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Tummy Tuck Post-op Two Weeks. I Noticed a Weird Swelling/hardness Below the Center of my Rib Cage. Should I Worry? (photo)

I am two weeks post-op, and feeling very well But I just noticed I have some hardness (shaped like a golf ball) above my belly button below the center of my rib cage. If you press lightly on it. It hurts. If I sneeze or cough, that part hurts. Yes, I feel that part is the where my doctor stitched my muscles. My question is whether this will eventually go away? And why it happens? Did I do something wrong? (I did sneeze quite hard a couple of times). Can I do anything to help this go away?

Doctor Answers (7)

Tummy Tuck Post-op Two Weeks. I Noticed a Weird Swelling/hardness Below the Center of my Rib Cage. Should I Worry?

+3

The upper abdomen is the most difficult area to correct in abdominoplasty surgery. Many surgeons limit the amount of liposuction in this area for fear of damaging the circulation to the 'apron' and causing healing problems. Secondly, the muscle tightening can cause the overlying fat to bunch up in the area below the ribs. Finally the pull is exerted from way down in the pubic area, and decreases the higher you go on the abdomen. You will likely see some improvement in this area as time goes by. I recommend you discuss with your surgeon. All the best!


Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Bulge after tummy tuck needs to be evaluated.

+3

Hi.

See your plastic surgeon as soon as you can.  Cannot tell what it is just from pictures, but it is not normal.  Might be a fluid collection.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy Tuck Post-op Two Weeks. I Noticed a Weird Swelling/hardness Below the Center of my Rib Cage. Should I Worry?

+3

               Seroma, swelling, fat necrosis, residual midline tissue secondary to plication among other things could be the cause.  You will need an examination to sort this out.                                                                                                                                                 Kenneth Hughes, MD                                                                                                                Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

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Tummy Tuck Post-op Two Weeks. I Noticed a Weird Swelling/hardness Below the Center of my Rib Cage. Should I Worry?

+1

The muscle repair in the upper abdomen failed or opened, a hematoma formed, or both occurred. Best to obtain a scan of the area. 

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

Swelling in the abdomen

+1

Thank you for the question. I believe this most likely represents a seroma. This is a collection of fluid. I would suggest you contact your plastic surgeon who will most likely aspirate it. This should resolve your problem. Good luck!

Peter Fisher, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Bulge in upper abdomen after swelling

+1

Thank you for the question and photos. Did you have a full tummy tuck or a mini-tummy tuck? In a mini-tummy tuck, most surgeons tighten the abdominal muscles from the belly button down. If you had this done, than it is not unusal to see a bulge like this. Imagine a long balloon which you squeeze at one end, naturally will expand at the other end. If you had a full tummy tuck, than you either have a seroma (easily identified with an ultrasound) or your sutures disrupted. Need to follow up with your plastic surgeon to identify the reason for the bulge. This is not a normal presentation and will not go away on its own. Good luck.

George Marosan, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Bulge in your upper abdomen: check with your PS

+1

Hi. Thank you for your questions. That bulge could mean lots of things: best case scenario is just swelling... but it also can be a seroma, or that your stitches went off... The only one who can give you the exact response is your plastic surgeon with a hands on evaluation.

My recommendation is that you go to him to get a better response.

Rafael E. Estevez Hernandez, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 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.