How long do I need to wear a binder after tummy tuck without muscle repair? (photo)

Hello Doctors. I'm at week 3 post-op of a tummy tuck without muscle repair. In addition, I had some minor lipo to the abdomen and flanks. I just had my week 3 checkup and I'm not due for another one until week 6, so hoping the experts can answer two quick questions for me: (1) How long do I need to wear the abdominal binder for to see the best results? (2) How long will it take until I can stand up straight (I'm 6'1")? I've attached a photo of my progress so far.

Doctor Answers 10

Postop instructions

Thank you for your questions.  Binder use recommendations will vary between surgeons.  Since you did not have a muscle repair, the binder may not provide the comfort it usually does for tummy tuck patients.  Typically, patients will wear their binders for 3-6 weeks.  It usually takes 1-2 weeks before one is able to stand upright or lay flat.  I always tell my patients take it day by day and stand up straight as they feel things relax.  To be sure, discuss these issues with your surgeon's office.  Best wishes!

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Recovery after tummy tuck

You should be standing up straight right now.   You wear the compression garment to help with the swelling and the discomfort.  When you have no more swelling you can stop wearing the garment.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

Binder use after tummy tuck

Every surgeon has a slightly different take on the use of binders after surgery.  Without having undergone muscle repair, the main benefit of a binder here will be for the post-liposuction shaping.  You may want to switch to a garment instead of the binder, which is often more comfortable.  Either way, just make sure you are not wearing it too tight.  I recommend 6 weeks in most cases.  

Thomas A. Pane, MD
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/High Definition Procedures/Tummy Tuck Revision

I appreciate your question.

I would recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon as every surgeon has their own respective post op protocol for his/her patients.  Your surgeon is your best resource as he/she is most familiar with your medical history and how you are healing at this time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Tummy Tuck Binder

Typically I have my patients wear a binder for 4-6 weeks after surgery.  Since you did not have a muscle repair, this time period could be reduced to around 3 weeks.  The binder helps put pressure on the tissues which reduces edema (swelling) and helps the tissues heal together.  Many of my patients like to wear the binder even longer than required because they say it feels better.

You should be able to stand straight about two weeks after surgery.  You can right away but it will feel uncomfortable.  

Julian Gordon, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

How long to wear a binder

this varies by what the patient's characteristics and the surgeons experience. In the end, the drain life span is limited and their need is to prevent a seroma . Of course you've had surgery by a plastic surgeon and the best advice I can offer is to listen to her or him.  There is another advantage to wearing a binder and that is to improve the appearance of your scar.  Pressure improves scar appearance. ! Once you are free of your binder ask your surgeon if there are any recommendations for it such as silicone sheets etc. 

as for walking upright : you are far down the road.  Go for it.  Let pain be you guide to the limits 

Tassos Dionisopoulos, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question. Congrats as well on your tummy tuck! The best answers to these questions will be given to you by your plastic surgeon. The reason is only they know how they did the operation and about how your post op course is going. Not only that, but many plastic surgeons do what they do because of how they have been trained or based on their experience. That being said, I can tell you what I tell my patients. I am conservative....I ask them to stay bent at the waist for at least 2 weeks. After that I tell them to slowly start to straighten up day by day. Its almost like stretching and trying to touch your toes. It doesn't happen right away but with time and slow progression it eventually happens. 

As far as the binder goes....When I perform a tummy tuck I almost always perform liposuction as well so whether I do plication or not I usually have my patients wear their garments for 6 weeks. I hope this helps.

Ankur Mehta MD 

Ankur Mehta, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Probably at least 4 weeks

I would err on the side of wearing it longer, especially with the mid-section liposuction (and especially when active).  It's there to control swelling, so my recommendation would be moreso related to control of that (at the superficial soft-tissue level) rather than any muscle repair (although this does provide support/comfort when healing from that . . . )  You should be able to safely stand up straight by now, but if any pain/limitations, check with your plastic surgeon.

Paul M. Steinwald, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Management of the binder after a tummy tuck

This is something you should take up with your own plastic surgeon. These decisions are usually very individualized to the patient and their given situation. Talk to your plastic surgeon.

Ira H. Rex lll, MD
Fall River Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Male TT

Hello and thank you for your question. Every surgeon differs in the length of time they recommend using your abdominal binder. I would consult with your surgeon. I typically encourage my patients to wear a binder for 6-8 weeks. Standing up straight will depend on your comfort level and your doctors wishes. 

Best Wishes.

Theodore Nyame, MD
Charlotte Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 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.