Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Bathing Suit After Tummy Tuck

There’s no denying that tummy tuck and liposuction are two of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the country. But what happens when you have tummy tuck or lipo, but then end up with back pain?

According to a recent study from the Journal of Neurosurgery, up to 70% of patients who undergo a tummy tuck or liposuction may experience some level of back pain. This is understandable—after all, these procedures usually involve removing fat deposits from the belly area, which means that your waistline will be significantly smaller than before.

That’s great news if you’re looking for a slimmer figure, but it can lead to other problems if it leaves your muscles and ligaments stretched out and weakened. In this guide, we review the aspects of Bathing suit after tummy tuck, what should I wear after a tummy tuck op, how do you bathe after a tummy tuck, and Can you wear a bathing suit after a tummy tuck?

In addition to stretching out your muscles, the skin around your abdomen may also become loose after surgery, which can cause sagging and other issues down the road (and make clothes fit differently). And finally, many people find themselves having trouble walking after these procedures because they’re so sore or uncomfortable.

Bathing Suit After Tummy Tuck

Black-and-white back view of a woman who is looking down with her arms extended straight up over her head.
Back pain after a tummy tuck can be prevented.  Photo source

Recently, a patient came into my office for a consultation about a body contouring operation. She was concerned about back pain after a tummy tuck as she had read that it can be a problem. Unfortunately, she ended up choosing another surgeon to perform her tummy tuck operation, one who claimed to have a special technique to prevent resulting back pain. If your back pain is a result of a sports injury, then you may need to seek Sports Medicine Injury Therapy.

Why unfortunately? Because I know through tummy tuck surgical experience and research at my NYC practice that the only way to guarantee zero back pain after a tummy tuck is to perform a subpar operation. Let me explain.

The Anatomy of a Tummy Tuck

During a tummy tuck, an incision is made in the lower abdomen, and the skin from the umbilicus down to the incision is removed. The remaining tummy skin is then pulled down while the mons pubis region is lifted slightly in order to close the resulting wound. How tightly the wound is closed depends almost entirely on the height at which the initial incision is made.The lower the incision, the tighter the closure will be.

There is always some pain associated with a tummy tuck, as with any surgery, but there are tips for relieving tummy tuck pain which your surgeon will discuss with you. However, some patients experience back pain as well. There are some useful references you can find online in this regard.

What Causes Back Pain After a Tummy Tuck?

Back pain after a tummy tuck is an occasional phenomenon but is not the norm. It sometimes occurs in patients who don’t have a lot of lower tummy skin to remove, resulting in a tighter closure than usual. This prevents the patient from being able to stand upright for a few days or sometimes weeks after the surgery. It is important to mention that there are NO reported incidents of patients not being able to stand straight after reasonable recovery time.

However, many similar patients with very little tummy skin to remove never experience back pain while recovering from a tummy tuck. So, why does this happen in some patients and not others?

This tight closure is both the ideal result of a tummy tuck operation and the ultimate cause of related back pain. A tight closure requires more time after the operation to allow the patient to relax, stand straight, sleep on their belly, or extend their back.

If this recovery period goes on for more than a week—as sometimes happens—then it should be no surprise that patients might develop some back pain. This is the result of remaining in a hunched position for a week and has nothing to do with the surgery proper. You might check out this useful reference to relieve back pain and get well ASAP.

If this recovery period goes on for more than a week—as sometimes happens—then it should be no surprise that patients might develop some back pain. This is the result of remaining in a hunched position for a week and has nothing to do with the surgery proper.

The Reality of the “Special Technique”

So what was the “special technique” developed by a plastic surgeon in Chicago that my consult patient chose in order to avoid back pain?
In order for the surgeon to promise no back pain after a tummy tuck, he would have to make the incision higher on the tummy. In doing so, he would remove less tummy skin and would not have a tight abdominal closure.

In other words, to avoid the possibility of back pain, a patient undergoing this “special technique” would come away with her tummy not as tight as it could be. Not only that, she may not be able to wear a bikini ever again because the scar will show from the higher incision.

Be Informed About Your Tummy Tuck

Realistically, if you are going to sign up for a tummy tuck—including all of the cost, both financial and otherwise—wouldn’t you want the best tummy tuck you could get in NY? If my consult patient had understood the problems associated with back pain prevention, I wonder what choice she would have made.

If you are considering a tummy tuck or any surgery, make sure you are fully informed of the techniques your surgeon plans to use and ask questions about recovery times, scarring and, any other concerns you might have. You might even want to check out one of my other blog posts regarding tummy tuck recovery — it even includes a video to help you better understand the process.

Informed decisions are the key to great results. Visit my website for more information about tummy tucks, including procedures, recovery and photos of actual patients. You can schedule your tummy tuck consultation using this online form or by calling my office at (212) 249-4020.

