4 Month Post Op and Look Pregnant?

I had a full tummy tuck with liposuction to the abdomen 4 months ago and just today I've swollen up to the point that I look 5/6 months pregnant and I am very uncomfortable. What could be causing this and what should I do? Thank you

Doctor Answers 5

Swollen after a tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question.  At four months after surgery all should be looking great.  It could be due to a variety of causes like weight gain, suture repair failure, water retention , and even constipation.  If if does go down I would see your plastic surgeon for advice.  You may require and exam to determine the cause.  Good luck

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

4 Month Post Op and Look Pregnant?

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I am not sure that I understand the timing here. Although you don't specifically mention it,I think that the current appearance is sudden after perhaps looking OK for 4 months.

If that is correct, the two main possibilities that come to mind are

  • seroma
  • break down of muscle tightening

Best advice is to make an appointment with your surgeon. This can't be diagnoses on line, but should be easy to sort out in the office. 

Thank you for your question, best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Extremely Swollen 4 months after liposuction and tummy tuck

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               Although anything is possible, failure of plication sutures would be most likely.  If you press on your abdominal wall where you have the bulge and everything feels loose you have made the diagnosis.  I saw you were going to see your plastic surgeon.

Sudden swelling

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Thank your for the question.  Sudden swelling after a tummy tuck is most likely a seroma.  A hematoma is a collection of blood and at 4 months is very rare.  Certainly intra-abdominal bloating such as gas or constipation could also be the cause but there would be additional symptoms.  Separation of the abdominal muscles is yet another possibility and a pseudobursa is yet another.  As you can see, the possibilities are many and a thorough evaluation by your plastic surgeon will be needed.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta 

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Swelling After Tummy Tuck Has Many Causes

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Pre-op Intra-abdominal fat, weight gain, swelling, bloating and failure of the plication sutures are the most common causes of a protruding abdomen after a tummy tuck.  Discussing this matter further with your surgeon will help you to understand why your results do not meet your expectations.  Best wishes!

George Bitar, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 59 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.