Can a Person Get Fluid in the Lungs After a Tummy Tuck?

Doctor Answers 5


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A person can fluid in the lungs after any surgery. This can occur for many reasons including pre-existent heart disease, over hydration with intravenous fluid, and pneumonia, just to name a few. Your surgeon and medical doctor should be able to determine the reason and direct your treatment. Good luck!

Pulmonary Edema or Fluid in the Lungs After Tummy Tuck

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Pulmonary edema or fluid on the lungs is usually due to a problem with the bodies ability to remove fluid or pump fluid. So the common problems are heart disease and kidney disease. A healthy patient undergoing any surgery is unlikely to get fluid on the lungs. With that said there are cases of flash pulmonary edema that have occurred. However, again these are usually associated with underlying diseases.

It is normal for patients after a tummy tuck to have atelectasis or collapse of the bottom of the lungs due to inadequate, deep breathing. This is temporary and easily resolved by deep breathing and walking. This is not the same as fluid on the lungs.

Fluid in the Lungs

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Very difficult to comment on this as it difficult to determine what is exactly meant by your question. But in short, yes. Anytime you have surgery you could have fluid in the lungs and it doesnt matter what the surgery was, a lot depends on the person and what kind of medical condition their heart is in.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Fluid in the lungs after tummy tuck

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The term "fluid in the lungs" can mean many things but most of them could be a results of a tummy tuck or any type of abdominal or chest surgery. It may be due to heart failure, infection, fluid overload or not taking deep breaths.

A board certified plastic surgeon should be able to guide the patient preoperatively, operatively and after the surgery to minimize the possibility of these complications.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Fluid in or outside lungs after a Tummy Tuck rarely occurs

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Fluid IN the lungs = Congestive heart failure, Pneumonia or aspiration
Fluid OUTSIDE the lungs, in the chest cavity = Pleural effusion

Such complications are possible, but very rare. That is why a physical examination is indicated before surgery and your surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis 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.