Change of Clothing Size after Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty Surgery

After an abdominoplasty, people often go down a size or two in clothing size –  but not always! This change of clothing size is discussed in this educational writing. A tummy tuck operation can lead to a significant reduction in post op clothing size, in addition to other benefits of the surgery. Compression garments are recommended after the surgery and are reviewed in another writing.

People decide to have a tummy tuck to improve and enhance their abdominal or stomach area. The surgery helps with excess and loose skin, stretch marks, and extra fat. The results of the surgery is highly successful and can be dramatic at times. Please see the tummy tuck before and after photos now for those interested. Many patients will ask about the size change they will have after the procedure. Phrased another way, people ask about abdominoplasty change in clothing size. The answer is not always predictable. Some will have this change and others will not.

Clothing sizes are not standardized. A size 8 will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some will run small and some big. European and American clothing can also be a variable. The same can be said for bra sizes. Manufacturing differences exist. A woman’s clothing size will also vary from her hips to her thighs to her stomach. Some women might be an 8 in the legs, but she might fit better in a 6 in the stomach areas.

This  manufacturing difference in clothing, and variation in each women, makes it impossible to exactly predict the change after the surgery. Manufacturing of clothing was indeed standardized after WWII. However, this has long been abandoned. Companies have found it profitable to alter the “fit” or size to sell more clothing. For example, some women will buy a size 6 that decades ago would have fit a size 10. The women purchasing this clothing like the smaller size. It makes you feel better and hence more are sold.

Having said this, most women after a tummy tuck will go down a size or two. Some will go down even more!  However, some patients will not have a change of size, and rarely, some will actually wear a larger size.

Most women will go down a size or two after an abdominoplasty and be very happy with their new appearance. The woman that doesn’t change sizes can unfortunately be disappointed by this. It is important to understand that even if you don’t go down a size, you still can enjoy the flatter and more sculpted stomach that the surgery achieves.

Women that wear a larger size can attribute this to swelling, if it is close to the time of surgery. If a significant time has past since the operation, than the answer lies in wearing the clothing differently. Some women will wear their pants slightly higher or lower after a tummy tuck. A large stomach roll might lead to someone pulling their pants above this “gut.” After surgery, since the stomach roll is gone, they might wear the pants in a different location,  accounting for this size change. Once again, the stomach will “look” better and flatter despite the lack of dropping down in the clothing size.

To summarize, following cosmetic surgery tummy tuck, most women will go down a size or two in their clothing size. Some woman won’t have a change of size, and rarely some will actually go up in size.

I am a board certified plastic surgeon who practices exclusively cosmetic surgery.  Please come in for a complimentary consultation. Details of your cosmetic procedure and your surgical plan will be discussed completely.