Recurring Swelling 5 Months Post Mini Tummy Tuck

I have recurring swelling in my lower abdomen 5 months after mini tummy tuck surgery (it had actually gotten pretty flat, and then this week it became swollen again). It also sometimes feels more numb than others. Is this normal? Thanks.

Doctor Answers (5)

Swelling after Tummy Tuck Surgery?

+1

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 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.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 681 reviews

Swelling after surgery

+1

Some swelling may persist for months after surgery.  Numbness can as well. If you are concerned go see your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Swelling in the lower abdomen after mini tummy tuck

+1

A mini tummy tuck is a safe and effective procedure that can create a more contoured abdomen, a tight waist and a beautiful figure.

Patients who receive the surgery should anticipate a significant recovery process that consists of swelling, bruising and some discomfort after the surgery. Keep in mind that a fair amount of swelling is always expected afterwards. In our Miami practice, we have designed a specific compression garments for our patients that help modulate the swelling. Patients appreciate the comfort and support the these garments provide. At this stage, you should inform your surgeon about your concerns so that they can examine human evaluate the lower abdominal swelling to determine if it is in fact expected postoperative edema or if it is a collection of tissue or fluid that may require additional treatment.
 

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

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Recurring swelling 5 months post mini tummy tuck

+1

Sorry for your issues. You have a residual seroma. The best treatment is re exploration and drainage. Call your surgeon or seek a second opinion.

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Darryl J. Blinski, MD
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Swelling in abdomen many months after mini tummy tuck

+1

If it looks like a fluid wave, it could be a sign of a seroma. If not, it could also be an indication of your return to normal activity with expected swelling from edema; gently compression garments may help. In any case, discuss this with your surgeon.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
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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.