Is It Normal To Be Still Wiped out After Tummy Tuck?

My tummy tuck surgery was a week ago. I am still so wiped out I can't be up very long before I want to sit in my chair and rest. Everything I eat leaves me almost as soon as I've swallowed. Two doses of Kaopectate have helped a little. The past 2days I ran a temp over 101 at night, but Tylenol helped. The issue was due to my lungs. Someone please tell me this is going to get better !!!

Doctor Answers 6

Tummy Tuck Recovery

While a tummy tuck is a great operation, it is associated also with a signficant recovery. The first week is the roughest but it does get a lot better thereafter.  Most patients report that they are tired for weeks after surgery and don't really feel like themselves until 6 weeks or so after their operation. Your body is going through a lot of healing and needs energy to do that so it takes it away from you functionally normally. In the first week after surgery, your system is really out of whack due to the shock to it from the magnitude of the surgery. Follow your plastic surgeon's instructions, stay hydrated and minimize your pain medications as much as possible.

Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

“Wiped Out” after Tummy Tuck?

I'm sorry to hear about the difficult time you are experiencing after tummy tuck surgery. Keep in mind, that I cannot provide you with a precise diagnosis/advice online. I can tell you that close follow up with your plastic surgeon is very important. Also, careful attention to your nutritional/hydration  status is critical. Given that you have had a fever and diarrhea you may have lost more fluid than you are aware of; therefore, your  hydration requirements are significant. In other words, some of your fatigue may be secondary to this issue- push the fluids!

Also make sure that your plastic surgeon is aware of your situation ( diarrhea…).  If you are on antibiotics let him know about this as well.  Sometimes patients can develop diarrhea after the use of antibiotics.

Having said that, you should be aware  that the tummy tuck operation is a major operation with an often underemphasized tough ( physical and emotional)  recovery period.  although every patient's  recovery is different, many patients are " wiped out” for several weeks after surgery ( without the pulmonary or gastrointestinal issues you have experienced).  I tell patients to expect to be back to full strength 2 to 3 months after the procedure.  Most patients are back to 70 to 80% of their strength/energy level one month after surgery.

 Again, please make sure that you are following up with your plastic surgeon closely. Only he is in the position to make sure that you are not experiencing complications that can result in fatigue ( beyond what is expected).

 I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Wiped out after tummy tuck

Being tired a week after a major operation is normal; however, diahrrea and fever are not.  I would be concerned about infection and possible intubation pneumonia.  You have a surgeon and should not be dosing yourself with Tylenol and Kaopectate.  Contact your plastic surgeon and see him for evaluation and treatment.  Best wishes.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Type of Tummy Tuck For My Case

It is normal to be somewhat weakened  7 days following surgery, but not necessarily normal to be wiped out, and certainly not normal to have diarrhea and fever. 


The fever may have been from the lungs, as does occur after general anesthesia. But it also could be from a wound infection, or from colitis related to antibiotics that were given.

A call and a visit to your surgeon are certainly in order at this time.

Thanks for your question, best wishes for a speedy recovery. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Healing after tummy tuck

It is normal to be tired during the early healing period following a tummy tuck.  These are big procedures that require your body to heal a large area under the skin.   However, problems can occur during this time.  Walking will help to reduce your lung problems, but prolonged fever and diarrhea can be serious.  It is very important that you stay hydrated.  It would be best to check with your surgeon to make sure nothing more serious is going on.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Totally 'wiped out' a week after a tummy tuck is not normal

Thank you for your question. It is not unusual to still be a little 'wiped out' one week after a tummy tuck but what you are experiencing is beyond that and the diarrhea and fever are definitely not normal.  You may have a colon infection problem from antibiotics causing the fever and diarrhea. You need to call your surgeon and make sure that everything is OK.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 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.