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Words of Warning About Swelling from a Tummy Tuck

I want to put this at the top because nobody will...

I want to put this at the top because nobody will tell you this before you get it done: you will still have swelling YEARS after a tummy tuck! Not maybe or a few people but you WILL. This was the biggest surprise for me: when I went to forums and found out this was normal but no one told me at the time. Everybody should know this because I might not have done this if I’d known. I am 15 months post-op FTT. I went in for the usual reasons and I do like my results. I am much thinner and I have my figure back. Don’t get me wrong because I do enjoy this and consider it a good thing.

The surgery did as advertised.

The tummy tuck I think is just too invasive. Your body will never adjust completely to the new way you are, which is why you swell. Things like sodium are a big no-no. Your body will retain fluid and it will take up residence in your belly. Your lifestyle may have to change too. I used to always sleep on my right side; it’s just where I was most comfortable. I can’t do that now because I will wake up crooked in the belly area. That is something to have to explain! Then there’s the activity levels too. You get a tummy tuck to stay thin, right? Well, exercising makes you fat. Seriously. Whenever I walk or do any hard activity (e.g. heavy gardening), my belly swells. It may stay like that for days too. These are all things the nurses will sorta almost tell you but you have to experience it to get the full extent.

My advice: if you want to be thinner and think you can deal with changing your lifestyle in bizarre ways then by all means, go for the tummy tuck. It does work and I won’t lie about that. I just wish I’d known all this stuff first.

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i had tummy tuck and lipo a year ago and iam still so swoolen i look preagnent what should i do
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I had my full tummy tuck, with no lipo, my doctor wont do lipo on the stomach at the same time. Anyway, I had mine done 3/27/13. Best decision I ever made. I am a 33 year old female, I had three pregnancies, 2 of which were C-sections. After that my belly looked horrible from the stretch marks and the huge hangover, I use to call that my pouch. Anyway, I think its all about your doctor. I made sure to do loads of research and only would deal with a board certified plastic surgeon, with excellent reviews. I had it done in Chicago, Illinois by Dr. David Ross. Excellent Doctor. I had swelling up until about a month ago. Then all of a sudden I just stopped swelling. Sometimes when I exercise and work my abs too much it swells for that day but usually when I wake up the next morning it has gone back down completely flat. I love my tummy tuck!! If you are going days upon days with no relief from the swelling, you should call your doctor that performed your surgery. Maybe you have fluid somewhere it shouldn't be and it needs to be aspirated. Sounds unusual but there are some rare cases where things like that happen. I could be completely off but just throwing out ideas. Whatever it is though does require medical attention. Also have it been swollen like that since day one post surgery? In the earlier months post surgery I was extremely swollen too, but as the months went by I would have days where I would swell at all, days where I'd wake up flat and by day break I'd be swollen, and even days I'd wake up feeling like a freaking balloon.
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i had a tummy tuck and lipo done in april 2013, and i could not be anymore pleased. i had such a wonderful doctor and his staff that works with him as well. one thing i do suggest is that if you are thinking about doing it do your research on your doctor you chose. make sure they are board certified. i went to dr. donaldson in columbus ohio and he is just the best. he removed about 98 % of my stretch marks my scare is very small and i was up walking around the very next day.i still swell a little but that is expected for your first year my stomach and hips look amazing and i can now wear the clothes i used to wear before i had kids, well maybe not the same kind i am 21 yrs older now.i am going back to my doctor to have my breast lifted in april of next year because he wont do another surgery until i am completely heeled and thats another way i know he was a good choice, he is not out for the money but to help people look and feel good about themselves.some people also think that when you get a tummy tuck done you will lose all kinds of weight but that is not true. you will look thinner due to all the extra skin and fat removed.
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I will be 3 weeks post op in two days and yes I swell but I would never put my belly back the way it was to get rid of the swelling. I feel fabulous and even the most swollen times I still look so thin...I have a two pack already! I can't exercise yet but I will come. I am up driving and doing stuff with my kids already. Yes I tire easy but that's just the name of the game. Everyone is different. I don't swell anymore or any less with what I eat. I am so happy I did this for me!
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so nice to hear! Thankyou SexyWolf for sharing :)
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Everyone is absolutely different. I had my tummy tuck March 27, 2013. All the talk about how horrible the pain was gonna be, and how some people got sick, had me scared!! But I never had any problems like most have with the day 3 pain, or feeling sick. Maybe it depends on the Dr. you go to. Who knows why. But I am 2 months post op and have 23 more days til my 3 month point. I don't even feel like I had anything invasive done. I felt like this at week 3 and beyond. Except for the fact that I look fabulous in ALL of my clothes!! And of course the scar. I purchased the gel compression garment from Amazon. And my scar looks better and better everyday. I have days when I swell, but still when I look at my before pictures, even swollen, I look loads better!!! and nowhere near what I used to look like. It changed my life and a very positive way. If I had to do it all over again, I would do it a heartbeat!
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Hi there! I am 9 days post op. I'm feeling good, but swelling as expected. Can you post the link to the gel compression garment? Thanks!
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Also just wanted to say check out the profile of 4MEK - a great example how we are all different and how amazing some can look! She has the most amazing abs at 7months PO.
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I agree with Nennie, it depends on the person and I'm sure what is done, for example a lot of muscle repair is going to take longer to recover from than a TT without repair. Prior to surgery I'd get more swollen/bloated during the evening. This still happens. I'd also get more swollen if I ate a lot of food. This still happens. At present I'm nearly 5 wks PO and I'm obviously still swollen but its not terrible and I'm not in pain. Would I do this again? Absolutely!
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I am 5 1/2 weeks post FTT w/muscle repair. I am still a little sore but not much swelling. I am chipping and putting with no pain and increasing my swing daily. I had sagging skin after several surgeries and after making a lifestyle change to body build 9 months ago that was my last step. I feel great and my tummy is thin and the muscles that were already there are actually starting to show(bc swelling is almost gone). I am back in the gym for very light workouts. I am taking things slow and being patient with my recovery. I am listening to my body(if it hurts dont do it) and have continued a healthy diet. I hope to continue to do well and that this post may help encourage someone. Nita
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To be honest I think it depends on the person. I'm only 4 weeks PO and I get very little swelling, in fact I didn't stop all day yesterday, house top to bottom, nearly a two hour dog walk and out for a 3 course not healthy meal. I haven't changed my diet at all and got my drains out 2 days PO. I'm slightly concerned that when I lose the binder in two more weeks that i will swell like a balloon but will deal with it then. All I really get is a firmer tummy below belly button from time to time. I did have full TT (fleur di lis) with muscle repair and lots of thin skin removed so was quite extensive!! I feel so bad for thoses people who do suffer with bad swelling as you can see their morning and evening pics and the difference is huge!! For now I shall keep my fingers crossed I continue as I am but thought I'd show it can go either way but agree everyone should know how good/bad it can be.
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Hi, I am years out. I am not swelling up any longer but it did take time. I am happy with my results but do want to go in for a touch up lipo on my stomach. Feels good not to have to tuck in my fat like before. I do have nerve damage and am numb on my rt upper leg. This, to me is a small price to pay as it is not bothersome and I was warned/ advised it could happen. I still have a scar that is extremely noticable but again, I don't plan on being in a bikini so it doesn't bother me. It will evevtually fade, but for me it just is taking a bit longer than others. My only regret is that I did not do this years and years ago.
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Very encouraging 9850.... =)
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Do you still have swelling? By what year has it resolved (if it has)? Is there a time where the swelling becomes greater than usual? Thanks for the response. I had a tummy tuck 3 months ago and am regretting the trauma I have put my body through to look "good". I really think these plastic surgeons have you sign what could happen and minimize the potential that they will happen. For me it was a very short sighted decision. Your body is the only thing staying with you this whole lifetime. Why make it work less efficiently to look good. Seems dumb in hindsight.
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Give yourself time. 3 months is nothing.
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Your Doctor should of told you that it was possible that he might not be able to get all the fat and rather or not you were to over weight to get good results I would not pay him twice but maybe look at an other surgeon to fix it. Do some research on him and see if he has other compaints maybe you can get him to do it for free and fix what he started.

