Ask a doctor

1 week Post tummy tuck with muscle repair (no lipo) lower abdomen puffiness, is this normal? (photo)

I am 1 week post tummy tuck and my lower abdomen appears puffy. Most excess skin is gone from four pregnancies but I still have bulging above scar. What could this be caused by and will it go away or can it be fixed? I am 5' 1" and weighed 120 pounds prior to surgery and weigh 117lbs now. I exercised 4 days a week prior to surgery but am not built stick thin. I had four children including one set of multiples prior to surgery.

Doctor Answers 4

Recovery after tummy tuck


Some puffiness/bulge/discomfort is quite common after a tummy tuck. It is a big procedure and expect your tissues to need a good few weeks for everything to settle. Meanwhile wearing some support will help.

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

22 Somerset Road Edgbaston
Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2QQ

Abdominal swelling is normal at this stage

You are experiencing normal postoperative swelling. Some patients will feel a ridge of tissue along their incision line for several weeks (6-8 wks) after their abdominoplasty. Keep in close contact with your surgeon during your healing phase and follow their instructions to the tee. Remain in your support garment to keep compression and remain patient. Good luck.

Matthew Blanton, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

3633 Harden Rd
Raleigh, NC 27608

Tummy Tuck: is the Puffiness Normal?

It looks to me as all is normal for you. After a big operation like an abdominoplasty, we can expect swelling or puffiness for long periods. This means we have to wait much longer than one week. Often swelling is present for months!

Around the incision we can expect extra swelling. The scar itself can be elevated. This is called the "healing ridge." It is inflammatory cells and other products that are part of your body healing itself.

It is also important to be realistic about results. Some people will not be as flat as they hope after their surgery. But it is way to early to tell about this. 

Follow your doctor's advise. I expect you will have gradual improvement and be happy soon.

Hope this helps!
Dr Chris Saunders

Christopher Saunders, MD
Wilmington Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

1224 Baltimore Pike
Chadds Ford, PA 19317

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.