Back pain is a serious issue. Unless it is a result of a surgery, you should consult a chiropractor. Go to https://highesthealthchiropractic.com/ to learn about the benefits of chiropractic care.

Click on the following BioGreen Life – plant-based nutrition news to get your healthy daily inputs.

Tummy Tuck Pain Day by Day

The only thing standing between you and a flat tummy is your tummy tuck surgery and recovery. We’ve got the surgery handled. You’ll be under anesthesia and won’t need to do a thing. Day by day tummy tuck recovery is your job. We’ll monitor you throughout the process and are available to answer any questions or concerns, but you’ll be the one putting in the time and effort to recover safely from surgery. 

Day 1: Surgery Day

Many patients go home on the same day as their tummy tuck procedure. Someone will need to drive you, so arrange for a trusted adult to bring you to and from your surgery. 

When you wake up from anesthesia, you’ll remain in recovery for a couple of hours. Our nurses will carefully monitor you and attend to your needs until you’re ready to return home. 

Patients report feeling groggy, tired, and occasionally nauseous. You’ll feel weak and sitting or standing up may be uncomfortable on the first day of your tummy tuck recovery.

Days 2-7: The First Week

Rest and recover the first week after your tummy tuck procedure. This week you’ll be restricted in the activities you can perform and you’ll need to be off work. 

  • You’ll return to meet with us, usually the day after surgery. Your plastic surgeon will check on your healing, tell you more about your surgery, and answer any questions at your follow-up visit. 
  • You may have drains for the first few days. These drains help remove fluid from the surgical area. Drains are removed three to seven days after surgery. 
  • Patients wear compression bandaging or garments during the first week. Compression helps to reduce swelling. 
  • Start taking gentle walks as soon as you’re able. 

You may feel tired and tender and will likely have some bruising and swelling after surgery.

Days 8-14: The Second Week

During the second week, you’ll start to feel much better. By the end of the week, many patients are ready to return to work.  

As you resume your regular activities, do so slowly. Doing too much too soon can lead to injury or complications. It’s difficult, but don’t rush.  

Keep wearing your compression garment to limit swelling and hold your new contours in place.

Days 15-21: The Third Week

By Week 3, most patients are back to work and feel much better than they did originally. Most patients will no longer need prescription pain medication. If you still have discomfort, over-the-counter pain medications can be used. 

Keep wearing your compression garments. We usually recommend that patients use compression garments for about a month after surgery.

Week 4 and Beyond

By this point in recovery, you’ll be back to many activities. Most patients feel significantly better and can see the results of their procedure, a flatter and tighter tummy. 

  • Many patients can resume gentle exercise at four weeks post-surgery. Wait six to eight weeks before returning to abdominal exercises or very strenuous activities. 
  • Some residual swelling is common, even several weeks after surgery. 
  • Scars are usually very prominent at four weeks post-surgery but don’t worry. They will start to fade soon after. As scars heal, they become smoother and lighter. 

We’ll give you specific instructions about recovery and what to expect.

After Tummy Tuck: The Exercises That Support Your Recovery

Many patients are ready to start exercising as soon as possible.  For the next several weeks, you’ll make up for your body’s lack of strength with willpower. However, instead of pushing past pain, like in your pre-tummy tuck cardio or weight sessions, you’ll use it as an indicator to slow down and back-off.

The following three activities may not look like exercises, but considering you’ve just come out of surgery, they’re likely what’s best:

Week 1: Tummy Tuck Recovery Workout: Patience, and a Few Steps

Patience? That’s not a workout! At this stage in your recovery, however, it’s the best thing. And it’s not always easy. Even if you don’t feel sore, your body needs to rest.

As soon as immediately after surgery, your doctor may want you to do some light movement, like standing or walking a few steps to get the blood flowing. During the first week, a progression from walking a few steps to walking across the room may be considered a win.

And of course, you’ll probably want to do more, and that’s where the willpower comes in. You need the patience to hold back. Plan to have a spouse or friend with you when you attempt these first maneuvers. Not to mention, you’ll need some help around the house with things like child care and anything that involves bending or lifting.

Week 2: Tummy Tuck Recovery Workout: Short Walks

At this point, you’ll start feeling a little stronger, but be careful. Maintaining patience remains part of your challenge. If you overdo your walks or attempt a jog, you risk causing damage and slowing your recovery.

Instead, consider a slower build. Last week, a walk across the room was a good goal, this week, maybe a stroll down the hall can grow, over a few days, to a walk to the mailbox. Although these milestones may not impress your friends, given time, your flat and properly healed tummy will do that.

And around the house, continue to seek and accept help. This may even be an ideal time to train a spouse or a child to do a few more chores, as long as it doesn’t involve you bending over or lifting anything. And, once they know what they’re doing, they’ll never have an excuse not to do it again!

