Feb 13 2020

Tummy Tuck Side Effects

Tummy Tuck Side Effects - Maryland, Washington, DC

How a tummy tuck improves lower abdominal appearanceSide effects are to be expected after any surgical procedure, whether it’s medically necessary or elective. Thankfully, most post-op side effects only last for a few weeks after the procedure. Bethesda, MD plastic surgeon Dr. Roger J. Oldham always offers information on surgical side effects to his patients. It’s what makes him such as trusted cosmetic surgeon in the Maryland and Washington, DC area.

Many tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) patients wonder what to expect after their surgery. Below is a list of some of the most common tummy tuck side effects. This should give you a good idea of what to expect after you’ve undergone the procedure.

Pain and Discomfort

Pain and discomfort is to be expected after undergoing a tummy tuck. It is most pronounced in the first days after tummy tuck, though patients should notice it become less of an issue as the healing process progresses.

Getting ample rest and using pain medications as recommended by your surgeon can help minimize the discomfort you feel.


Bruising is common after any surgical procedure. It will be most pronounced in the first two weeks after tummy tuck, and fade over the course of the next few weeks.

The best way to deal with bruising is to get a lot of rest, eat a balanced diet, and hydrate regularly. We also recommend that you walk a little bit each day to promote circulation. This will help with healing and also prevent the formation of blood clots in the legs.


Swelling often accompanies bruising after any sort of surgery. The most pronounced swelling will be present in the first two weeks after the tummy tuck, with the swelling continuing to abate by the end of a month. Patients may experience some very minor residual swelling for several weeks after the procedure.

One of the best ways to minimize swelling is to wear your compression garment after surgery. This garment will provide support to your abdominal area and torso and help keep excessive swelling down in the first week or so after the tummy tuck.

Numbness and Sensitivity Along Incision Sites

Patients may notice some numbness, tingling, and sensitivity around the incision sites from their tummy tuck. This is normal given the nerves being affected by incisions. As patients heal from their surgery, normal sensation should return to the lower abdominal region.

Post-Surgical Scarring: What to Expect

Scarring is a reality after any sort of surgery. With tummy tuck surgery, the incision sites will be very noticeable in the first few months after the procedure. As the months and years progress, the scars will fade. Thankfully, tummy tuck scars can be concealed by many bottoms, tops, undergarments, and bathing suits.

What If My Side Effects Do Not Improve?

If your tummy tuck side effects do not improve steadily, be sure to speak with your plastic surgeon. This could be the sign of a post-op complication that requires professional attention and care.

For issues with post-op scarring specifically, there are numerous over-the-counter and professional treatments available for scar revision that can be extremely helpful.

Learn More About Tummy Tuck

For more information about recovering from tummy tuck surgery and what to expect from the process, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic plastic surgeon. You can reach our practice by phone at (301) 530-6100.

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