What should I do about fluid incased between skin and muscle after tummy tuck and lipo? (photo)

I had tummy tuck with lipo and BL on 6/2/2013. Ever since I have worn a compression garment or abdominal binder. I have developed a larger amount of fluid between the skin and muscle . CT scan confirmed this. My binder is causing pinching type pains when I wear it and compression garment doesn't feel as supportive as it should. Please help as I am waiting on an appointment with plastic surgery but have a few more days and the pain driving me mad.

Doctor Answers 6

Healing and Fluid Concern after a Mommy Makeover

Your #healing will continue for 2-3 months for the early period. This includes some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation in the breasts may also be abnormal and scars will be evolve. Tingling, burning or shooting pains in the breasts will disappear with time and should not alarm you. It is simply a result of the regeneration of your sensory nerves. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self-massage per your surgeon's permission may help.

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks. #MummyTummy is a term given to modified tummy tucks which can use liposuction and skin tightening with radiofrequency such Vanquish, Vela3, thermage, thermiRF and others.  The actual fat contouring can be done non-surgically as well with #UltraShape or Cool-Sculpting. If you have any concerns about #healing, its best to ask questions of your surgeon or their nursing staff.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Seroma or hematoma after mommy makeover should be surgically drained.

If you have of fluid accumulation deep to the skin this should be surgically drained. Most of the time this can be done in the office.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Fluid After Tummy Needs Drainage

Well, fluid collection right after surgery is not that uncommon and is treated with simple aspiration in the office. Several treatments may be necessary, and steroid injections can also help. For you, it has been such a long time after surgery that surgical removal of the tissue (scar) surrounding the fluid will be required.  Without additional liposuction, the area should heal quite easily this time!  Your plastic surgeon can give you the best advice after seeing you.

Randy J. Buckspan, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Fluid after tummy tuck

  • It sounds as though you have a seroma (fluid collection),
  • Drainage in the office repeatedly immediately after surgery is the usual treatment, 
  • The garment will not help you now - if it is causing pain, stop using it,
  • Call your surgeon to discuss the pain,
  • You will probably need surgical drainage of the seroma.

What should I do about fluid incased between skin and muscle after tummy tuck and lipo?

Why the time delay??? You need immediate operative drainage in my opinion. But maybe you have not told the whole story??? 

Prolonged Swelling Following Tummy Tuck and Lipo

I am sorry to hear you are experiencing such a long recovery following your surgery.  Based your description it sounds like you have a chronic seroma (fluid collection between skin and muscle layers).  This is always a potential, but infrequent, risk of liposuction and particularly of a tummy tuck.  Continued compression is unlikely to correct this and is probably not of much benefit at this late stage.  If you still have a seroma eight months following surgery confirmed by CT scan, then surgical treatment is usually the best option for correcting the problem. Good luck to you.

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 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.