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Swelling 8 Months Post TT, What's The Cause?

I am 44 y.o. female w/ full TT and lipo 8 mos ago. I still feel VERY swelled & bloated. The swelling is concentrated right above the scar line, but not wavy. It is very uncomfortable, a very full feeling - like puncturing it would bring relief. It’s worse during my period. My Doc didn’t give restrictions or suggestions. Can any issues exist at this stage (there's no hematoma or infection) Is a 2nd opinion indicated? Could my Doc be missing something (maybe I need a sonogram?) or is it unlikely.Thanks!

Doctor Answers (3)

Late swelling after tummy tuck

+1
A sonogram is not a bad idea to rule out a seroma, as Dr. Lund has observed. Also, you could have scar adhesions which are causing the pattern you are describing. Discuss this with your plastic surgeon. As bloating, even though in the area of the scar line, can be caused by other, non-cosmetic surgery related conditions, you may want to consult your gynecologist as well.


New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

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. If you still have concerns/anxiety than a 2nd opinion may be helpful.

 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)  a complete skin redraping  to occur.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 681 reviews

Swelling at 8 months after Tummy Tuck

+1

Dear Cavity,  One of the complications that can develop at this late stage after a tummy tuck is a seroma which is a collection of fluid under the skin and fatty tissues.  This fluid often can start very small and increase in size. Untreated seromas can cause problems and should be addressed when they are found.   I would recommend you discuss this with your plastic surgeon.  If you are still concerned after your discussion, a second opinion may be advised.  Best of luck.

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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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.