Tummy Tuck Swell Hell & Pain~what Do I Do? (photo)

tummy tuck, implants & supposed to have thigh reduction, dr decided not to do thigh lift just lipo & look even worse(dec 10/12) Issue right now tho is uneven hard lumpy swelling (?) above tummy incision. I wore garment religiously, had lymph massages but still no joy. Due to PS location in comparison to me, I'm unable to just go & see him. Stomach always hurts,still feels weak. Fairly athletic I'm 5'5/135lbs. I don't do excessive exercise as well it hurts to damn much. Frustrated.what can I do?

Doctor Answers 3

Persistant pain and swelling following an abdominoplasty

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You may just have some degree of loose skin or there may be excessive or prolonged swelling of the lower portion of the abdominal flap.  In any event you should be seen again by your plastic surgeon as it is not common to have pain 6 months after the procedure.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Trouble After Tummy Tuck

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Let's address three things.  First, the appearance in the photos you posted look quite reasonable.  The contour of your belly button (umbilicus) looks very good in the top view.  The scar is also about what you would expect.  Your abdomen looks flat and there is no overhang of belly over the scar.  I would need to see the preop photos to be sure, but cosmetically I think this is a good result.

The lumpy swelling could be from two causes.  One is something called 'fat necrosis'.  When the fat doesn't have a good blood supply it can die and be replaced by fibrous tissue.  It feels firm and does take several months to soften.  It could also be from unusually dense scarring.  Every individual makes scar to a different degree.  In either case, it usually takes 6 months for the scar to fully soften and it will continually remodel - although you won't see any changes after two years.

The last concern was the pain and weakness.  The weakness is most likely due to the pain - if it hurts you can't apply as much force as you would like - your body is protecting itself.  The pain can be from a variety of causes but they are all related to scarring.  The small nerves can be scared to the abdominal wall, the fascia can be scarred to the muscles, etc.  Fortunately this almost always resolves.  If not, your plastic surgeon may want to refer you to a physical therapist although this is rarely ever required.

I hope this helps.   Good luck to you.

Al Rosenthal, MD
Lawrenceville Plastic Surgeon

Frustrating postop period

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Thanks for sending pic and ? It is hard to comment on the result without seeing your preop pics. I sometimes have patients that have some firmness in the incision or just above it. There are some long term dissolving sutures that will go away and this will soften up. Your plastic surgeon is really the only one that can explain it to you with regard to the technique used in your case. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 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.