Why is my Tummy Tuck Still So Tight When I Eat?

Doctor Answers 10

Tight feeling after tummy tuck

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I suspect that your surgeon tightened you muscle layer (plication) at the time of your tummy tuck. It is very common to have a feeling of fullness after eating since the abdominal cavity is functionally smaller.

This sensation usually abates over time. Until then, avoid over eating and stick to multiple smaller meals- this is how we should all eat anyway.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Tight Feeling After Tummy Tuck Common

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Before you had your tummy tuck, your muscles were likely stretched out (rectus diastasis).  You had much more space for your stomach to expand before you had your tummy tuck.  After your tummy tuck, your muscles have been tightened (muscle plication) to help give you a flattened tummy.   Now there is less space for your stomach to expand, hence it is not uncommon for patients to get full quickly or feel tight.  This will slowly ease up over time as everything heals.  Hope this helps. 

Difficulty eating after tummy tuck

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Some patients experience the sensation of feeling full rather quickly after eating (early satiety) after a tummy tuck. This is due to the tightening of the muscles which occurs during the procedure.  Your body will take time to adapt to this new "smaller" abdominal space-anywhere from 4-8 months.  This is a normal response to the surgery, but if you are concerned you should follow up with your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 410 reviews

Stomach Feels Tight after Tummy Tuck

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Your feeling of tightness could be due to aggressive tightening of the muscle and or your skin, or it may simply be due to the healing process.

I don't know how far out you are from your surgery, but it may take up to six months for your body to become adjusted.  If your symptoms do not improve by then, discuss it with your surgeon.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon

Tightness After Eating

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This sounds like your surgeon did a fantastic job of tightening the abdominal walls. You should feel it lessnen over time. The best way to avoid that feeling is to eat smaller meals throughout the day. This is a healthy option anyway. Good Luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Tight stomach with eating

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Initially your abdomen may feel a bit tight when you eat this is because in most abdominoplasties, the muscle fascia is plicated tightening the abdomen.  This should get better over time. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tummy tuck

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Your muscles (abdominal rectus muscles) are tightened following a tummy tuck.   As your stomach expands following eating, it is going against a tightened abdominal wall.  This will eventually resolve.

Shahin Javaheri, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Stomach tightened after tummy tuck

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You probably had the muscle tightened when you had your tummy tuck, and that helps flatten the stomach. This can make if feel like you have a girdle on, and lead to the sensation you have. Over time this should subside.

Victor Au, MD (retired)
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck tight feelings

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Feelings like this are very common in our practice. They tend to subside as time passes but many times it can relate to the details in surgery. I would discuss these feelings with your surgeon. Unfortunately there may not be a consistent answer but they typically resolve with time.

Timothy Fee, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Muscle repair can lead to ealry satiety.

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Because the muscle repair is relatively fixed in the early phases, Eating a full meal ican expand intra-abdominal contents in comparison the abdominal wall which is relatively stiff. THis is not unlike eatng a full meal with a tight pari of jeans on but you cannot loosen the button.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.