Ask a doctor

9 Days PO, Tummy Tuck in Belgium, I Have a Fullness Feeling ?

I have a fullness feeling almost like bloated feeling across my umbilicus from left to right to under my bust, sometimes I think when I press it it moves like waves and there is a hard area just above my umbilicus which I know will be swelling. I am wondering if it is a seroma? This often becomes worse at night, I've seen my gp who's quite new but he seems to think its swelling from surgery, but I'm not convinced. What will happen it it is a seroma and its missed??

Doctor Answers (4)

Patients will feel abdominal fullness for weeks after abdominoplasty.

+1

You are just embarking on the healing process. Feeling abdominal fullness is part of the convalescence and will take weeks to resolve.


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

9 Days PO, Tummy Tuck in Belgium, I Have a Fullness Feeling ?

+1

I would not expect a GP to have enough experience dealing with early postop patients to rely on his ability to distinguish swelling from seroma. If a seroma it should be addressed before it becomes chronic and could require an operation to resolve.  You should be seeing your surgeon. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Swelling after Tummy Tuck?

+1

I am somewhat confused as to why you are seeing your family practitioner after tummy tuck surgery. Bestto be seen in person ( by your plastic surgeon) for precise diagnosis and treatment.

Generally speaking, 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 756 reviews

You might also like...

Tummy Tuck 9 Days Post Op

+1

Since you are still healing from your Tummy Tuck, you should be following up with your Plastic Surgeon, not your GP.  Your Plastic Surgeon knows exactly the procedure he did, and how you should be healing.  It takes weeks to months to completely heal from a Tummy Tuck. 

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 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.