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After 7 Weeks Post Op I Still Feel Swollen - Is This Normal or This is my Final Result?

I wear my garment 24/7 except to bath, I am scared that if I stop using it I will mess up the healing process and I the swelling wont go away... now I am not sure if this is swelling or just the way its going to look. I used to be flat with extra skin since I lost 90 pounds... is it possible that it will stay like this? or is it just that the skin still not attach to my muscles due to fluids.... the swelling has gone down a lot since day one... no doubt about that part. Pic is attached!

Doctor Answers (4)

Persistent swelling of abdomen followin tummy tuck


You are still likely to have some swelling and it can take several months for this to resolve. Make sure you do not have other causes for the swelling such as a seroma, infection or improperly fitted compression garments.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Tummy tuck swelling


Swelling after abdominoplasty is quite variable. Most patients have persistent swelling for months after the procedure. The swelling can also fluctuate with activity level. The belly is flatter in the morning and can swell more by the end of the day. In the occasional patient with moderate or severe swelling, I have seen it take a full year to resolve. Your results to me look typical for 7 weeks post-op. Be patient--it will resolve. Also maintain your weight. Continue your garment if you think it is helping. I have had patients wear a garment for months after surgery.

Hayley Brown, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Swelling after tummy tuck

Swelling normally takes a few weeks to subside. On average, most of the swelling goes away after about 3 months, and depending on the extent of surgery, this may even take up to 6 months. A full tummy tuck will involve a lengthier recovery period than a mini. During these weeks and months, you'll notice the swelling gradually lessening.

In the meantime, follow your surgeon's post-surgery care instructions and wear your compression garment as recommended. I usually recommend patients wear their garment day and night for about three weeks, then just during the day from three to six weeks. Your garment will help control swelling by encouraging your body to absorb and eliminate fluids that are causing the swelling. Here are some other tips to deal with swelling:

stay well hydrated and go to the washroom regularly
avoid salty foods and eat healthily
get plenty of rest, but also try to move around a bit at a leisurely pace to keep your circulation going when you're not lying down
once you have adequately recovered, you can consider lymphatic massage, but only with your surgeon's advice.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

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Tummy tuck Swelling?


Thank you for the question.
As always, it is best to be seen in person ( by your plastic surgeon) for precise diagnosis and treatment.
Abdominal wall "swelling" after tummy tuck may be related to:
1. Swelling in the soft tissues.  This may take several months to resolve and may worsen with increased activity  or at the end of the day.   Patience  is required to allow for resolution of the swelling. The swelling occurs because of the interruption of venous and lymphatic channels that occurs during the tummy tuck operation.
2. Fluid accumulation in the space between the skin and the abdominal wall muscle.  this may consist of blood ( hematoma)  or serum (seroma).  This fluid accumulation can generally be diagnosed by physical examination ( occasionally ultrasound  may be helpful).  Treatment consists of aspiration;  several episodes of aspiration may be necessary. 
3. Separation of the abdominal wall muscle repair may lead to a swelling/bulge appearance. This may be diagnosed on physical examination  with your surgeon examining you in different bodily positions. One of the steps of a tummy tuck procedure involves reapproximation (plication)  of the rectus muscles.  These muscles have spread apart during pregnancy and/or weight gain. Bringing them together again in the midline helps to “tighten” the abdominal wall as well as to narrow the waistline.
4. Residual adipose tissue may be confused for swelling. Again this is most easily diagnosed by physical examination. Additional liposuction surgery maybe necessary to improve the results of surgery.
Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year  (or greater)  a complete skin redraping  to occur.
I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 755 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.