How long until my stomach stops feeling so tight?

I asked my PS at today's appt and she jokingly said "Well you didn't pay me to have loose abdominal muscles". While I get it - that we all want a firm tight abdomen - I am still wondering how long until my body just feels like a normal body and not like my muscles are bungee cords ready to snap. Currently I am 10 days post-op and doing well. No exercise yet obviously, but I am standing about 90% straight and doing a fair amount of walking. It doesn't hurt but it's work to stay up.

Doctor Answers 5

Recovery after abdominoplasty

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Hello and thanks for posting your question on!Recovery after an abdominoplasty procedure can be frustrating for some patients. The majority of the pain comes from the act of the surgeon plicating the abdominal muscle and fascia. This can provoke pain and muscle spasms. The skin excision and tightly pulled abdomen may necessitate altering your posture as the skin slowly stretches out. Swelling accumulates in the lower border and sides and can take weeks to months to subside in total. Give yourself at least 4-6 weeks of recovery time. Your swelling will go down, your pain will subside and your posture will improve.  Visit your plastic surgeon as scheduled and let them reassure you that you are well within the norm of patients. Hang in there and be excited for your outcome!!

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tight muscles

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give it time. if you were standing up straight now; you would be complaining in 6 months that it is too loose. think of pregnancy... things stretch out as much as need be

Jonathan Saunders, MD
Newark Plastic Surgeon

How long until my stomach stops feeling so tight?

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Congrats on your recent surgery!  Since you are so early after surgery, it is very common to feel so tight in the abdominal area after a tummy tuck.  This tightness will slowly resolve over the next few weeks.  Some patients continue to feel tight for as long as 3-6 months.  Good luck with your recovery!

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

How long until my stomach stops feeling so tight?

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Thank you for your question.  The feeling of tightness can be compounded by post-surgical swelling.  I educate my patients to be aware of this and realize that not all patients will have the same amount of swelling, discomfort or tightness.  Most of my patients will have the tight feeling for several weeks to months.   Most patients will feel the tightness improve in the first three months.  You are only 10 days into this process and it would be reasonable to still have a tight feeling for a while.  I would recommend you discuss this with your surgeon.  Good luck.

David J. Wages, MD
Peabody Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tightness in stomach post Tummy Tuck

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Thanks for your question and congratulations on completing your surgery.  Everyone recovers differently, but it does actually take a few months before a tummy tuck patient feels more ‘normal’.  You are still early on in the postoperative period, so I would suggest giving it some more time.  I hope this helps. 

Eugene Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 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.