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Why I Have a Pregnant Look on my Tummy After 4 Months of Full Tummy Tuck? (photo)

At the beginning it was tight then after 4 months I look like I was before the tummy tuck(a little less of course).I had follow all the instructions pressure garment every day all day, another one at night,I eat small portions,drink a lot of water,etc.I feel my muscles are getting to relax and I constantly tuck in my tummy I feel like if I don't my belly will puff out more than it is now.I don't want to be tucking in my belly is exhausting.(I still wear the pressure garment)What is going on?

Doctor Answers (6)

Tummy Tuck Result Depends On Where You Start

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The result of a tummy tuck depends on a few variables.  How close are you to your ideal body weight before surgery, how much muscle and skin laxity you have, how much intra-abdominal fat is present, your body type/length, and how much extra-abdominal fat exists before surgery.  The closer you are to your ideal before surgery, the better the outcome.  As you move away from the ideal of just loose skin and muscle, then your surgeon will have to make adjustments such as adding liposuction.  If you have a significant amount of intra-abdominal fat pre-operatively, then you have a couple of important choices.  You can delay your surgery and pursue a diet and excercise regimen to lose any excess intra-abdominal fat.  This will allow for more tightening and waist definition  and enhance your final outcome.  Alternatively, you can go forward with the procedure, but you will have to adjust your expectations due to the impat that the above factors play in the final outcome.  Your photos suggest that you may still have some swelling.  You may also want to check to see if you have gained any weight since surgery.  Finally, the good news is that you can still enhance your results by adding diet and excercise to your lifestyle...your results, health and quality of life will only get better!  Best of luck!


Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Why I Have a Pregnant Look on my Tummy After 4 Months of Full Tummy Tuck?

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Very hard to advise without you posting before photos. Is there an improvement from your before. You appear to be slightly overweight, so the visceral fat might be an issue. Best to seek in person second opinions. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

4 months after tummy tuck

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Thanks for your question, I assume you have had a muscle repair, but if you did not then that may explain the bulging.  If you are gaining weight, then it may be be depositing inside your abdomen around your intestines causing the bulge.  Please see your plastic surgeon to discuss.

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

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Bulging Abdomen after Tummy Tuck

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There are two possible causes to your bulging.  One is a fluid collection called a seroma that will require drainage if present.  In this situation, the abdomen usually gets fuller appearing over time.  The other is excess intraabdominal fat around your organs and intestines.  This will improve as you lose weight since the fat won't be pushing out on your abdomen.  Your surgeon will be able to determine which of these is the cause.

Donald Griffin, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Bulging tummy after tummy tuck

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The likely cause of this is difficult for the surgeon to fix. Loose skin and fat outside the abdominal cavity is effectively removed by a tummy tuck, Intra abdominal fat - that lying around the abdominal organs and bowel - is not. People lay down fat in different ways: some external to the abdominal muscles, some internal and some both. Although an apron of skin may be removed by a tummy tuck, a bulging abdomen due to intra-abdominal fat will remain.

Tightening up the abdominal muscles is not the solution since this only raises intra-abdominal pressure forcing the diaphragm up and interfering with breathing. Furthermore the increased pressure soon stretches things out again. The only solution is to achieve a significant weight loss through diet and exercise so as to reduce the intra-abdominal fat volume.

Your surgeon should have discussed these things with you before surgery so you would know what to expect. Unrealistic expectations rather than surgical errors are the major cause of dissatisfaction after aesthetic surgery.

J. Brian Boyd, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Tummy After 4 Months

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If you had improvement at first and have lost those changes, there are a number of possibilities, none of which can be resolved online. There could be a fluid collection, there could be loss the correction of any muscle tightening that was done. 

I would suggest seeing your surgeon, who should be able to  tell you if either of these things has occurred, and if not, offer another explanation.

Thank you for your question and for the photos attached. Best wishes.

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