How to reduce the risks and complications after the hourglass tummy tuck - Hourglass Tummy Tuck
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How to reduce the risks and complications after the hourglass tummy tuck


Only 8% women are born with the hourglass silhouette. For the rest, the only viable solution for achieving an hourglass body is by resorting to plastic surgery. Physical exercise and diet can play an important role in the process of getting the body of your dreams, but if your hips are narrow, there is no amount of physical exercise that could help you add volume to their level. This can be achieved only with the help of plastic surgery. A procedure that can help you get the hourglass silhouette while also improving the aspect of the abdominal area is the hourglass tummy tuck.

Just like any other surgical procedure, the hourglass tummy tuck entails certain risks and complications. Some of them can be reduced or avoided if the patient follows certain pre- and post- operative indications, but unfortunately not all of them.

In this article, we will discuss how to reduce the risks and complications after the hourglass tummy tuck.

1. Walk every few hours

You will notice that as soon as you recover from the general anesthesia, the medical staff monitoring you will insist on you getting off the bed and walking around for a bit. You might think this is cruel as all you want to do is rest after such a complex procedure, but walking after the hourglass tummy tuck is important to avoid the formation of blood clots. You will be discharged from the medical facility within hours from recovery from the general anesthesia. However, keep in mind that it is important to keep walking around the house every few hours and don’t spend all your time in bed.

2. Have a balanced eating regimen

It is common occurrence for patients to be confronted with constipation after undergoing surgery. Considering the fact that your procedure was performed on the abdominal wall and that your incision is significant in length, you should have a balanced eating regimen to avoid complications after the procedure. This means that it is preferable to have just soup and fresh juices the day of the operation and introduce lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet starting next morning. Keeping the meals light and at regular intervals will not only help you get a smooth recovery period and avoid complications but also to sustain the results of your procedure for a longer period of time.

3. Wear compression garments

Compression garments are mandatory after the hourglass tummy tuck, and this is one of the most important recommendations that will be made by your plastic surgeon. This means you should wear them nonstop for a few weeks or until the doctor says so. Compression garments will help better define the aesthetic results while also reduce swelling that can naturally occur after this type of procedure. The compression garments should be in the right size and made out of material that allows the skin to breathe. Ask the plastic surgeon for recommendations for compression garments.

4. Avoid intense physical activities

Some people feel more discomfort than others after the hourglass tummy tuck. Some are so excited they had surgery that they feel nothing can stop them now. Even if you feel great after the procedure, it is important to avoid physical activities for at least a few weeks, if not months. Simple activities such as lifting something from the floor can lead to wound dehiscence or other complications that could be otherwise avoided. Intense physical activities should be resumed gradually and only after you have the green light from the plastic surgeon.

5. Walk with the body slightly bent forward

The length of the incision in the case of the hourglass tummy tuck is considerable. It can be as long as from one hip bone to the other. There is nothing to fear about this in terms of scarring as after it heals and matures, the incision will look like a fine white line that is easily hidden in the panties or with a swimsuit. However, during the recovery period, the patient should be very careful with putting unnecessary pressure on the surgical wound. To avoid this, it is recommended to walk with the body slightly bent forward for a few days.

6. Don’t smoke for at least three weeks post-op

Smoking is bad for you at any time; however, after plastic surgery, its effects on the body can be devastating. Smoking doesn’t allow for the proper oxygenation of the blood, hence the tissues that were just operated on won’t receive the necessary amount of oxygen. This can cause wound dehiscence and even skin or fat tissue necrosis. These are complications that could require additional treatment in severe cases. Smoking should be ceased at least three weeks before the date of the procedure and for at least another three weeks post-operatively.

7. Don’t use products for faster healing that are not recommended by the plastic surgeon

After the hourglass tummy tuck, some patients will be in a hurry to heal faster so they can show off their new body. However, each patient heals at his own rate, and there is no way for us to speed up the recovery process by using certain products on the wounds. Your plastic surgeon might recommend some silicone sheeting, but aside from this, you are advised not to put any creams, gels or lotions on the surgical incisions that are not recommended by the plastic surgeon.

8. Keep the incision site clean and dry

Many patients tend to believe they won’t be able to take a shower or clean the incision site for weeks. This is not true. The patient can shower and is also advised to clean the incision site regularly to avoid the infections that can occur. However, it is important to keep in mind that the incision area should always be kept clean and dry. You can use antibacterial soap and make sure to dry the skin properly. It is recommended to change the compression garments and get a clean pair after showering.

9. Stay hydrated

Hydration is important after any type of surgery, but especially after the hourglass tummy tuck. Water will help your metabolism resume its normal functions shortly after the surgery and it will also help you with the recovery process. If dehydration occurs, you might feel a headache or lightheaded and other complications could occur. Make sure to drink water, herbal infusions and freshly squeezed fruits and vegetable juices. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages, as well as alcohol, should be avoided for a few days post-op as they might aggravate dehydration.

10. Don’t sleep on the side of the body or on the tummy

After the hourglass tummy tuck procedure, it is important to avoid sleeping on the tummy and the sides. The fat grafts that were transferred to the hips during the procedure need time to accommodate to the new environment and get a new blood network that will ensure their survival. This usually happens a few weeks after the procedure. Until then, it is essential not to sleep on the sides as the pressure on the fat cells transferred might cause them to die and be reabsorbed by the body. Moreover, asymmetries can also occur if the patient lies mostly on one side of the body.


The hourglass tummy tuck is a complex and very delicate procedure that should be performed only by a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon with a deep understanding of the feminine aesthetics. The procedure entails certain risks and potential complications, just like any other surgery. An experienced plastic surgeon will guide you through the recovery process and give indications on how to reduce the risks and complications after the hourglass tummy tuck.

Among the most important recommendations are not to sleep on the tummy or the sides for at least a few weeks, to drink plenty of water but avoid caffeinated drinks, to have balanced meals and avoid smoking for at least three weeks. Other indications would be to avoid intense physical activities and wear the compression garments. Exercise can be resumed after the plastic surgeon gives his consent. Even then, make sure to resume exercise gradually. The incision area should be kept clean and dry, and the patient should avoid applying creams or other products on the incisions as they might trigger infections or other complications that could be otherwise avoided.


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