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
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 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 32 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
4.0 out of 5 stars 38 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
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Tummy tuck and early postoperative posture

There are two main reasons why a person walks bent over after a tummy tuck. One is the muscle plication or tightening and the other is the lower abdominal skin excision. The more skin is excised, the more bent over the patient is. The reason for this, is that most surgeons want the old belly button opening or scar removed and not leave a small vertical scar in the lower abdomen between the belly button and the suprapubic scar. The surgeon needs to assess this preoperatively and inform the patient of this posibility to avoid a very tight closure, causing the patient to be bent over and risk of dehiscence or separation of the closure from undue tension. In my practice I tell my abdominoplasty patients that they might be slightly bent over for a few days and all of them are straight in 3-5 days. If you do not tighten the lower abdominal skin appropriately, then shortly after your procedure after the swelling resolves, you will end up with some loose lower abdominal skin or fold. It takes a lot of experience and judgement to find the happy medium. A board certified plastic surgeon can explain what you can expect from your specific surgery. Good luck.

Resting your abdomen after after a tummy tuck.

After tummy tuck, the skin of the abdomen isquite tight and the patients are usually instructed to remain bent over at least 45 degrees for the first 4 to 5 days after surgery.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 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
4.5 out of 5 stars 62 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

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.