Weeks 3-4: Tummy Tuck Recovery Workout: Longer Walks, Light Weights

You’re feeling better, so why not bust out a 5k run? Definitely not yet! You can, however, continue to build on your previous week’s progress and incorporate new muscle groups.

At this stage, you can SLOWLY increase the speed and distance of your walks. Don’t, however, compare what you’re doing now versus your pre-surgery cardio. You’re not looking to find the point where you have to stop.

You can also consider light weights that work areas other than your belly, like your arms. Keep in mind, almost all weight lifting uses a little bit of your core, so start light and use pain as your guide.

As for work around the house or beyond, at this stage, you’re still not 100% ready to do a marathon house cleaning session or a surprise day at the office. You’ll again need your willpower to let others do otherwise easy things for you. Really, it’s OK. You’re almost there.

Week 5 and Beyond: Business as Usual (or Better)

With your doctor’s permission, you may be able to resume your regular workouts and life as usual. Again, everyone’s body is different, so don’t assume any lingering soreness means you’ve failed. Your body may simply need more time.

Even if you feel great, try to ease (not jump) back into any of your intense pre-surgery workouts. Remember, your previous routines were likely based on having a belly and wanting it gone. Good news, with the tummy tuck, you’ve accomplished that. Actual core strengthening exercises like leg lifts, planks, or Yoga can be introduced but again, start small and build.

When you chose a tummy tuck, you made a significant decision to improve yourself. Take a look at your pre-surgery photos. That person is gone, and, with a robust recovery, the new one will feel better than ever!

Making Your Day by Day Tummy Tuck Recovery Easier

Our goal is an easy and comfortable recovery for all our tummy tuck patients. We’ll talk about simple strategies to improve your recovery experience. These options aren’t a good fit for every patient, but if you’re a good candidate, you can improve your recovery experience.

  • Drain-Free Abdominoplasty – Our drain-free abdominoplasty uses progressive tension suturing to eliminate the need for post-surgical drains. Cleaning and maintaining drains are some of the most difficult parts of tummy tuck recovery. Patients find that recovery is easier and faster when drains aren’t needed.
  • Pain Medications- Prescription pain medications make recovery easier and more comfortable for many of our patients. We’ll talk with you about your options and help you find effective solutions for controlling discomfort after surgery. 

We are available to help throughout the recovery process. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns. 

what should I wear after a tummy tuck op

Are you imagining your new, flattened belly and how you’ll look stretched out on a beach towel in your two-piece? Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez of ReNova Plastic Surgery has helped many patients get the flat stomach they’ve dreamed of, but were unable to achieve with diet and exercise alone. After surgery, you will most likely have many new clothing options available to you — clothes you might never have tried prior to your tummy tuck. Here we discuss what to wear for the first weeks and months after tummy tuck surgery, for a safe, comfortable recovery and for rockin’ your new body after you’re healed.

What to Wear after Surgery

Following your surgery, Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez will put you in a compression garment, which is a soft, surgical girdle-like garment that fits over your abdomen and compresses it, which helps with swelling post-surgery. After the first few days, you can take off the compression garment as you bathe and go to the bathroom, however you will need to wear it the majority of the time in the weeks after surgery. Typically, Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez’s patients will wear this garment for about four to six weeks following their tummy tuck. Most of the swelling usually goes down after three weeks, though it may take eight to 12 weeks for it to disappear completely.

What to Wear While You Recover

Once your doctor has advised you that you no longer need your compression garment, you will still want to wear comfortable clothing for the next few weeks. Your best bet is clothing that is soft, not stiff, and also easy to put on and take off. Clothing like yoga pants, sweatpants with a drawstring or elastic waist, loose dresses (like maxis) or skirts are all good options. Shirts and sweaters that can be buttoned or zipped up from the front are also excellent choices.

What to Wear When You’re Ready to Flaunt Your New Belly

Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for: you are now fully healed from surgery and your swelling has resolved so that you can see your new, flat belly! Ready to shop for the new you? Most tummy tuck patients find that they are one or two pant sizes smaller after surgery, so don’t forget to take some smaller sizes into the dressing room with you. Skinny jeans and form-fitting dresses are great options for you! And if you’re worried about your scars showing in a new bikini, keep in mind that the scar will be low on your abdomen, and easily concealed by most bikini bottoms. Also keep in mind that, by following your doctor’s post-operative instructions for scar treatment, your scar will most likely fade completely in several months (though it may take a full year).

