Do you think the bulge in my lower abdomen is swelling, popped stitches, and will it resolve? (photos)

4 weeks post op tt with muscle repair and lipo. I have had a lower abdomen bulge since after surgery. l I wear compression garnet 24/7. My surgeon said it will resolve with time. My abdomen also has a lot of stretch marks and is flaccid.

Doctor Answers 8

Lower Abdomen Bulge?

Yes it appears as if something odd is going on there. Did you have a so called "drainless" tummy tuck? If so then you may have a seroma or collection of fluid under the skin. If it has stayed this way for 4 weeks, then it isn't going away and it needs to be addressed by aspiration of the fluid or placement of a drain. If it is fluid and it is not addressed then it can evolve into something called a chronic bursa which would require surgery to correct. Another possibility is that it is excess residual skin with persistent swelling. If so it may improve some over time but likely will not completely resolve.

Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

When managing weight loss patients

they should be told to anticipate needing revisions and your situation is no different.  Its most likely excess skin that shows itself after the swelling starts to resolve.  With a lot of loose skin, anchor tummy tucks are better for skin removal.  Your results are what I would anticipate after such a procedure.  And your surgeon should be able to tell you whether its skin, fluid or your muscle.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Do you think the bulge in my lower abdomen is swelling, popped stitches, and will it resolve?


It is difficult to tell exactly what is going on, but there is definitely a bulge in the lower abdomen. It could be swelling or a fluid collection.

I would get evaluated ASAP. Your plastic surgeon will be able to tell once he/she sees you. Don't wait.

My best wishes for a speedy recovery...

Kenneth Bermudez, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Abdominal swelling four weeks after tummy tuck procedure?

It is important that you have a face-to-face examination with your surgeon to determine if there might be a fluid collection forming in your lower abdomen (seroma).  If so this would require aspiration and usually resolves without or aggressive treatment.  If not a seroma then you may be suffering from significant postoperative swelling that will hopefully improve dramatically in time.  Four weeks is very early in the healing course after a tummy tuck and significant changes can occur.  Good luck to you.

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

At 4 weeks after tummy tuck you still have swelling

It is possible to see your area of concern in your photos. Without examining you though it is impossible to tell if this is normal swelling, a collection of fluid or seroma, loose skin or muscle looseness. However, your surgeon has done a great job of taking out extra skin without making a fleur de lis incision. My suggestion is that you follow up as your surgeon has requested and that you give yourself more time to heal. Enjoy your results

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Abdominal Bulge


That location is suggestive of a seroma; a collection of fluid under the skin where the drains were originally placed. Go visit your surgeon so that he can examine you.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Lower abdominal swelling after tummy tuck.

Thank you for your question. At just 4 weeks post-op you likely have some residual edema (swelling) within the tissues, causing more fullness. This will continue to resolve slowly over time, but may take another 2-3 months to resolve completely. Thereafter, your surgeon can make a much more accurate assessment to determine if any revision surgery is indicated. Congratulations on your successful weight loss & surgery.

Michael F. Bohley, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tummy tuck

The bulge is simply your natural fat that was under the skin when the skin was above your belly button. It can be removed by liposuction or further surgery, but there is also swelling and you should wait about 2 more months before making any decisions. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.