I think I might have a hematoma or can it be a seroma on my lower right abdomen above my incision? (Photos)

I am 2 months post op went in to see my pxs because I was concerned about a seroma or hematoma. He told me I just had alot of inflammation. Should I go get a second opinion. The first pic was 3 wks post op and I had swelling on my lower right abdomen since the first day after sx. I am concerned that I will be left with a ledge.I randomly feel sharp pains on that side. Should I be worried, and can this become a health concern? I have an embrace scar patch on, that is why there are ridges on my skin.

Doctor Answers 4

Post op

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you are only 2 months out. probably still swollen and asymmetry not unusual. generally a significant seroma is able to be felt on physical exam. be patient

Newark Plastic Surgeon

Could consider ultrasound if unsure

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Any time you have a change in your recovery with new symptoms or changes in shape or appearance, your best resource is your operating Plastic Surgeon who will be best familiar with your postoperative course and recovery. Two months is relatively early in the recovery from a tummy tuck; I typically like to wait until after 3 or 4 months to take my post-operative pictures as there is still usually a significant amount of swelling at 2 months that needs to resolve.

If your Plastic Surgeon feels it is just post-surgical swelling after examining you, then "watchful waiting" is reasonable. If you are not having fevers and the surrounding skin has a similar appearance, the chance of infection from a fluid collection is low. I would be sure and keep wearing a compression garment to help with the postoperative swelling and lymphatic massage from a qualified provider can also help to hasten the resolution of swelling. If you are absolutely convinced there is fluid in there from a seroma, an ultrasound can quantify it, but one must keep in mind that there is *always* some fluid after a tummy tuck and small collections can and will disappear on their own with just time and appropriate compression garments.

Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/Vaser High Definition Procedures/Tummy Tuck Revision

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I appreciate your question.

Since there has been a change in your post op course, please contact your surgeon so he/she can examine you and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan at this time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Potential Hematoma above Incision

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Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area and the scrotal and penis area for men can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate. You can return to full activity without restrictions at 6 weeks.

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

If you find yourself worried about your incisions as well as any swelling or bruising the best thing to do is to visit your surgeon right away to have the area examined for proper healing. Good luck to you.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 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.