I Am 4 Weeks Post-op. Can I Remove my Compression Binder for a Party for a Few Hours?

Feeling great 4 weeks after Tummy Tuck surgery. I've worn my compression (velcro) binder 24/7 except for showers and the occasional "oh my God I need to get this off for 5 minutes". Can I leave it off for a few hours to attend a party this weekend? Can't seem to get any of my clothes to close over the binder & I would feel great to wear normal clothes. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 16

Wear a Binder after Tummy Tuck

  I recommend my patients use the Abdominal binder 24/7 for the first four weeks.  After that, they are allowed to use it only when they do strenuous activity such as working out, or jogging, etc.  Surgeons are going to vary on their recommendations for the use of a binder, but in any case, you seem to have stuck to it for four solid weeks and you could certainly take it off for a few hours to attend a party. Have fun, Erez Sternberg, MD.

Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Support Garments after Abdominoplasty

In my own practice I let my patients switch to Panty Girdles one week after Tummy Tuck.  However all surgeons have their own preferences. If your surgeon wants to wear garment for a longer time, you should listen to him.  He may have perfectly valid reasons of his own. Always follow your surgeon's advice. 

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Compression binder after abdominalplasty

Personally, I prefer that my patients receive their post surgical instructions from me and not from a doctor on the Internet who you don't know. So call up your doctor and follow their directions. My recommendation to my patients depends on the amount of swelling at that particular time and whether they have had any problems such as fluid accumulation under the skin. These could be reasons to wear a binder for a longer period of time. In general all my tummy tuck patients wear a binder for approximately six weeks following surgery to minmize swelling.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Can I leave off compression binder after tummy tuck/

If you were my patient, I would tell you that you could...I suggest wearing it except for showering for a few weeks, then leave it up to the patient, though I tell them that continued compression could be helpful even for a few more weeks.  In my opinion, leaving it off for a few hours would not hurt, though you might notice a little more puffiness.  However, as in all things, you should ask your surgeon.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Removing compression garment for a party 4 weeks after abdominoplasty

Certainly, you should discuss removing the compression garment with your own plastic surgeon.  However, barring a complication which requires that you continue to wear the garment at every turn, I see no reason why you couldn't remove it and have a wonderful time at that party.  Of course, you shouldn't be dancing on the tables and should imbibe conservatively, but four hours without the garment should not affect your result.  If you feel that you still need some compression, control top pantihose, Spanx or a body shaper would be fine. 

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews


You can certainly take off your binder for short periods of time.  Just don't do something foolish at your event, nothing that would stretch your repair.


E. Anthony Musarra II, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Taking off your binder

In my practice, I usually recommend some sort of compression garment for the first 6 weeks post op tummy tuck surgery.  Removing it for a short period of time will not result in any permanent injury.  You should expect some swelling to result.  Every surgeon has different routines, you should check with your Plastic Surgeon.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews

Compression Binder After Tummy Tuck

I too have my tummy tuck patients wear an abdominal binder for a few weeks following their surgery.  It is probably OK to leave your binder off for a few hours at this point in your recovery, but this is a question which should be asked of your surgeon who best knows your present condition and situation.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

I Am 4 Weeks Post-op. Can I Remove my Compression Binder for a Party for a Few Hours?

Dear MariaB,

I would ask your surgeon. Chances are you will be alright, so long as you don't carry anything weighing more than five pounds, bend over at the waist, or do anything strenuous that activates your core/abdominal muscles. The main reason for wearing the binder at this point is to provide support to your abdominal muscles that were tightened during surgery and are still healing.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD

Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

I am 4 weeks postop. Can I remove my compression binder for a party for a few hours?

Hello! Thank you for your question!. The tummy tuck procedure is an excellent method for contouring of your abdomen, often removing the excess skin as well as tightening the abdominal wall. After nearly all surgical procedures, a potential space is created from where the surgical procedure/dissection was performed. This is especially true for the tummy tuck, in where the abdominal flap is raised off of the abdominal wall and then redraped atop the area to contour the abdomen. The procedure alone promotes swelling and inflammation, which typically lasts for 6-12 weeks. This may even last longer if liposuction has been performed in addition. During this time, a few things may be done to allow adherence of the abdominal skin/soft tissue to readhere to the abdominal wall and close that space. Many surgeons use drains to evacuate the expected serous fluid from building up. Stagnant fluid as such may be a nidus for infection as well as does not allow the tissue to adhere back to its normal anatomic position. Drains usually are removed once output is <30cc/day - usually removed within 3-4 weeks on average, sometimes longer. When this occurs, a seroma may develop - which may require aspiration or surgical evacuation to rid this in order to optimize your result.

This is not an uncommon reason for persistent swelling and/or bulging in a certain area of your belly. Of course, thwarting the development of a pseudobursa, or seroma capsule, is always best, to provide the best result as well as avoid any future procedures for this. This may be a troubling consequence and often compromises your overall result. Thus avoiding this complication, in whatever manner, is the objective. "Drainless" tummy tucks are becoming more popular - basically, the overlying tissue is physically sutured to the abdominal wall to close the potential space. In addition, most surgeons typically restrict vigorous activity/strenuous exercise as well as lifting restrictions of usually <20#, especially the core, for 6-8 weeks to allow healing to continue. Most also often recommend an abdominal compression-type binder or garment, which will serve to provide compression as well as assist to decrease swelling and eliminate the dead-space of the area for at least 6 weeks as well.  It is usually OK to loosen or remove the binder during this period when resting/sleeping, nut again snug once up and about.  After the initial binder, many patients like the Spanx garments. Most patients are able to return to most activities within a couple of weeks, provided they adhere to the restrictions.

Overall, this is a procedure with a high satisfaction rate. Discuss the procedure and postoperative instructions/restrictions with your surgeon, as these will vary among surgeons. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 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.