5 Months Post Tummy Tuck and I Still Swell Everytime I Exercise. is This Normal?

Hi, I had a full tummy tuck 5 months ago with a scar revision on the right side almost two months ago. I still find that when I exercise (I do a lot of yoga) I swell horribly, to the point that I weight 3 or 4 pounds more. I was out of town last weekend and did not exercise at all, and my tummy was completely flat. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 6

Some swelling can still be expected

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The majority of swelling after a tummy tuck should be gone by about 3 months after surgery.  It may take a bit longer if a significant amount of liposuction was done.  In your case the selling is intermittent and temporally associated with vigorous exercise (yoga).  This can also be normal and will take more time to abate, perhaps up to 12 months.  Appreciate that you are perhaps more in touch with your body and your core than most people, especially if you have been practicing yoga for a long time.  I have had several patients who are yoga instructors tell me that it took them six months to even 18 months before they did not feel any residual what so ever of the tummy tuck.  That is not to say you can not continue being active (you should be active) but that because you a so active and had a big operation, it may take a little more time than usual to feel and respond like you are accustomed to intense exercise.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Tummy swelling after exercise

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This is most likely to be normal for someone who had extensive surgery, revision and then exercises a lot. However, your surgeon is in the best position to evaluate whether it is normal for you or not. So set up an appointment to see him or her to discuss your concerns. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Swelling after surgery

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Thanks for your question, swelling after strenous activity can occur for up to year becuase the lymphatics are not completely healed.  I personally do not like patients to do yoga or pilates where they extend their abdomen (stretch backwards and out) for at least year, but you should discuss with your plastic surgeon.  Finally if your scar revision was a large one, your entire abdomen can act like surgery is only two months out.  Good luck.

Swelling after a tummy tuck

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Results after an extensive procedure such as a full tummy tuck can take several months.  Swelling can last for a long time as your body recovers from the procedure.  Patients sometimes can have some areas of stubborn swelling that last up to a year or even longer.  Exercise can worsen this swelling.  Your body should eventually develop new drainage channels to help deal with the swelling.  If you are still concerned, re-visit with your plastic surgeon so he can do a thorough exam.  Good luck!

Abdominal swelling after tummy tuck

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Thank you for the question. What you are describing does not seem normal. Usually swelling subsides overtime. My advice for you is to address your question and concern with your plastic surgeon. Your exercise seems to be contributing to the swelling and you may want to less yoga at this time. Best wishes.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Swelling after Exercise 5 Months after Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question.

As you can imagine, I cannot provide you with precise advice/information online.  Your plastic surgeon will be in the best position to advise you.

However, generally speaking,  It is possible to have ongoing swelling ( increased after exercise) even 5 months after tummy tuck  surgery;  it may take several additional months and even over one year for lymphatic and venous channels to perform their functions normally.

 Hope this helps.

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.