Patients for all different kinds of procedures often ask me how long their results will last. In particular, I get this question from a lot of tummy tuck patients. This is a popular procedure for my patients from Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, and all over Greater Toronto. Patients see the good results in my before-and-after photos and naturally wonder whether results like that “last forever.”
The question makes sense: A cosmetic procedure is a significant investment, both emotionally and financially. Results should align with the patient’s expectations and last for years to come. Maintaining incredible results is largely up to the patient.
When it comes to the body and any result achieved by a cosmetic procedure, nothing is 100% guaranteed, after all. Here’s why:
After a tummy tuck, it is essential the patient follows care instructions very closely. This includes wearing an abdominal binder for the first 4 to 6 weeks to minimize swelling, using a silicone gel sheet for 3 to 6 months and staying away from strenuous activity and exercise for about 4 weeks. Walking as soon as possible following the procedure, and in the days following surgery is important. Heaving lifting or strenuous sit-ups too soon can lead to complications, which could affect the integrity of the initial result.
While the tummy will be flatter and skin tauter immediately, swelling and bruising will take a few weeks — or even months for some — to go away completely. Once the full result has been realized, there are 3 words patients need to remember: maintenance, maintenance, maintenance.
For optimal results in the first place, I recommend patients are at a stable weight, close to what is optimal for their frame, prior to their procedure. Afterward, patients should seek to maintain this weight. Weight loss after a tummy tuck can result in skin laxity, and conversely, weight gain can stress the abdominal muscles and incisions. Yo-yo weight gain and loss will negatively impact the surgical result and cause recurrent hanging skin. Regular exercise in the years following a tummy tuck will ensure muscles remain strong and will protect against the separation of the rectus abdominal muscles. Finally, maintaining a healthy diet is also key to maintaining the quality of both skin and muscles.
Ask your tummy tuck specialist to provide specific guidelines for proper post-procedure care and to help you outline the healthy lifestyle necessary to not only achieve an incredible tummy tuck “before and after,” but to maintain these results for years to come. We also cover a lot of similar questions you may be curious about on our tummy tuck FAQ page, so be sure to check it out.