How long should you wear the girdle after the tummy tuck (2023)

While physical exercises and diets can considerably help you achieve the body you have always wanted, the abdominal fat tissues and excess skin can’t be just as easily corrected without the help of a plastic surgery intervention. During a tummy tuck intervention, the plastic surgeon will strengthen and tighten loose and weakened abdominal muscles while removing surplus fat and skin tissue from the area. Generally, the tummy tuck is performed in association with a liposuction of the flanks to draw attention to the tinier waist and accentuate the curves.

Tummy tuck surgery is one of the more popular, albeit, among the most invasive plastic surgery procedure. While the experience, talent and specialized skills of the plastic surgeon are essential factors that can guarantee the success of the surgery, there are other elements that should be considered by the patient to ensure a shorter recovery period and produce optimal results after the intervention. Strictly following the surgeon’s recommendation for post-operative care is one of them. Wearing compression garments like a girdle after the tummy tuck intervention is mandatory. The length of time you will need to wear a girdle will be decided by the surgeon and will depend on your healing progress.

Also known as abdominoplasty, this is a plastic surgery intervention that will eliminate the excess skin and fat in the abdomen. It is a surgery available for both men and women, especially after a drastic and massive weight loss, which leaves a lot of excess and loose skin and weakened abdominal muscles. Most patients would undergo a tummy tuck to experience the best results from the weight loss and to create a more appealing silhouette

We already know that the fat on the abdomen is one of the most difficult to eliminate even with a rigorous exercise regimen and a harsh diet. The patients opt for a tummy tuck when liposuction cannot solve the issue of the excess fat combined with sagginess. This is also the preferred intervention of women who want a mommy makeover after childbirth.

Tummy tuck in a few words:

  • This intervention surgically tightens weakened abdominal muscles to deliver a flatter, firmer abdomen, and a tinier waist. The body contour is greatly improved and clothes fit better.
  • A slightly bent forward or reclining chair position for the first few weeks after the interventions is recommended to prevent unnecessary pressure and tension on your incisions, after which, you can get back to your normal posture.
  • Per order of the surgeon, wearing a girdle is mandatory for the first weeks after the tummy tuck. It will help with the healing process by reducing the swelling associated with the surgery and also help you maintain a good posture.
  • You will have a long, visible scar stretching from one hip to the other. The scar is located along the pubic area and can be easily covered by lingerie.
  • The scars will appear reddish for the first six months, and will gradually lighten and blend with your skin tone. The scars will diminish in size and become less and less visible with time. It can take up to one year for the scars to heal properly.

The tummy tuck is performed under general anesthetic and usually lasts for one or two hours. The length of the surgery is dependent on the amount of fat to be extracted from the body. The recovery period can take up to three months.

In the days and weeks following surgery, the patient will experience swelling, numbness and skin tightness in the surgical site. This sensation should disappear shortly and wearing a girdle can reduce discomfort, contain the swelling and improve things immensely.

Just like any other surgical intervention, a tummy tuck has its own risks and complications such as, but not limited to infections, temporary loss of sensation due to inadvertent injuries to the sensory nerves or the formation of blood clots.

The scars are visible but will be less noticeable six months to a year after the surgery, depending on the skills of the plastic surgeon, the body’s ability to heal, the tissue of the patient and the amount of fat and skin removed during surgery.

Before the intervention, do not take any anti-inflammatory medication such as Aspirin or derivatives of Aspirin or blood thinning medications, birth control pills. You must also quit smoking.

After the surgery, the plastic surgeon will also give the following recommendations:

  • Do not perform stretching exercises, lifting and any other strenuous physical exercises without the doctor’s consent. This does not mean that you should spend all your days in bed. Movement is encouraged to prevent blood clots. Walking, doing light chores is highly recommended as soon as you get home, but sports and exercises should be avoided until your body starts to heal properly. Keep in mind that the tummy tuck is a highly invasive and complex intervention, with big incisions that need time to heal.
  • It can take up to four weeks before you can get back to work and six weeks before you can perform things that are physically demanding. If you do office work, you can get back to work earlier, but make sure you talk to your plastic surgeon before doing so.
  • You will continue wearing a special corset for about two months. The girdle is not optional as it has a supportive purpose in the healing process. The girdle is meant to reduce the swelling and prevent blood and fluid accumulation at the surgical sites. The plastic surgeon will check the progress of your recovery and will let you know when you can remove the girdle permanently. Until then, wear it at all times to help your skin retract and get into a nice shape after the intervention.
  • The plastic surgeon will prescribe pain medication. If the pain is persistent and unbearable, immediately notify your doctor for pain management and to avoid possible post-op infection or other complications.
  • The result of the tummy tuck will be fully visible about two to three months from the surgery, so be patient and allow your body to heal properly before assessing the success of the surgery.
  • The beneficial results of the tummy tuck procedure can last for years if you will follow a proper diet that is low in calories, fat and sugar, do regular exercise and live a healthy lifestyle.
  • For female patients, the best time to get a tummy tuck is when you are done having children. A new pregnancy after the tummy tuck will negate the positive results of the surgery and you will most likely need a new abdominoplasty after childbirth.
  • To avoid clot formation, the patient should start walking as soon as possible or the day after the tummy tuck.

After the tummy tuck

A tummy tuck is an elective plastic surgery procedure that removes excess fat and skin following drastic weight loss. It also tightens and strengthen weakened abdominal muscles to deliver a tighter, flatter abdomen, a tinier waist and a shapelier, well proportioned and appealing silhouette. Immediately after surgery, the surgeon will prescribe analgesics and antibiotics for pain management and to prevent infection. Wearing an abdominal compression corset will also be mandatory to help reduce swelling, minimize discomfort and prevent fluid accumulation.

Results will be more noticeable after the swelling has disappeared and the healing process and recovery is well underway.

When to call the doctor after a tummy tuck:

– If the swelling, bruises or the redness around the incisions does not diminish in time;

– If the pain increases despite the pain medication;

– If you have adverse reaction to medication such as rashes, nausea, headaches, etc.;

– If the incision starts to bleed.


The tummy tuck is an effective and efficient surgical method for removing excess skin and fat tissue in the abdomen resulting from massive weight loss or childbirth. To ensure the success of the intervention, the patients need to strictly follow the post-op care instructions of the surgeon. Avoid smoking, do not take anti-coagulant pills such as aspirin and wear a girdle at all times to ensure best results after surgery. Wearing a girdle for at least two months is critical to the healing process. The girdle will help reduce swelling and help prevent formation of seroma and hematoma. The compression corset is also known to provide fantastic support for the skin so that it retracts and heal properly. Make sure you first get the consent of your plastic surgeon if you want to stop wearing your girdle before the prescribed period is up.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. An Powlowski

Last Updated: 12/21/2022

Views: 5553

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. An Powlowski

Birthday: 1992-09-29

Address: Apt. 994 8891 Orval Hill, Brittnyburgh, AZ 41023-0398

Phone: +26417467956738

Job: District Marketing Strategist

Hobby: Embroidery, Bodybuilding, Motor sports, Amateur radio, Wood carving, Whittling, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Prof. An Powlowski, I am a charming, helpful, attractive, good, graceful, thoughtful, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.