Back/mainly flank swelling near ends of tummy tuck incision 3 months post op. Is this something that will take time to heal?

had breast and tummy with muscle repair. I didn't have really any fat so the flanks are not fat. They actually get sore when they seem to swell. Its the weirdest thing I have seen since the pockets seem to flap over my pants. Its so weird and I know not normal part of me but post surgery I think. Is this something that will take time to heal or should I help by loading up on fluids or certain vitamins...maybe massaging those areas? These so called "fuild flaps" on my flanks are jiggly too.

Doctor Answers 3

Swelling 3 months after tummy tuck

Thank you so much for your question about your tummy tuck.

Yes, swelling will cause soreness as it stretches the muscle. And it will cause skin to bulge out.
The 'jiggling' is from fluid. And time and massage should help this. But if it isn't slowly, steadily improving, you should see your surgeon to be checked.

Here’s hoping you find this helpful. Have a great day!

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Tummy Tuck Incision 'Swelling' At Ends

You would have to supply a picture that shows the flank problem for an accurate answer. But most likely these are skin flaps known as dog ears that lie beyond the ends of the tummy tuck incision. They are not apparent before surgery because the extra skin and fat in the front hide them. But when the front becomes flatter and more firm, bulges on the side can 'appear'.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Flank bulges after tummy tuck

Hi and thanks for your question. 

The "fluid flaps" at either end of your incision are unlikely to be fluid if they are ~symmetrical and located at either end of your scar. More likely, they represent residual excess spare skin in the flank region that wasn't removed at the time of your surgery. This is particularly likely if you can still see and grasp them when lying flat on your back. If this is the case then it is likely further surgery will be required to extend your scar slightly and remove the additional skin. If these "flaps" contain a reasonable amount of adipose tissue (fat) then a significant improvement could be expected with liposuction alone, often as a local anaesthetic procedure. Your specialist Plastic Surgeon is the best person to guide you through this process, you're in good hands. 

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.