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Why Do I Weigh 8 Pounds Heavier One Week Post Op?

One week ago I had a full abdominalplasty, muscle repair, and lipo on the upper and lower abdomen and flanks. I feel fine and can walk up right with little pain. But the swelling! I drink water constantly but I'm still 8 pounds heavier than I was when he did the surgery! When am I going to be able to fit into my clothes again? The swelling is especially bad in the upper abdomen.

Doctor Answers 14

Swelling one week post tummy tuck

One week post tummy tuck and liposuction surgery, it is normal for you to have significant swelling. It is important that you follow your surgeon’s post-op care instructions to ensure the best results possible. I provide my patients with an abdominal binder to wear for 4 weeks to help minimize swelling and aid in the healing process. It could take up to 4-6 months for the swelling to subside depending on your activity level. Follow-up with your plastic surgeon to rule out a seroma (fluid accumulation below the skin/subcutaneous flap).

Fluid Retention After A Tummy Tuck And Liposuction

What you are experiencing in terms of weight gain is absolutely normal. Every body contouring patient, particularly procedures that incorporate liposuction, is going to weightmore the first week after surgery than they did before. Often even the same clothes around the waistline will feel tighter as well...and maybe even unable to button or snap them together. This is due to swelling and fluid retention. Over the next few weeks the body will get rid of this excess fluid and you will be closer to or in the 'benefits' phase of the procedure. As a general rule, I tell liposuction patients it will be three weeks after surgery before they will notice that they weigh less than before and for many tummy tuck patients it is going to be closer to a month after surgery.


All of this weight is meaningless.  You will lose it again.   It is a combination of things, but is mostly due to swelling.  Be patient.

Weight gain post tummy tuck

It is common to gain weight post tummy tuck. Hide the scales and consult with your surgeon as he or she knows the specifics of the surgery and about you.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tips to help swelling

Swelling is common after surgery and you'll find that it adds the pounds as well. Allow yourself a couple of months for the majority of swelling to subside, as this is generally how long it takes. You'll find that your weight will gradually reduce as the swelling subsides.
Tips to help swelling:

drink fresh water and go to the washroom regularly
cut down on salt
leisurely walk around to keep your circulation going
wear your compression garment as advised

Please talk to your surgeon if swelling is of particular concern, as they may be able to help you with advice specific to your situation. Best of luck!

Swelling Following Tummy Tuck is Very Common

                   It’s not unusual for patients to have significant swelling following abdominoplasty.  This occurs for a variety of reasons.  Patients are typically given significant amounts of I.V. fluids during their surgical procedure.  In addition, the body responds to trauma or surgery by retaining fluid as a protective mechanism. 

                 Under these circumstances. Patients can see significant weight gain from fluid retention following abdominoplasty.  This weight gain typically peaks 5 to 7 days following surgery and in most cases resolves spontaneously.

                   In your case an eight pound weight gain would not be unanticipated following this type of procedure.  If you’re anxious about this phenomena, discussion with your surgeon is appropriate.  Your surgeon should be able to reassure you and make your post operative experience more comfortable.

Postop weight gain

Water retention after general anesthesia is very common. Also, some of that retention is mobilized by the body as swelling in the abdomen. You should begin to eliminate the fluid within the next few weeks. However, if the swelling is excessive, painful, or accompanied by any fever or localized problems, then you need to follow up with your plastic surgeon to rule out hematoma or seroma formation.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Increased weight in post operative period

It is very normal to be up several pounds after having surgery.  The body's response to trauma is to hold onto water.  This should continue to go down as you move around more, (a few weeks).  Everyone is different, and will heal at different rates.  Good to stay in touch with your plastic surgeon, as sometimes patients will have a focal collection of fluid, (seroma), that might need to be addressed.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Why do I weigh more after lipo/ tummy tuck/surgery?

My girlfriend's advice after any big surgery like this is DO NOT WEIGH yourself after surgery for awhile. 


You will weigh more.  There are multiple reasons for this: fluid shifts from surgery, tumnescent (the stuff we inject before we do liposuction which is in your tissues), swelling, bruise, etc.  You start to mobilize what we call "third spaced fluids" on post operative day 3-4, but it isn't magically gone at a week.

When will you see what you really weigh?

I tell patients to be about 80% of the way to their weight loss at 6 weeks, and all the way there at 3 months.  You should lose some weight after surgery.  Your surgeon can tell you how much skin and fat they removed (I weigh it in surgery.)

Be careful during the post operative time that you don't gain weight (don't starve yourself- you need energy to heal, but don't eat bon bons).  It is really common to gain weight when you can't work out and are hanging out at home all day.

Lauren Greenberg, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

I weigh more after a tummy tuck!

It is normal, water retention and other factors play a part in weight gain after any surgery. Wait and see it come off. Hydrate, use a laxative, and begin tread mill walking...once your plastic surgeon clears you. It'll come off.

Ayman Hakki, MD
Waldorf Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 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.