Ask a doctor

Tummy Tuck swelling - I am 6 weeks post op from Mommy makeover. (photo)

I am 6 weeks post op from Mommy makeover. I have a full TT. My drains have been removed. Stomach looks great until you get from the belly button down to incision. Right above the incision and all the way across it is puffy and looks like I have a pooch if you know what I mean! When I turn to the side it is flat until you get to below the belly button! Please tell me this is swelling and it will go down with time? I spent this money to be completely flat!! I don't see my PS for a few more weeks

Doctor Answers (9)

Lower tummy swollen after tummy tuck

+1
Thank you so much for your question about your tummy tuck.

Ok, no need to panic. Lower tummy swelling always happens with a tummy tuck - gravity pulls the excess fluid down. Your photo looks fine to me. But you might consider calling your plastic surgeon for reassurance too and an early visit - this bothers everyone so they will probably be happy to help you through this worrisome part of the recovery.


Here’s hoping you find this helpful. Have a great day!


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Swelling 6 weeks after tummy tuck

+1
It is completely normal to have swelling 6 weeks after a tummy tuck. This is part of the normal healing process and will improve over the next several weeks.

I advise my patients to wear a compression garment for at least 8 weeks after surgery.  You said you don't see your PS for a few more weeks … I tell my patients to call me or come in any time if they have any concerns, and I'm sure your PS feels the same!  So make an appointment with him/her to discuss your concerns.

I hope that helps and wish you all the best!

Dr Knoetgen 

James Knoetgen, III, MD
Fresno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy Tuck swelling - I am 6 weeks post op from Mommy makeover.

+1
Though we ALWAYS appreciate postings it is ALWAYS best to see your chosen operative surgeon IN PERSON with these post operative issues. Especially TT swelling, we can not examine you over the internet. And as you state you spent $$$s than demand more frequent visits and care... 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

You might also like...

Concerns after TT

+1
From your pictures results look pretty good.  It is hard to see the area you're concerned about.  If you have any concerns you should contact your plastic surgeon soon brother then waiting for your visit.  

Gaurav Bharti, MD
Johnson City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

"Puffy" 6 weeks after tummy tuck

+1
I don't have your pre-op photos for comparison, but your tummy actually looks pretty good. Possibilities for your percieved puffiness include residual subcutaneous fat (can't tell for sure because don't know how things were pre-op), swelling, or a fluid collection (seroma). Or it could be due to some combination. I suggest you discuss your conerns with your Plastic Surgeon, and have him/her examine you. This is the best person to shed some light on the situation and offer any treatment to help.

Robert Stroup, Jr., MD, FACS
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

6 weeks after Tummy tuck.

+1
I think you look great - It is likely just swelling.  You really have swelling for 3 months after a tummy tuck.  Of course, if you are worried about ANYTHING, you should make an appointment with your plastic surgeon and be seen in person.  You don't need to wait until your scheduled appointment to be seen.  I think you are going to look really nice - hang in there!  Best of luck!

K. Roxanne Grawe, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tummy Tuck swelling - I am 6 weeks post op from Mommy makeover.

+1

“Swelling” 6 weeks after tummy tuck surgery may or may not be normal; it is best to 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)  for complete skin redraping  to occur.

 Again, let your plastic surgeon know about the questions/concerns you have. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 791 reviews

Swelling can certainly be present

+1
Dear Katy,

Swelling after a tummy tuck can take several months to appreciably resolve.  Swelling below the belly is even more common and it takes the longest to resolve.  Your plastic surgeon can determine if its is simply swelling or if there is something else occurring.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Tummy Tuck swelling - I am 6 weeks post op from Mommy makeover

+1
Thanks for your question! Maybe it's just swelling. If you have some concerns about it then you should go to your plastic surgeon and get a check up. 

You're only 6 weeks post op. I would recommend you to wait 3-6 months and if you don't still like the way you look I would suggest to have liposuction. 

Yily De Los Santos, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 1,112 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.