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Exteme Abdominal Swelling 8 Months After Mini Tummy Tuck?

5 weeks post surgery of a mini tummy tuck I woke up lookig at least 6 months preganant. It has been 8 months and I have had CT scans & ultrasounds. Exercise causes more swelling w/extreme discomfort. My surgeon says I just need to lose weight although I have had no weight gain since the surgery.

Doctor Answers (4)

Swelling after Tummy Tuck?

+2

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 and/or  muscle tightening may be 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.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 727 reviews

Mini tummy tuck

+1

If you are having bloating and swelling 6 months after surgery it is unclear why without an exam. Usually a full tummy tuck is a better procedure.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Prolonged swelling after a tummy tuck

+1

Patients who have a mini tummy tuck should anticipate a significant recovery process. We tell patients that they can expect swelling, bruising, and some discomfort for several weeks to several months after the surgery. However, after eight months, you are in the late stages of the recovery process.

If you continue to have extreme abdominal swelling or discomfort let your plastic surgeon know RIGHT away. They will want to examine you to make sure that this is postoperative swelling or a collection that may require additional treatment. Be sure that you're working with a board-certified plastic surgeon that is well experienced and liposuction, tummy tucks, and body contouring surgery as the experience of this expert will be essential in helping you.

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

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Abdomen still swollen months after mini tummy tuck

+1

IT is difficult to assess from the limited data here. In most instances the problems seen with a mini could have been avoided with a full tummy tuck but that is only a guess.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.