Why Does Someone Have to Walk Bent over After a Full Tummy Tuck?

Does It Happen to Everyone?

Doctor Answers 20

Correct posture after tummy tuck

An integral part of my post op instructions is NOT TO WALK BENT  OVER AFTER YOUR TUMMY TUCK! Patients are asked to assume their comfortable pre op posture. Walking bent over can cause severe back spasm which can last for weeks( See previous posts on this subject on this site) and may cause constipation. If the operation is done properly and the patient is medicated appropriately it is not necessary.

Sleeping with 2 pillows under your knees and under your head ,or your side in the fetal position makes sleeping easier.


Bronx Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Standing Straight after an Abdominoplasty

Most plastic surgeons bend the operating table when they do abdominoplasties so that more skin can be removed.  This makes things tight especially when there is swelling, too. There is no harm in standing straight; it just hurts.  There is also no benefit so why suffer?  After my own abdominoplasty I found that my lower back began to hurt because it wasn't used to holding my body in a bent out position.  Each day I could stand a bit straighter.  I went back to work at 10 days (pushing it a bit).  By 6 months I was doing back bends so don't worry that bending over for a week or two will be a problem.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Hunching not necessary after tummy tuck

The goal of a tummy tuck is to get the skin and muscles tight to improve the abdominal contour.

For some patients, it is more comfortable to flex (bend) at the waist to take some of the tension off of the abdominal skin. This should relax relatively quickly and in less than a week you should be able to stand nearly or totally straight.

By gradually stretching out, much of the strain will be taken off of your lower back, but be careful not to over do it- listen to your body.

Lawrence Iteld, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Normal posture is expected after tummy tuck

Some may find they are more comfortable slightly bent, or with their knees up and flexed right after tummy tuck, as the muscles may feel tight. Normal straight posture is expected almost right away though, certainly within a day or two after the procedure. Normal posture will relieve stress on your back and help you feel better faster.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Tummy tuck

The main reasons:  much excess skin was excised, to reduce the initial tension on the incision, reduce the pain.

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

Posture after Tummy Tuck

Because excess skin is removed during the tummy tuck procedure and the remaining skin sutured together you may feel tightness after the surgery. I recommend my patients do not stand straight for a couple of days after their surgery. This is to minimize the discomfort of this tightness and avoid  pulling on the incision lines. However you should follow your surgeon's instructions. 

Walking Bent Over After Tummy Tuck

You want to walk a little bent over the first few days to take some of the tension off of the incision point. 

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Some patients bend over when walking after tummy tuck because the lower skin of abdomen is pulled tight

Not all patients have to walk bent over after tummy tuck. It is more common after a full tummy tuck with abdominal muscle repair of a Diastasis Recti.

Part of the reason patients walk bent over is that the skin of the abdomen is pulled very tight and if the patient straightens up this pulls on the suture line which causes discomfort. It is natural to shift your posture to avoid discomfort.

Even after a full tummy tuck with muscle repair, walking bent over or forward only lasts a few days. The abdominal skin relaxes and discomfort resolves.

Most of the time patients walk bent forward after Tummy Tuck because the surgeon recommends it to keep pressure of the sutures that are placed in the lower abdomen

Tummy tuck recovery

Because a tummy tuck tightens loose or stretched abdominal muscles and a lot of excess skin is removed, you may walk and sit a little hunched over for a few days after the operation. You should not even try to stand up straight during this time because you risk separating the incisions. Also, you should minimize the strenuousness or suddenness of such exertions as coughing, sneezing, laughing, and bowel movements. You can generally return to work in 2 weeks. This surgery takes about 3 hours and can often can be performed as an outpatient procedure under twilight sedation instead of general anesthesia. Postoperative pain pumps have made recovery much faster and easier as well.

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Bending over after tummy tuck

This is usually done to take or minimize tension on the suture line.By bending over this lessens the tension.Most of my patients are standing erect a day or two later.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 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.