I had a tummy tuck two weeks ago and right now I look like I am pregnant from the swelling. Is this normal? My plastic surgeon has me wearing my binder for eight weeks and I've been very dilligent in following his orders.
Swollen from Tummy Tuck 2 Weeks Ago?
Doctor Answers (2)
Swelling after Tummy Tuck?
I'm glad you are keeping in close contact with your plastic surgeon; he is in the best position to evaluate the cause of swelling and/or treat any complication that may arise.
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.
Swelling after abdominoplasty
Occasionally, a patient will have some fluid in the surgical site. This can happen with following doctors orders and wearing your binder. Your body will absorb this over time, but sometimes it is better to have the fluid drained. This helps expedite the healing, and the patient feels better. I suggest you make an appointment to see your surgeon for examination and to discuss your concerns.
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.