What Tummy Tuck Side Effects Should I Expect? By The Landings Surgical Centre on November 25, 2020

A woman touching her flat stomachAfter pregnancy or significant weight loss, it's often difficult to achieve a smooth, toned stomach because of loose, hanging skin. A tummy tuck can dramatically improve the stomach by removing loose skin and stubborn abdominal fat. The procedure reveals a more streamlined, contoured appearance.

When considering tummy tuck surgery, it's important to be aware of possible side effects during recovery. At the Landings Surgical Centre, Drs. Richard Bendor-Samuel and Louis Boileau explain common tummy tuck side effects to patients in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and surrounding areas.

Side Effects Are a Normal Part of Recovery

After tummy tuck surgery, also called adbominoplasty, patients should expect to experience some side effects. Side effects are not complications but rather are a result of the body's healing process and a normal part of recovery.

The most common tummy tuck side effects are pain, swelling, and bruising. These side effects are temporary and should resolve as the body heals. Although some pain and swelling are to be expected, if either become worse, it could be a sign of infection or other complication and should be brought to your doctor's attention immediately.

Pain and Discomfort

One of the most common side effects of tummy tuck surgery is pain and discomfort. Patients should expect the abdomen to be sore not just at the incision site but also the surrounding areas where the tissues were manipulated.

Fortunately, pain can be managed with either a doctor approved over-the-counter pain reliever or a prescription medication. Taking pain medication on a schedule during the first few days of recovery can help patients stay ahead of the discomfort.

Pain should decrease each week of recovery until completely resolved. If pain persists or becomes worse, speak to your doctor.


In addition to pain, abdominoplasty patients should expect some swelling after surgery. The amount of swelling will vary by patient based on the type of tummy tuck performed and personal likelihood of swelling. Those who have had a mini tummy tuck may notice less swelling than those who have had an extended tummy tuck.

Wearing a compression garment around the abdomen is recommended as it can help reduce swelling as well as support the tissues during recovery.

Like pain, swelling should resolve as the abdomen heals. As swelling resolves, the final results of tummy tuck surgery will be more apparent but most patients will notice an immediate difference in the contours of their abdomen.


Bruising is another common side effect of tummy tuck surgery patients should expect. Like swelling, the amount of bruising will vary based on the extent of surgery and the patient's own tendency to bruise.

Bruising will typically appear a deep purple and fade over time to a yellowish color until totally resolved. Most patients will see their bruising fade within two weeks of their surgery.

Schedule a Consultation

If you would like more information about the side effects of tummy tuck surgery or to find out if you're a candidate, please call (902) 492-2007 to schedule a consultation at our Halifax surgical center.

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The Landings Surgical Centre

Our surgeons have the training and expertise to provide the beautiful results you deserve. Drs. Bendor-Samuel and Boileau are members of several esteemed organizations, such as:

  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  • Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • Canadian Medical Association

Schedule a consultation online or call us at (902) 492-2007 to learn more. Our Halifax practice provides convenient care for patients from Prince Edward Island and nearby areas.

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