Out of Town Tummy Tuck: How Many Follow-up Appointments?

I am considering getting a Tummy Tuck this year from a doctor that is located 2.5 hours away. My question is how many follow-up appointments are necessary after a tummy tuck, and at what frequency? Is it possible to consult over video chat like skype? How do you handle out of town patients?

Doctor Answers 16

Tummy tuck follow up

In general, you should stay locally for at least a day or two after the tummy tuck.  Thereafter, you should plan to come weekly for follow up appointments for about the next 1-3 weeks, and then about every 1-3 months for the next several months. 

Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

Recovery differs with each patient

We also have patients come from 2.5 - 3 hours away for abdominal procedures like a full tummy tuck.  We usually recommend them staying in a hotel nearby for one night.  We then like to see them 1 week, 6 weeks and at least once more around 3 months.  We do not use drains any longer for tummy tucks. 

So if you combined your consultation with your pre-op appt - you would still total 5 trips at the minimum.  Remember - you could always need to have additional appointments if you are not healing as expected.  Some things we are able to address via Skype or phone, but not everything.  Best of luck.

Glenn M. Davis, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Out of Town Post Operative Follow Up

Thank you for the question. With out of town patients the number of visits are kept to a minimum for obvious reasons. Typically I will ask the patient remain overnight or longer if possible and then return for drain removal and wound assessment. Patients are encouraged to return for a 1 month follow up appointment when possible. While Skype is of great use for out of town patients, keep in mind that you must also be ready to return should any complications or concerns arise.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Pedro M. Soler, Jr., MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Tummy Tuck 2.5 Hours Away

     If you are 2.5 hours drive away, I would recommend staying at the surgeon's location at least for the first day or so (more days is always better).   Then you will likely need to return at least one more time for drain removal and assessment for fluid collections.  Most doctors would want to see you more than that, but patients from a distance usually only return if there is a problem.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Out of town tummy tuck

I regularly have patients that fly into see us or that drive many hours away.  It certainly can be done.  I would recommend that you stay in town at least one night before returning home.  A lot of follow up questions can be answered using pictures that you email.  I always try to minimize the number of times that a patient traveling from distance has to come to the office.  You will have to return for your drain removals unless you have a local doctor who can collaborate with me.  Most importantly, you must have a plan to get back into town if there is a problem.   Good luck.

Sacha Obaid, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Out of town patients

It's safer for you to be as close as possible to your surgeon. If your recovery is normal and you don't experience any complications, you may only need to see your surgeon 5-8 times in the first year after your surgery, with higher frequency in the days and weeks right after. If you have a complication, you'll need to see your surgeon several more times and it will be better and safer to be closer. Your surgeon is ideally the most suitable person to address any complications you experience.

In addition, sitting for a long time right after surgery increases the risk of complications, so you'll need to stay at least overnight nearby.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Tummy tuck out of the area

We want all out of town patients to stay in our facility with overnight care with at least two nurses providing round the clock care, You will be seen before being released the next morning and again in about 3 days, unless you have concerns and will need be seen sooner, 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Tummy tuck

I like to see my patients a couple of days immediately after surgery to make sure everything is OK. I then see them weekly or as often as they need or want to be seen. The visits can be less frequent if everything is proceeding normally

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Tummy tuck follow ups and concerns with long distance.

Out of town patients should stay at least 3 days or so following the procedure. Immediate concerns such as pain, drain outputs, assistance with walking and getting around are of primary importance. By the end of the first week, patients are typically mobile and able to do most daily activities. Follow up visits are usually weekly for 2 weeks, then a return at 1 month. Of course, any complications (wound healing, seroma, etc.) may require more frequent visits. Using the internet may seem logical, but there are concerns with HIPAA and privacy. Also, a key component of your visit - the examination - is missing. There is no substitute for a hands-on exam.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Follow up visits for TT for aout of town patient

A full tommy tuck is an involved procedure, especially when muscles need to be plicated. Our patients stay in our over-night facility for one night, and I recommend staying is the Savannah or Coastal Empire area for another 3-4 days, according to your age, speed of recovery, and the extent of the procedure. Many patients want and need a fair amount of liposuction of the sides and back as well. 

Once I know the patient is having a smooth recovery, she/he can return in one month and then every 3 months for a year, if the location makes such travel practical. Patients usually have questions for me as well regarding recovery, and that usually warrents a visit. Mainly, I just want to know the patient is safe and without complications following surgery.

Good luck with your procedure. Tummy tucks can be very gratifying.

E. Ronald Finger, MD
Savannah Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 78 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.