How is the Best Way to Take a Shower After Tummy Tuck and When?

How is the Best Way to Take a Shower After Tummy Tuck and When?

Doctor Answers 9

Showering after tummy tuck?

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I agree with all of my colleagues who tell you to check with your surgeon, since there are many different answers depending on your surgeon's technique, suture choices, use of drains (or not), and the exact operation you had. But let's give a few general recommendations:

  • If drains are in place, anything other than sponge bathing is generally not allowed. Drains let blood and serum come out from beneath the skin flaps, but we don't want them to be conduits for bacteria to enter the body. Keep the drains sites clean, dry, and follow your surgeon's recommendations about type and amount of antibiotic ointment or other drain site care.
  • When your drains are out (or if you don't have them) and your surgeon OKs it, showering is allowed. Gentle scrubbing and not staying in the shower too long are recommended. NO Calgon "take-me-away" marathon sessions--get in and out!
  • Don't use too-hot water, since your abdominal skin is numb and you don't have your usual protective sensation--blisters can happen easier than you think. Tepid, NOT hot!
  • No sitting in bathwater in the bathtub. Let's just say that there are a couple of areas chock-full of bacteria that you don't really want to contaminate your water with, since these can enter tiny openings in your incision. I don't recommend bathing or swimming, etc. for 3 weeks after PERFECT healing, longer if there are areas or incomplete healing. This is one way infections occur!
  • Get in and out of a tub shower carefully--slipping and falling could disrupt your mucle repair or incision!

Call your surgeon or nursing staff first--they really do have an answer to this very common question! Best wishes!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

When you can shower after tummy tuck

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I do not let my patients shower till their drains have been out for 24 hours, though some of my colleagues differ in their opinion. 

How to shower after a tummy tuck

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There really is no specific way to shower after having an abdominoplasty.  Some surgeons will okay showering the day after surgery, others may recommend waiting a few day.  With so much variability it probably makes no difference.  A few things to keep in mind though:  although showering is okay, you should not submerge under water.  So, no baths, hot tubs or pools until you check with your surgeon.  Also, if you still have drains in, be careful that they don't accidentally get pulled out.

Adam Hamawy, MD
Princeton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Showering after tummy tuck

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You should check with your surgeon. I do not allow patients to shower until the drains are removed (assuming you have drains - some surgeons don't use them). In my patients, as soon as the drains are removed, usually one week, they can shower but no bathing for a week.

Showering after Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question.

You will find lot of variability  with surgeons' preferences in regards to postoperative instructions,  including showering. Therefore, it will be best for you to ask your plastic surgeon what he/she advises since he/she is ultimately responsible for your outcome.

Best wishes.


How is the Best Way to Take a Shower After Tummy Tuck and When?Answer:

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When really depends on your surgeon... but how? I have my patients get a plastic chair from the pool area ( pretty common here in Arizona!) to take in the shower with them if they don't already have a bench. You can get pretty tired just showering! And because I use the OnQ pain pump, it comes with a little fanny pack that I have them loop over their neck so they don't have to hold both the drain and pump!!!

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Shower after tummy tuck surgery

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Your surgeon should supply you with post-operative instructions.  Clearly, be mindful of the incision site and dab the tapes gently to dry them off after surgery.

Showering After Tummy Tuck

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You should have been given instructions for bathing by your surgeon.  If not, you should ask him or her.  Personally I allow my patients to shower the day following their tummy tucks.  I make a "necklace" out of trach tape from which their drains may be suspended with safety pins.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Shower After Tummy Tuck

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Each surgeon will vary their response based on his/her preferences and the details of your case. Follow your surgeon's guidance and do not get confused with the advice of others.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 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.