Can a tummy tuck affect the colon?

I am having the same issue, when I eat my upper back swells and my lower abdomin is blocked, its been seven days and I an unable to go

Doctor Answers 4

Can a tummy tuck affect the colon?

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In our experience tummy tuck dose not affect the colon, though pain medication after can cause constipation. We cannot know just what is up with limited information so it is best to call your surgeon and see how he might help out.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Can a Tummy Tuck Affect the Colon?

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Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate. You can return to full activity without restrictions at 6 weeks.

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

Now, with these typical healing process issues there is much to be said for your concerns about the possible relation to your surgery for the colon trouble you are feeling. It would be good to visit your surgeon for a follow-up exam to make sure that all healing is progressing well and that your colon has not been affected by your surgery. 

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Tummy Tuck Affect the Colon?

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Thank you for your question.

It is common for surgery to affect bowel habits, both because of anesthesia, and the postoperative pain medication slowing down the bowels.  I would contact your surgeon to discuss the issue, and they may recommend things you can do to improve your bowel function.


Dr. Dan Krochmal

MAE Plastic Surgery

Northbrook, IL

Daniel Krochmal, MD
Chicago General Surgeon

Can a tummy tuck affect the colon?

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I am sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing.  Much of the appropriate course of action will depend on how  long ago the tummy tuck procedure was performed. You will find that this forum is not your best source for medical assessment/advice. The limited information transmitted here will  not allow for accurate diagnosis or advice.

Given your description, I would suggest that you seek immediate attention from your family practitioner or internist.  The "blockage" needs to be cleared before you have a serious complication.  Then, you may need to have a  gastrointestinal good work up (gastrointestinal referral?).  Again, exactly what course of action should be taken will depend on information ( history and physical examination) transmitted through the in-person consultation.

 Generally, for the benefit of patients who undergo tummy tuck surgery: best not to assume, especially in the longer term, that any gastrointestinal difficulties are related to the previous procedure.  In other words, best not to let the previous tummy tuck operation delay a good medical workup. Best wishes.

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.