Will I ever feel that my tummy tuck was worth it? (Photo)

Im just very concerned about how my stomach looks. I had my abdominalplasty on July 26th. I am 3 weeks post op. At first my stomach was so flat. But soon I saw the total opposite. My drains were removed on day 14. I cam tell a huge difference in my flanks where the liposuction was done, but my stomach looks like I have a baby bump. My doctor told me I was still swollen. Im just curious. When will I notice a change in my belly? It looks like I had nothing done.

Doctor Answers 7

Will I ever feel that my tummy tuck was worth it?

At three weeks you are very early in the recovery process. Swelling will continue to settle with time. Follow up with your surgeon to address your concerns. 

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 415 reviews

3 weeks post op, some advices:

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.
At this point (3 weeks post-po) the swelling is normal.
To reduce it, I recommend you perform daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the abdomen and wear a postoperative girdle from thigh to the breasts.

Kind regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Will I ever feel that my tummy tuck was worth it?

Thank you for sharing your question and photographs and I am sorry that your current result has not been what you anticipated. What you are most likely experiencing is the swelling that accompanies a large procedure like a tummy tuck.  This will improve spontaneously given enough time but it would be best to use a compression garment to help minimize the swelling that fluctuates during the day.  Hang in there and allow your results more time to mature.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews


It is important to wear your compression garment and follow up with your surgeon so he can monitor your healing.  You should start feeling better soon.  It takes weeks to months to see the final result.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Tummy tuck post op

Thank you for your question.  You are not alone and the situation you are concerned with is part of the recovery process.  Swelling will usually always travel down due to gravity.  Eventhough it probably seems like an eternity, 3 weeks is very early after an abdominoplasty.  Patience as the swelling resolves can be the hardest part!  Keep regular follow up appts with your surgeon and many times compressive garments can help reduce the swelling and speed up the recovery process.  At about 6 months you will usually have more of an idea how your abdomen will look.  Hang in there and good luck.

John McFate, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Tummy Tuck Recovery

Please don't stress too much.  You are EXACTLY on schedule for what I call the "little pooch" that gets so many patients upset at the 2-3 week postop mark.  This is actually swelling that will dissipate with time.  I typically recommend wearing a compression garment that incorporates the groin and lower tummy at this point - like a "panty girdle".  You will start feeling much better about things at about the 6 week mark.  Just hang in there....and Good Luck!

Thomas P. Sterry, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Post-Op Tummy Tuck Healing

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.I do not use drains any more with this procedure and have switched from pain pumps to Exparel  which is a long acting injectable pain medicine like Lidocaine or Marcaine but lasts for three days. This is injected all along the muscle and skin to provide pain relief.   This is termed the Pain-less, Drainless Tummy Tuck. If you go to a doctor who uses #drains, they usually stay in 3-5 days but may be required to remain in longer. 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. If you are looking to relieve your swelling and scars yourself there are some options in the following paragraph.
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.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

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.