends on what is causing the dimples

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Thank you for the question.  There are several sources for contour irregularity.  Liposuction defects will not likely improve with time while dimples from sutures will especially when they are dissolvable.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta 

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

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Tummy tuck...healing Albany, New York comment

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  Recovering from TUMMY TUCK surgery takes many months and the best way to look at the recovery pattern is to look ahead to one year to be the benchmark for finalization of the result.  Of course, patients see results much sooner that this but still there are changing effects that will not be seen in the early recovery time periods.

  Dimpling is  not uncommon in the suture line and this takes time to smooth out.   If you are talking about the dimpling next to the midline especially in the upper abdomen, this can be from the side of the rectus muscle of the abdomen that is still attached.  This also will usually settle down although it can leave a "pudgy" look to the area between the dimples on each side of the abdomen.  

  At 6 months, you should have noticed an improvement and if so, it will probably show less noticability as the next 6 months goes by but if you still have it in the future, you will need to discuss this with your plastic surgeon.   The muscles are tightened in the midline vertically with a tummy tuck and in so doing, this attachment from the muscle comes closer to the midline and thereby can cause the "dimpling"  Again, it is difficult to tell from your statement as to which dimpling you are noticing.

  Notice that you are having the swelling of the redraped abdominal tissue increasing during the day and better in the morning.  This is due to the vessels reattaching and getting stronger in their new position.  The yo-yo effect will decrease with time and so too as this happens, there can be some improvement of any dimpling.

  Bottom line is to have the full discussion with your plastic surgeon and see what the options are with the future.  If you are dissatisfied with the dimpling, then you need to work this out together because an unhappy patient must be given the "what if's" discussion.

    Good luck with your goals.  I am sure that this is going to be satisfactorily settled for you and your surgeon.

                   Steven M. Lynch, M.D. 


6 months after a tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question. There is some continued healing for the first 6 months after a tummy tuck. The skin can remodel and the scars gradually improve. However, after 6 months, your result should be fairly permanent. I would no longer expect there to be further tightening of the skin, and suspect that the dimples are not going to resolve on their own. 

I would suggest discussing any ongoing concerns that you have with your plastic surgeon. Having followed you throughout the process, they will have a better idea of how things are going.

Best of luck.

Jeff Rockmore

How Long Does It Take to Completely Heal Inside After a Tummy Tuck

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Most of the healing is done by six months, except for scar remodelling in the incision itself. Any dimples adjacent to the incisions may still improve, others less likely. The skin is probably as tight as it will be.

Any issues would best be discussed with your surgeon.

Thanks and best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.