What is the Average Scarring Like and What is the Healing Time After a Mini Tummy Tuck?

I have been to a few surgeons now all of whom recommend a mini tummy tuck. I feel like they are sugarcoating the recovery time, however, telling me that in 5 days I can travel and the scar won´t be that noticeable. Looking for an honest opinion! thanks!

Doctor Answers 7

Healing Time for Mini Tummy Tuck

Thank you for your question.   Scarring is dependent on the tension on your incision and genetically how you heal.   Plastic surgeons are scar specialists and have a range of therapies to get the best scar possible for you.  It requires close followup to monitor and make the necessary adjustments.


In regards to travel, I would recommend that you stay in town for 2 weeks.   You will be sore for 5-7 days and I would advise that you have someone assisting you during this period.   


I wish you a safe and healthy recovery.



Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Recovery After a Mini-Tummy Tuck ...

Recovery time is based on consideration of many factors.  Age, health status, previous surgeries can all play a role in the length of time necessary for an individual to feel better after surgery.  Since a mini tummy tuck can be different things to different surgeons, it is difficult to say how long it should take for you to feel better.  Generally, if you trust your surgeon to operate on you, then you should trust what he/she says in regards to the expected recovery time.

William Franckle, MD, FACS
Voorhees Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Mini tummy tuck

I think you have to understand what they mean by a mini tummy tuck. If they are not tightening the muscle then your recovery will be quick. If the muscles are being tightened than your recovery is being sugar coated. Having said that if you are active and work out you will recover quicker than someone who is sedentary.


Dr. Kearney

Robert Kearney, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Tummy tuck scar placement

A tummy tuck and mini-tummy tuck are types of contouring procedure, hence the following principle applies: you must accept some degree of scar for the better form. The good news is that a skilled plastic surgeon can place your scar low in your bikini-line/waist line. After 8-12 months of healing and scar massage therapies, your scar will fade where it will barely be noticeable.  Best of luck.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

Here are some instructions for Mini-tummy tuck.

Here are some instructions for Mini-tummy tuck. Each surgeon will have his or her own set which may vary slightly.


This is an outpatient surgery.
Have someone drive you home after surgery and help you at home for 1-2 days.
Get plenty of rest; follow balanced diet.
Decreased activity and pain medication may promote constipation, so you may want to add more fresh fruit to your diet, and be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
Take pain medication as prescribed. Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin until approved by your physician.
Do not drink alcohol when taking pain medication.
If you are taking vitamins with iron, resume these as tolerated.
Do not smoke, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.
Walk as soon as possible, as this helps reduce swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots.
Do not drive until you are no longer taking narcotic pain medications.
Do not drive until you have full range of motion with your arms.
No lifting greater than 10 lbs. for 3-4 weeks.
Resume sexual activity as comfort permits, usually 2-3 weeks after surgery.
Avoid straining of abdominal muscles. No strenuous activity or exercise for 4-6 weeks.
No swimming for 6 weeks.
Return to work in 2 weeks.
Physical therapy is not typically necessary after this procedure.
Incision Care
You may shower 48 hours after removal of all drainage tubes.
Avoid exposing scars to sun for at least 12 months.
Always use a strong sunblock, if sun exposure is unavoidable (SPF 30 or greater).
Keep steri-strips in place.
Keep incisions clean, dry and inspect daily for signs of infection.
No tub soaking while sutures or drains are in place.
Wear your compression garment 24/7 for 4 weeks.
Place clean, dry dressings over incisions and around drain sites to wick away moisture and to prevent irritation from garment along the incision line.
Sleep with head elevated and pillows under your knees for comfort and to decrease pulling on your incision.
What to Expect
You may experience temporary pain, soreness, or numbness of the abdominal skin and incision discomfort.
Maximum discomfort will occur the first few days.
You will have bruising and swelling of the abdomen. The majority of bruising and swelling will subside in 4-6 weeks.
You may feel tired for several weeks.
Flatter, firmer abdomen with narrower waistline.
You will walk slightly bent forward and gradually return to normal posture over next 1-2 weeks.
Scars will be reddened for 6 months. After that, they will gradually fade and soften.
The scar will extend from near one hipbone to the other, low on the abdomen.
Follow-Up Care
Abdominal drains are removed when less than 30mL/day for 2 days.
The sutures used for your surgery dissolve and do not need to be removed.
When To Call
If you have increased swelling or bruising.
If swelling and redness persist after a few days.
If you have increased redness along the incision.
If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
If you have any side effects to medications; such as, rash, nausea, headache, vomiting.
If you have an oral temperature over 100.4 degrees.
If you have any yellowish or greenish drainage from the incisions or notice a foul odor.
If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
If you have loss of feeling or motion.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck has a Faster Recovery

You are restricted from weight lifting greater than 15 pounds in our practice for 6-8 weeks.  Travel is not recommended for 4 weeks.  The scar will be pink for 3 months but becomes flesh colored usually after 9-12 months. 

Tripti Burt, MD
Plainfield Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 57 reviews




In regards to the recovery every patient is different depending on your pain tolerance. In our practice we like to tell our patients to expect not to lift anything heavy or return back to normal life for at least 8 weeks. The first week is the hardest; you are feeling better by the second week. Your scar depends on how you heal and scar. The scar will be red for months and you can use scar therapy about 4 weeks after surgery. The recovery is not hard but it is not easy either. You should have some help you will not be able to travel for at least 2 weeks.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 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.