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Swollen Flanks 7 Weeks Post Lipo?

I am 7 weeks post TT, MR and liposuction on my flanks. I still have quite of bit of swelling and tenderness in the upper abdomen but so far I am happy with the results. However my flanks are swollen and I have developed a muffin top. I can see the contour of the waist but the muffin top takes away from the beautiful results that is forming. I have lost 12lbs since my surgery with good eating habits and walking. Is this normal? Can I expect this to go down. Also one side is bogger than the other

Doctor Answers (3)

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.

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.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 793 reviews

Swelling after liposuction and tummy tuck

+2

It takes at least 6 months for swelling to completely resolve after a tummy tuck, and even longer if it is combined with liposuction. Sometimes, it can take up to a year for all the swelling to resolve, so you still have a way to go.  The swelling (which is basically fluid) tends to settle along the flanks and "muffin top" area, which explains your situation.

Continue with your good eating habits and walking, massage these areas, and you may want to try a light compression garment (Spanx) especially after and/or during exercising.  I hope that helps and wish you all the best!

James Knoetgen, III, MD
Fresno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Swollen flanks aftr TT, 7 weeks

+1

It is hard to know if you have dog ears or normal postoperative swelling.  The best way to know is to do a proper physical examination.  You should expect the healing to continue for at least 6-9 month before deciding to undertake any further revisions. Visit with your plastic surgeon and relay your concerns.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 16 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.