When can I stand up straight after a tummy tuck?

Tummy Tucks / Post Pregnancy Surgery

13 Mar 2023

When can I stand up straight after a tummy tuck?

One of the most common questions that we have from our tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) patients post-surgery is “when can I stand up straight?!” Read on for more information about how to maximise your surgical results by utilising the proper standing and resting positions after body surgery with Dr Moncrieff.

When can I stand up straight after my...

Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) or combined surgery

Standard tummy tuck patients will have a hip-to-hip incision, which has allowed Dr Moncrieff to remove excess skin abdominal skin and repair muscle separation post weight loss or pregnancy. As a tummy tuck or combined surgery patient, you should bear in mind that you won’t be able to lift yourself into a completely upright position immediately post-surgery. Straightening your posture and strengthening your core after a tummy tuck is a slow and gradual process. We recommend maintaining a ‘hunched at the hips’ standing position for at least 2 weeks, with most patients returning to their regular straightened posture within 2-3 weeks.

Circumferential Tummy Tuck (all the way around), with or without Breast Surgery

Circumferential tummy tuck patients are categorised by a 360° incision extending across the abdomen and around the lower back. This procedure allows Dr Moncrieff to repair muscle separation and address excess skin across the abdomen, lower back, bottom and thighs. Circumferential tummy tuck patients should be mindful of their 360° incision, remaining partially hunched at the hips for 2 weeks to avoid ‘pulling’ too much in any direction.

Lower Back Lift

Dr Moncrieff offers a lower back lift as a secondary procedure for his patients who have already undergone a standard tummy tuck but now hope to address excess skin across their lower back, bottom and thighs. The lower back lift incision extends from hip-to-hip and is hidden in the underwear line. Lower back lift patients should avoid a hunched position. Instead, they should stand upright immediately post-op (or as soon as comfortable) to avoid strain on their incision.

How should I stand and rest while I'm recovering?

The goal of your post-operative recovery positions is to minimise the strain on your surgical wounds and allow them to heal efficiently. While recovering and sleeping, make sure to have some extra pillows available if you are required to elevate your legs or upper back. Tummy tuck, combined breast and body surgery, and lower back lift patients should avoid lying on their stomach for a minimum of 6 weeks.

Below is a guide to standing and resting positions post-surgery, based on the exact procedure you have undergone:

Our top 5 tips for managing your recovery positions at home:

  1. Don’t push past uncomfortable Your body will signal to you the extent to which it can straighten each day, and you shouldn’t force yourself into an upright position if it’s uncomfortable. As not all patients will recover at the same pace, it’s important to listen to your body when recovering.
  2. Sleep in a recliner Resting in a recliner will help to ease the strain on wounds and prevent you from rolling around. A recliner chair will also make it easier to mimic the position that your hospital bed was in. Many of our patients opt to rent a recliner chair for their post-op recovery.
  3. Wear your compression garments - Your surgical garments are extremely helpful in keeping pressure on the surgical site and offer support while you adjust your posture. Your surgical garments should be worn for a minimum of six weeks until you receive clearance from our nursing team.
  4. Avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting As you recover from a tummy tuck or lower body surgery, it’s important to avoid any heavy lifting as this will place strain on your core, which in turn can interfere with the healing of incisions. You will not be able to pick up you children, or anything over 5kg, for at least2 weeks following your procedure or until you receive clearance from our nursing team.
  5. Re-read your Plastic Surgery Planner and attend your post-operative appointments - Most of the common questions our patients ask are answered in the Plastic Surgery Planner (PSP) you received before surgery. Your first post-op appointment will appear in the PSP and be scheduled within 10-14 days following surgery, during which you can raise any concerns about your posture and recovery process. We will also assess your incisions to ensure that your scars aren’t impacted as you straighten your posture.

Have a question about recovery positions after surgery with Dr Moncrieff?

If you have any questions about managing your recovery post-surgery, please do not hesitate myself or one of our friendly team on 4920 7700.

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Practice Nurse Alecia Baker

Blog Author:

Alecia Baker, Practice Nurse, Hunter Plastic Surgery


About Alecia

Alecia joined us as our Practice Nurses in 2018. She is a Registered Nurse with extensive experience in nursing and patient management in some of the busiest hospital settings in the Hunter! She really cares about helping our patients become healthy and happy. Her kind and calm manner help them feel comfortable during their journey with us.

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