How long does it take for the swelling to go down from a tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers 9

POST operative recovery from abdominoplasty procedure

The recovery from abdominoplasty requires some planning for time off (ususally 1.5-2 weeks) and help doing vigorous heavy lifting activities (limit lifting to less than 10 lbs for 3-4 weeks). Expect to have drains, although some surgeons do not use drains. Initial significant swelling starts to go down at 4-6 weeks post op and residual swelling can stick around for 6 months post op. Wait until 6 months to assess final results. Best wishes on achieving your goals!!

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Tummy tuck

Thank you for your question.Swelling is completely normal after a tummy tuck but everybody heals at different rates. Swelling will start to resolve over 4-6 months after your tummy tuck procedure. It is important to follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions and you should start to notice your results begin to refine and swelling should dissipate leaving you with your true result.
Best of luck in your recovery!
Sincerely, James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Tummy Tuck - Post Op Swelling?

Thank you for your question. You should expect to have swelling for three to six months following tummy tuck surgery. Swelling in the pubic area is quite common and will take some time to resolve. Use of a properly fitted compression garment will help decrease the length and severity of the post-operative swelling. As the swelling decreases, the contour of your abdomen, flanks, and hips will dramatically improve. Please follow your plastic surgeons specific advice regarding your level of physical activity. Hope this helps and good luck with your recovery.

Steven J. Rottman, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Tummy Tuck Recovery

Thank you for your question. Following tummy tuck surgery, it can take up to 6 months for all the swelling to subside. If your surgery was combined with liposuction, it is important to wear the binder and compression garment for the length of time recommended by your surgeon, this will help with reducing the amount of well swelling right after your surgery.

Kamran Azad, MD
Pasadena Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Swelling from tummy tuck

Hi there
Thanks for your question. The short answer is 10-12 weeks for the majority part and almost all gone by 6 months. Any surgery leads to relative oedema that takes time to subside. I hope this helps. Good luck 

Ross Farhadieh, MBBS, MD, FRCS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

How long does it take for the swelling to go down from a tummy tuck?

It's a good question. After a tummy tuck swelling takes 3-6 months to improve completely. However, a tummy tuck typically includes liposuction of the flanks. It takes 6-9 months to see the final result after liposuction, so the flanks may stay swollen a little while longer than the tummy.The main issue after a tummy tuck surgery is taking care of the muscle repair. Muscle repair tighten the abdominal wall and in order to give yourself adequate time to heal, I recommend my patients not lift more than 10 pounds for the first six weeks. At six weeks there are no activity restrictions.

Austin Hayes, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews


6-12 months.........................................................................................

Jonathan Saunders, MD
Newark Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/Vaser High Definition Procedures/Tummy Tuck Revision

I appreciate your question.

It can 6 months and up to 12 month in some patients, for swelling to resolve.  I would recommend you discuss your concerns with your surgeon.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

TT swelling

Several months.  Most of the swelling will be gone in 6 weeks, but the shape will continue to be refined over the first three months - especially with a liposuction component.

M. Renee Jespersen, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 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.