Cosmetic Surgery Tips

How Long After Tummy Tuck Can I Shower

After your tummy tuck surgery, you can shower as soon as you feel comfortable. You may have drainage from your incision and will continue to have drainage for a few days after the procedure. Use a washcloth or gauze to gently blot any excess fluid away, but do not rub it. You can also use antibacterial soap or antibacterial hand sanitizer to clean the area around your tummy tuck incision.

You should avoid getting water on the surgical site for at least 2 days after surgery. This will prevent your stitches from getting wet and loosening prematurely. It is also important that you do not soak in a bathtub for up to 10 days following surgery because this can promote infection and cause swelling around the incision site.

Read on to learn more information about How Long After Tummy Tuck Can I Shower Worst days after tummy tuck.

How Long After Tummy Tuck Can I Shower

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.1

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.2

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.3

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.4

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.4

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.4

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.

How Long After Tummy Tuck Can I Take A Bath

A tummy tuck (also called an abdominoplasty) focuses on reducing loose skin and fat from the abdomen and tightening the underlying muscles, making the waistline slimmer and more contoured. When combined with liposuction, tummy tucks provide women with the confidence they need to wear well-fitted outfits and feel their best in all kinds of social situations in New Orleans, LA.

While tummy tuck surgery does produce gorgeous body contouring results, many people are concerned about recovery. During this time, it’s important to be extremely careful with your body. One of the questions we get at New Orleans Plastic Surgery is when patients can take a bath after the surgery. Plastic and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Michelle Eagan addresses this concern below and encourages patients to get an assessment to learn more about post-operative care.

How is a tummy tuck done?

A tummy tuck procedure is done using general anesthesia. Dr. Eagan begins by placing a thin incision along the lower abdomen just above the pubic hairline. However, some patients may require a less invasive technique based on their needs. Once the loose skin is removed, we may employ a liposuction technique to remove small fat pockets. Finally, Dr. Eagan will tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall, creating a firmer midsection and flatter stomach.

What is involved with tummy tuck recovery?

All patients are informed about post-operative care before their procedure. This includes instructions about side effects, medications, and wearing a compression garment to reduce swelling. Patients should take time off from work after body contouring and avoid strenuous activities. Having a friend or loved one to assist with daily tasks will be extremely helpful, especially in the beginning when discomfort prevents you from standing upright or walking.

When can I take baths again?

Patients should not submerge their abdomen in water for up to six weeks after tummy tuck surgery and liposuction. This includes baths, swimming pools, and other bodies of water. Instead, take showers to wash the area with lukewarm water. We can provide information about gentle soaps and products you can use. When you’re not in the shower, keep the incision site clean and covered with a sterile bandage. This prevents complications, like infection.

A few tips about caring for incision site in the days and weeks after surgery in New Orleans:

  • Check the site daily for signs of infection, like redness and swelling
  • Avoid applying lotions or ointments to the wound unless directed by Dr. Eagan or the staff
  • Do not stretch out the skin
  • Avoid wearing constrictive clothing over the incision site
  • Light, gentle massaging when cleared by Dr. Eagan can help improve swelling

How can I speed the healing process?

New Orleans Plastic Surgery can recommend several ways to make recovery easier. For example, nutritious meals are essential during recovery. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains will keep your body nourished and encourage wound healing.  Taking a multivitamin pill and vitamin C will aid in recover.  Decreasing salty and processed foods will also improve the way you feel. When it comes to workouts, we recommend avoiding intense or athletic activities that damage the skin. Instead, go for gentle walks. This will keep you active without stressing the tummy tuck incision site. –

Worst Days After Tummy Tuck

tummy tuck recovery coco ruby plastic surgery


  • In general, you need to keep a straight abdomen with slight bending while recovering after your tummy tuck.
  • You should avoid bending over too much (e.g. to pick up your child) for the first 4-6 weeks after your abdominoplasty.


  • Abdominal compression clothes help reduce swelling and bruising and protect your abdominoplasty wound by applying constant pressure on the surgical area.
  • Seroma (fluid collection) and hematoma (blood collection) are more likely to happen if you don’t wear your compression garment after a tummy tuck.


  • Swelling needs around 6 weeks to fully go away. Even then, a residual amount might remain a couple more months before it’s resorbed by your cells. Only then can you fully experience the full benefit of your tummy tuck.


  • In general, it is recommended that you wear light garment pants after your tummy tuck. Jeans can be too harsh on your wounds and can cause unnecessary pressure and injury.
  • You can safely go back to wearing loose-fitting jeans around 2-3 weeks after your tummy tuck.


  • After your tummy tuck, it’s recommended to sleep on your back for at least 4 weeks.
  • Sleeping on your side might lead to accidental injury and will drive the inflammatory response toward one side of your belly causing it to swell.


  • After abdominoplasty, fluid seeps under your skin and accumulates in nearby areas, one of them being your thighs.
  • Thigh swelling is a normal result of abdominoplasty.


  • To get out of bed, you need to support your upper body with your arms (without tensing your stomach), rotate yourself, and then support yourself with your legs. Give yourself a little push, and you’re up!

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