Belly Button Pain and Swelling Four Weeks After Tummy Tuck and Lipo

I am four weeks post op from a tummy tuck and lipo. I am experiencing a bit of discomfort in my belly button, ands welling more in my lower abdomen. I find that my swelling is not that bad in the morning, but as the day goes on i do have a substantial amount of swelling by the evening. My plastic surgeon did examine me two weeks ago and i do not have a seroma. Is this type of swelling and discomfort in my belly button normal at this stage in my recovery? what can i do to help w/swelling.

Doctor Answers 4

Discomfort after Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

Dear Zina,

With regards to the swelling, it sounds like a fairly routine recovery.  All water rolls downhill, and the body is no exception.  After you have been standing all day, the fluid in your body will roll down to the lowest portion of your body.  This is why your feet swell up to a certain degree at the end of the day.  Your tummy now has a new lower boundary at the level of your incision, above which the swelling fluid will pool in your tissues.  Although you may have a persistent level of swelling day and night (which should steadily be improving with time), it will worsen at the end of the day and improve after you lay down at night.  Your belly button discomfort may be due to several reasons, which may include what was done internally to the belly button or what was done at the level of the skin.  However, if your discomfort is steadily improving and you do not have any signs of infection or skin loss, then this should continue to improve.  As my colleagues have already stated, gentle compression is great at decreasing your swelling and giving you support that decreases discomfort.  Best wishes with your recovery.

Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Abdominal swelling after tummy tuck

Obviously, it is important to rule out any sort of infectious issue or a seroma, both of which can be assessed by an examination by your surgeon. Intermittent swelling can otherwise occur at your stage of recovery and can persist to some degree for potentially months. Usually , it will eventually resolve. I would suggest you continue to wear a lightweight compression garment for the next several months , which may help hasten its resolution.

David A. Bottger, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Belly Button Pain and Swelling Four Weeks After Tummy Tuck and Lipo

The question is if the pain in the belly button is increasing, decreasing or staying the same.  You should follow up with your surgeon to be sure that you do not have an infection or seroma.  If it has been 3 weeks since he evaluated you, things could change.  You should be pleased, your results look excellent!

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Support for tenderness and swelling after tummy tuck

The simple answer to early tenderness and swelling in tummy tuck is support. The binder is key, hard to sleep in and keep low over the hip, yet very important in relieving swelling and providing comfort. After two weeks, you might try a very snug Spanx if the binder will not stay in place.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 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.