Excessively Swollen 8 Weeks After Breast Reduction and Tummy Tuck- What Should I Do?

I had breast reduction/lift, tummy tuck and liposuction on my back on June 28 .I didn't drain much and now I am getting very bloated in different places such as my face, neck, Arms and legs. Plead help!

Doctor Answers 10

Recovery Following Mommy Makeover Surgery

Patients undergoing mommy makeover surgery can anticipate significant swelling in the immediate postoperative period. In most cases, this swelling resolves rapidly with the vast majority being gone in about three weeks. Almost all of the visible swelling is gone in about 4 to 6 weeks but in some cases, significant amounts of residual swelling may persist for 3 to 4 months following surgery.

Persistent fluid retention occurs for a variety of reasons. Patients are typically given significant amounts of IV fluids during their surgical procedure. In addition, the body responds to trauma or surgery by retaining fluid as a protective mechanism.

Under these circumstances, patients can see significant swelling and weight gain from fluid retention following mommy makeover surgery. This swelling typically peaks 5 to 7 days following surgery, but in some cases persists for longer periods of time. This type of swelling isn’t localized to the surgical site.

Compression garments and low salt diets are frequently utilized following mommy makeover surgery to minimize swelling. Persistent swelling should also be evaluated by your plastic surgeon to rule out more serious problems. With time this type of swelling resolves with conservative management.

For these reasons, we feel it’s important for the patient and the surgeon to have good communication regarding this topic immediately following surgery. In this situation, a little reassurance can go a long way towards making this a more comfortable experience. 

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

8900 West Dodge Road
Omaha, NE 68114

Swelling 8 weeks after breast reduction and tt

Hello Lynda, thanks for your question. It's perfectly normal to have swelling 8 weeks after surgery, especially after a breast reduction and tummy tuck.  You should definitely follow up with your plastic surgeon to make sure you don't have a fluid collection (seroma) that needs to be drained.  I advise my patients to wear compression garments for at least 8 weeks after surgery to help reduce swelling. You should have a talk with your plastic surgeon to express your concerns and seek his/her advice.

I hope that helps and wish you all the best!

James Knoetgen, III, MD
Fresno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

1903 East Fir Avenue
Fresno, CA 93720

Bloated 8 weeks after surgery

Did you mean January 28? Assuming "yes" make sure that you are not eating too mach salt, which will make you retain fluid and feel bloated. Sometimes a reaction to Ibuprofen can cause swelling. Check with your doctor.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

10807 Falls Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21093

Swelling after cosmetic surgery

You may be having a reaction to your medicines or you have drainable fluid collections.  Visit your plastic surgeon soon to get checked out.

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

10807 Falls Rd
Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093

See your surgeon...


It might just be your body's process of healing, but at 8 weeks any unusual swelling mandates a visit to your surgeon.


Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

630 South Glassell
Orange, CA 92866

Post op swelling

With the surgery you had performed, swelling is not uncommon but should improve within three months of surgery. However you also mention swelling of other areas and I think this should be further evaluated by your surgeon as well as the possibility of fluid retention or seroma of your abdomen. Your breast may take several months longer for swelling to resolve

Richard Linderman, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Bloating after Surgery

Swelling does take time to subside but I would suggest that you follow up with your surgeon because he/she will know your history and when you say "very bloated", I may take it differently because I don't know you vs. your surgeon who has taken you through the process.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,051 reviews

8851 Center Drive
San Diego, CA 91942

Excessively Swollen 8 Weeks After Breast Reduction and Tummy Tuck- What Should I Do?

Long term fluid retention after 8 weeks post operative is a bit unusual. Seek medical attention to determine if you are third spacing or have vascular dynamic issues. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

6330 Manor Lane
Miami, FL 33143

Swelling After Body Contouring Can Last 3-4 Months

It is not unusual for patients who undergo extensive body contouring to have swelling and a bloated sensation for a few months afterwards.  Patients can go through alot of ups and downs as they heal, with swelling getting better or worse at various times.  You juts have to be patient, and usually by 3-4 months, all of the swelling has subsided and patients can really see the final results and feel like themselves again.  I hope this helps.

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

1602 Colonial Parkway
Inverness, IL 60067

Fluid retention after surgery

Fluid retention after any surgery is not uncommon.    It takes time to heal and there is nothing that can be done to speed this process along.  In general you are 50% of the way there at 6 weeks and 80% at three months.  Relax and give it time, get back to your normal activities and let your body heal.   Atlanta Plastic Surgeon Dr. Z

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

3096 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Duluth, GA 30097

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.