Ask a doctor

Uneven Swelling in Areas Where Seroma Was Drained - 7 Weeks Post Op?

I am 7 weeks post op & notice very slight uneven swelling - I also have noticed it is the areas where I had my seroma drained - it doesn't feel like fluid at all but is more raised then the other areas. One area is the top right of my abdominal & the other is the bottom left. Is it normal to have swelling appear uneven considering I did have a build up of fluid? How long will it take to even out? Please see photos from my previous question on my profile.

Doctor Answers (5)

Uneven Swelling in Areas Where Seroma Was Drained - 7 Weeks Post Op?

+1

That photo does show enough excess swelling that with the history of seroma I would be concerned about another, and would call your surgeon for instructions. Thanks for your question, all the best. 


Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Swelling 6 weeks post-op after tummy tuck and drainage of seroma

+1

At 6 or 7 weeks postop you are still very early, and swelling is to be expected.  This is especially true if you had a seroma, and in fact, you can have some areas of increased thickening and swelling that may take longer to resolve when you have a seroma.  Thus, you could, in fact, see areas of irregular swelling, and these will likely improve with time.  I would suggest a gently compressive garment like a Spanx or a girdle to help swelling resolve, and watch things over the next month or two.  Follow closely with your surgeon, and I would expect that by 6 months postop things will look much better.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Swelling after Tummy Tuck?

+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.

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

You might also like...

Swelling postop tt

+1

Thanks for your question. It can take several months for swelling to fully settle following surgery.

Sultan Hassan, MD, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Abdominal contour irregularities after abdominoplasty may take months to totally resolve.

+1

Even without a seroma contour irregularities of the abdomen after abdominoplasty may take months to totally smoothed out. A seroma creates some local inflammation that temporarily exacerbates this.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 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.