Do you have more questions about the tummy tuck procedure, including what results you can expect and how long to take off from work for recovery? Let Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez answer all of your questions during a personal consultation. Schedule one today by calling ReNova Plastic Surgery at (412) 638-2391.


how do you bathe after a tummy tuck

Tummy tucks, which are performed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen, as well as to tighten the underlying muscles, are becoming more popular. Nearly 130,000 tummy tucks (aka abdominoplasties) were performed in 2017, up 2 percent from 2016, according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It’s now one of the top five cosmetic surgical procedures.

As more people go under the knife to improve the contours of their midsection, it’s more important than ever to know as much as possible about how to initially care for your incision and abdomen following surgery.

What You Can Expect Immediately Post-Op

Generally, after your surgery, there will be dressings or bandages applied to your incisions. You’ll also be wearing a girdle-like compression garment to reduce swelling, prevent the formation of blood clots, and support your midsection so it heals into a smooth, compact contour. This support garment, known as an abdominal binder, should be worn at all times except for when you’re showering. Your surgeon will let you know when you can stop wearing it, generally after four to six weeks.

Small, thin tubes (drains) may have been temporarily placed in your incision to allow excess blood or fluid to be removed from your body. If this is the case for you, you’ll be instructed on how to keep the area clean and how to take care of the drains. Generally, surgeons ask that they are emptied and the amount of drainage recorded three times a day. It’s important to record the amount because this will tell your surgeon when the drains are ready to be removed, usually after three to 10 days. You may be prescribed an antibiotic as long as the drains are in place.

Showering and Bathing

Most surgeons will allow you to shower 24 hours after surgery unless you have drains. If that’s the case, you may have to take sponge baths until they’re removed. If you’re given the ok to shower, you may remove your dressings, except for the skin tapes (also called steri-strips) that are directly over your incisions. Because the steri-strips have been applied with a skin adhesive, they’re fairly water-resistant. Blot them dry after showering with a clean cloth. Don’t remove your steri-strips; they’ll eventually fall off on their own. Your healthcare provider will explain how to care for your incision (usually just with soap and water), and will likely instruct you to continue covering the incision with gauze dressings for one week.

Even though showering is usually permitted 24 hours post-op, most surgeons will ask you to avoid any water that’s still (not running) for two weeks after surgery. This includes bath water, swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes, and oceans.

Pain and Getting Around

Initially, your abdomen will be swollen, bruised, and feel sore, so you should expect to spend the first few days resting at home, taking medication to control the pain as needed. It may be more comfortable to position your bed so your upper body is slightly raised and your knees are at an angle during this period. Your surgeon will instruct you to walk around the house the first few days to maintain healthy circulation.

Because of the nature of the surgery, you may find it difficult to stand up straight for several weeks post-op. It’s important to limit movement of the area around your incision to avoid putting strain on it and causing the wound to reopen. The tightness will gradually soften as you heal and start to use your abdominal muscles.

American Society of Plastic Surgeons. New Statistics Reveal the Shape of Plastic Surgery. American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Best Bikini for Tummy Tuck Scar

The short answer is that most of the time, you will be able to wear a bikini within 6 months or so of your tummy tuck, but there are a few things to consider: The main scar for a tummy tuck (and the only scar for a mini tummy tuck) is made in a similar place to a C-section scar.

When it comes to finding the best bikini for a tummy tuck scar, there are a few key factors to consider. A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen, resulting in a flatter and more toned appearance. However, the procedure also leaves a scar that can be visible when wearing a bikini. To help conceal and protect the scar, it’s important to choose a bikini that provides adequate coverage and support.

One of the most important considerations when choosing a bikini for a tummy tuck scar is the level of coverage it provides. Look for bikinis with high-waisted bottoms or tankini tops that can help conceal the scar while still allowing you to show off your figure. Avoid bikinis with low-rise bottoms or string tops, as these styles may not provide enough coverage for the scar.

In addition to coverage, it’s also important to choose a bikini that offers support for the abdomen. Look for bikinis with built-in shaping or control panels that can help smooth and flatten the area around the scar. This can help improve the overall appearance of your abdomen and make you feel more confident when wearing a bikini.

When shopping for a bikini for a tummy tuck scar, consider the material of the swimsuit. Opt for soft, stretchy fabrics that are gentle on the skin and won’t irritate the scar. Look for bikinis with adjustable straps or ties that allow you to customize the fit for maximum comfort.

In terms of style, there are many options available for bikinis that can help conceal a tummy tuck scar. Consider bikinis with ruching or draping details that can help camouflage the scar and draw attention away from it. You can also choose bikinis with bold prints or patterns that can distract from the scar and make a fashion statement.

Overall, the best bikini for a tummy tuck scar is one that provides adequate coverage, support, and comfort. By choosing a bikini that meets these criteria, you can feel confident and stylish while enjoying time at the beach or pool. Remember to consult with your surgeon or dermatologist for personalized recommendations based on your specific scar and skin type.

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