Waist Measures Larger 1 Week Post Op- Normal?

I had a full tummy tuck one week ago. My waist was very small and my best asset. I had no fat to lipo so the only thing that was done was to pull the skin to rid some stretch marks and get rid of some bad sewing jobs from appendectomy, a laproscopic hysterectomy and a tubal. I weighed 114 the day of surgery and my waist was 26". Today I weigh 119 and my waist is 29".... is this normal? I read somewhere that the waist widens with the tummy tuck. Will this go away to my pre-surgery tiny waist

Doctor Answers 8

5 Pound Weight Gain 1 Week After Tummy Tuck - Is This Normal?

The greatest swelling after most surgical procedures occurs at about 5-8 days, and after a tummy tuck, most of my patients experience a 10 pound weight gain at about this time.  Injury fluid goes out into your tissue which is known as the Third Space.  The best example of this is a swollen ankle after you sprain your ankle.  This Third Space fluid normally comes out of your tissue at about 6-9 days after surgery, but continues to be picked up by your lymphatic vessels and urinated out for up to 3 months after surgery. 

The short answer to your question is, yes, your swelling of 5 pounds and 3 inches at the waist is completely normal.  It will improve.

Waist and weight changes after tummy tuck

This is not unusual after body contouring surgery due to fluid retention and surgical swelling.  Give it time and you will see improvement.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Tummy tuck and liposuction--reduction in size of waistline

Thanks for your question.

You are only one week after surgery.

Typically, there is a some swelling after tummy tuck and liposuction.

You will most likely notice a great deal of change and reduction in the size of your waistline.

Please be patient and your skin will shrink and re drape.

Best Wishes.

Dr. Sajjadian


Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Swelling is normal in the early process of healing after a tummy tuck


A tummy tuck should not widen your waist even if liposuction or muscle tightening was not done.  It sounds like much of what you ar experiencing is the result of swelling after your tummy tuck.  This is normal in the early part of the healing process.  Make sure you wear your abdominal binder consistently and properly and it should all be fine.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Concerned about waist measurements 1 week post tummy tuck

You are still extremely early in your healing process so measurements like you are concerned about are unimportant at this point in time. Gaining weight after surgery is very common and most often is related to fluid infusion from surgery and fluid retention. These will resolve fairly quickly. You may have increased swelling from inflammation over the next several weeks which will also affect your measurements.

Be patient. Full maturation can take up to a year. Usually by 4 - 6 months you will have a better idea with regard to your contour. If you did have skillfully performed plication of your muscles, you should see a noticable improvement after several months. Of course, make sure that you also don't gain a significant amount of weight long term as this will adversely affect your results.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

A larger waist after tummy tuck

For a typical tummy tuck, the waist will not widen as the skin is drawn to the center of the abdomen and tailored. You may just be too early in your healing and things will settle down. It is correct that with extended tummy tuck, often after weight loss the tension to the side can pull down and widen the waist somewhat. At 119 pounds, this will not be you.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Larger Waist line After Tummy Tuck Surgery

Thank you for your question.

You are only 1 week post op surgery and so you will have swelling and fluid retention at this time. Give yourself time to heal and you will most likely see an improvement.

Your waisteline should improve if muscle plication was performed.  Swelling can take months to subside and it may take up to one year for the skin to redrape.

Be patient..

Best Wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

Post-op Tummy Tuck...

You are definitely still swollen one week after a tummy tuck. You are still holding onto fluid as evidenced by the weight gain. The swelling starts to diminish about 2 weeks postop and is not complete for several months. Don't worry - it will get better. Good Luck!

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 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.