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Jenn I know...well he only took 1 3/4 lb of skin so I didnt think I had "so much fat". He should have been able to get it the first time. I dont like him at all and am kicking myself for going to him, but I want the job done right after all Ive been through. Its been a horrible experience with him. He isnt charging me a fee to do it but I do have to pay for surgery center and anetheseia...so dumb! Thanks for the comment
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If your not ok with this doctor than for sure don't go back and if your not pleased with his work he did on you than you might have to go somewhere else to have it fixed I know it sucks to have to spend money on someone else mistake. But if its that bad than you should fix it there are still plenty of good Dr's out there you might want to look into a lawyer to see if you can at least get reimbursed for your cost.

But don't give. You can ask for all of your before and after photos and any other photos that were taken during the surgery. To have a reference. 

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I doubt a lawyer can do anything. I know i signed a release on if i needed more surgery itbwould be the cost on me.Vgood luck
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I am 5 months post op and my upper and lower muscles still really hurt. My lower ab area is hard and swollen...I look 3 months preganant not kidding! Im really discouraged and sad....anyone else deal with this? My ps said I still have alot of fat he couldnt get during surgery which makes me mad. I have to pay another $800 for anthesesia for him to go in and touch up with lipo. (anyone had to do that?) how painful is it? How long are you down for? I hate this!
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i had a tt and micro body lipo i am 9 wks out and i feel great my scar is still red and sencitive and i still have some numb areas but i am down 1 more pant size i still have a little swelling and one side seems to be puffy but not a big deal i was told that it takes up to six months to see complete results i still wear a compression to bed and a girrdle 24-7 i only remove to shower i was told that i can stop wearing it but i am very comfortable in it and i hear that the longer the better . i look great and it is much better than that skin i had hanging on my abs i am able to srart walking again i was running 5 miles a day pre surg now trying to get back into the running again . i am 36 yrs old and i feel like im 25again i also had breast implants done and the look fabules hang in there and give it some time to heal and speek to your dr about any concerns
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I am not 6 months out and do have swelling if I eat to much salt..but who doesn't. And even when I feel like my stomach so swollen I still wearing my sexy new size 6 jeans instead of my size 14 jeans before surgery. And I weight the exact same as the day I went into surgery. This is no means a weight loss sugery but it does shape your body and your jeans size goes way down. My doctor office said by month 12 when all swelling is done I probably be in a size 4.
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wow.. if you did your homework before yourll know what it takes awhile for swelling to go down. Its major surgery! 6-12 months. And nothing is promised, at least thats how i feel. I am getting my in a month and is very excited. i lost 50lbs and in pretty good shape, but my tummy doesnt want to change. i have 2 kids
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Hey guys my tt was so worth it in the end its been over a year now . It took my till atleast 7 months later that this op wasn't gonna make me thin haha so now I excercise most days just runnin realy an now I can see the benefits my legs are goin a lot slimmer am my tt is amazin as for the lipo I can still remember the pain an would never do it again but even a year later my stomach still swell when I've been runnin but it goes down during day xxxx
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Is it just your stomach that swells? I met a girl that said her vagina was so swollen she looked like she had testicles. WEIRD and scary. This concerns me and wondering if I really want to do it. Its such a risk.
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