How Long Will My Tummy Tuck Results Last

Cosmetic surgery requires a significant financial investment and it is very reasonable to ask how long you can expect the results from your procedure to last. Abdominoplasty, in particular, is one of the more invasive cosmetic procedures and the emotional, mental, and physical impact can be significant. Naturally, patients want to know, can I count on my great results lasting a lifetime and what kind of maintenance, if any, is required?

Unfortunately, results from a surgical procedure can never be guaranteed 100%. This is because there are many factors at play including the patient’s body, ability to heal well, and the post-op instructions being followed very carefully.

Dramatic changes are made to the abdomen during surgery, such as removing excess skin, performing liposuction to reduce abdominal fat, and tightening abdominal muscles. However, the immediate post-op phase is extremely important as it relates to achieving results. The patient is given a binder or support garment which must be kept on and worn snug for 3-6 weeks. Keeping tissues pressed tightly together during this time helps to reduce swelling but also helps to prevent seroma formation (the build up of fluid inside). Reducing physical activity as instructed is also important because it will further limit swelling and the creation of fluid.

Certain protocols to help reduce infection risk are also extremely important and will be the patient’s responsibility. Avoiding baths, swimming pools, and hot tubs until incisions are completely healed, will greatly reduce the risk of infection and allow the incisions to heal neatly so they will be less visible.

Patients are advised to walk immediately post op but to avoid cardio and heavy lifting for a set time. It is imperative that strenuous activity be avoided if your surgeon advises against it or you may cause damage. Swelling will reduce rapidly over the first couple of months and most patients are excited that they can see a visible improvement soon after surgery. It is usually closer to 6 months that fully settled results can be appreciated.

After you have healed and all residual swelling has gone you are encouraged to stay in shape by staying active and eating well. We advise against increasing calorie intake, especially within the first 4 months after surgery because you may be prone to gaining fat back in the treated areas.

A beautiful Tummy tuck scar begins with precision and careful surgical technique. Following all recommendations to ensure that you heal well and then treating your scar is advised. While the scar is maturing, for the first year, we recommend silicone gel or sheeting to be applied and a sunblock whenever out in sunlight or tanning beds, because scars can tend to create pigment and darken in response to light.

We always recommend that a tummy tuck patient be at an optimal, stable weight, and not to gain and lose significantly as this could re-stretch the skin and bring fat back to the abdomen. We also advise that women not plan to become pregnant after a tummy tuck in order to maintain results long term. Rapid stretching of the muscles and skin would certainly undo much of the procedure’s benefit, but without further pregnancy or weight gain, your results should last and be enjoyed for a lifetime.




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