4 Weeks Post Op Tummy Tuck Without Girdle for 24 Hours Now Very Swollen. Normal?

Doctor Answers 7

Swelling of the lower abdomen 4 weeks after an abdominoplasty

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You may be experiencing some degree of dependent edema.  The incision itself acts like a dam and the lower part of the abdomen can become swollen.  This is especially likely if you have been very active.   The swelling is usually better in the morning when you first get up and gets worse during the day.   Massage is helpful but it usually just takes time, about 3 months, for this to improve.  You should be aware of any other problems such as infection as the cause.  If there is concern then contact your plastic surgeon.  

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Swelling after Tummy tuck Surgery

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Thank you for your question.

Some swelling may be normal.  Because you say "very swollen", it may be in your best interest to go see your plastic surgeon to make sure that your recovery is normal for 4 weeks post op.

Best wishes.

Swelling 4 weeks post op tummy tuck?

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This depends on a lot of variables.  This could just be normal swelling if you 'over did it' without the binder, vs. a real problem.  Only a good physical exam can show that.  If this swelling does not resolve with putting the binder back on, contact your plastic surgeon to be assess.  Also, if any redness is in the area, your plastic surgeon should assess this as well.

Best Wishes!

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Very Swollen. Normal?

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Not much to go on here in the way of information. A photo would help. If this was a dramatic change over a single day, I would worry about a fluid collection, and a call to your surgeon is in order. 

Thanks and best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Swollen After Removal of Girdle Following Tummy Tuck

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    This could be normal.   Removal of a garment at this point should cause swelling.  However, it is impossible to tell from the information listed if something else could be causing the swelling.

Swelling after abdominplasty

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Healing tissues follow their biologic rythm. At six weeks you have maximal swelling and scarring in the tissues. the skin tha has been elevated and brought down has lost its initial vessel connection and drainage to the musles below, and the "cut" of the surgery is still healing and the blood vessels have not crossed through the scar. Smaller veins have to carry out more blood and fluids then they had to before the surgery. All this needs adaptation and time. In my experience it is after two months that you can start to see decrease of the swelling. In the meantime, anything yu do that may cut down the return of the blood back or that increases the blood coming to the skin will cause variation in the swelling.

M. Vincent Makhlouf, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Swelling after "tummy tuck" surgery

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Swelling after abdominoplasty surgery is certainly a part of the recovery process and can vary in degrees from person to person. It is certainly reasonable to be still swollen at 4 weeks postop. I tell my patients that they should expect to be swollen for several months. You should be concerned if your swelling is worsening and not improving overtime, or if it is associated with worsening tenderness, or even a fever. If you do have any of those associated signs then you should inform your surgeon.

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.