Is it Normal To Look Pregnant 3-4 Months Post Tummy Tuck?

Doctor Answers 13

Looking Pregnant after Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question.

No, it is not “normal” to look pregnant 3 to 4 months after tummy tuck surgery. Obviously, based on your question, you must have concerns about your situation;  these concerns would be best addressed by your plastic surgeon who will have the benefit of examining you and determining whether your  “look” is related to significant swelling or whether you are experiencing a complication.

Although it is not possible to give you precise advice regarding your situation, abdominalwall "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 helps.

Is it Normal To Look Pregnant 3-4 Months Post Tummy Tuck?

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No it really should not be looking like that....But..I have seen patients that have such a curve to their lower back (sway back or lumbar lordosis) that no amount of sutures can overcome their poor posture...If that is not the case then you should see your surgeon as to his/her opinion...An ultrasound is inexpensive and can rule out a seroma or not....

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Not sure what you mean,

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do you mean that you have a swollen belly or that you're literally pregnant, please give more details than those to assess your case better.

Fluid Collection after Tummy Tuck

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While some swelling is normal after a tummy tuck, you seem to have fluid collection which can be treated by your plastic surgeon. Contact your surgeon, and request your surgeon to evaluate you.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Possible Fluid Build up

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Everything is relative depending on the size of your stomach to begin with but most likely you might have what we call a seroma or fluid that has collected and needs to be drained or the muscle tightening was incomplete or did not hold.

John S. Poser, MD
Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

A significant increase in swelling after a tummy tuck should be investigated

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A gradual increase in swelling that is significant after a tummy tuck should be investigated as there might be a correctable cause.  If you are indeed not pregnant an have not gained weight, the two most common causes of this is often either a seroma or a pseudobursa.  A combination of your history and physical examination should shed some light on this.  A seroma should be repeatedly drained until it no longer collects while a pseudobursa often will require removal via a complete abdominoplasty revision.


All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

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

It is not normal to look pregnant 3 to 4 months after a tummy tuck.

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Whereas there is a little residual swelling several months after a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), looking pregnant is not a good sign.  Most patients look flat and are at full activity 3 months after the operation.

Swelling after a tummy tuck

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Swelling after a tummy tuck is normal, but if you have a significant amount of swelling you may have a fluid collection that can be treated by your plastic surgeon.

Looking Pregnant 4 months AFTER a Tummy Tuck

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Looking Pregnant 4 months after a Tummy Tuck is NOT normal  and is an indication of things going wrong.A patient who suffers no surgical complications commonly yield a flat tummy. Most likely complications to have such an appearance could be either a  fluid collection (seroma) and or disruption of the muscle repair. You should see your Plastic surgeon and have him examine you.

Shape of abdomen 3-4 months after tummy tuck

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In general, in 3-4 months after tummy tuck you should see the good results of the surgery and not to look pregnant. Having said that, you still have to talk to your plastic surgeon about the results. In some patient were the muscle was not plicated in the midline  will see a bulge in the lower abdomen around that time from surgery. 

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic 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.