Above belly button swelling 4 weeks post op. (Photo)

I had a tummy tuck with umbilical hernia and muscle repair four weeks ago. At week two i noticed that there is more swelling above my belly button than below. Im 4 weeks now and no improvement.

Doctor Answers (5)

Swelling above the belly button after tummy tuck can be normal at 4 weeks

+1
Thank you for your question and photograph.  As others as stated please be certain to discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon to maintain good communication and trust.  That said swelling of the upper abdomen following tummy tuck is not uncommon at 4 weeks.


Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Swelling after Tummy Tuck

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  • 4 weeks after a tummy tuck and hernia repair is much too early to know exactly what your final abdominal contour will look like. 
  • It can take months for all of the swelling to subside.  Try to be patient!
  • Additionally, I would discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon, as he or she will be able to reassure you. 
  • Thanks for sharing!

Joshua Cooper, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Above belly button swelling 4 weeks post op.

+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.

Generally, 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, and the attached link, helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 701 reviews

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Swelling above the belly button 4 weeks postop

+1
One of the great challenges in plastic surgery is patience.  Four weeks out is still very early. The issue you describe is likely from one of a few possible causes. The most likely are A normal byproduct of the surgery, either because of postoperative swelling or the tissue in that area being a little bunched up because it is not released as thoroughly as lower tissue.  Both are likely to resolve in time.
The others will become more likely if the issue isn't resolved by three or perhaps even six months postoperatively. Be patient and know that it will very possibly get better on its own.
Best,
Dr. Pyle

Jeremy Pyle, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Above belly button swelling 4 weeks post op.

+1
A tummy tuck procedure takes more them 4 weeks to fully recover and if in conjunction a hernia repair you should allow your body up to 8 to 10 weeks if then you still don't see any improvement! Have a follow up with your surgeon. 

Mel T. Ortega, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 142 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.