Is It Hard to Breathe After a Tummy Tuck?

Doctor Answers 5

Tummy Tuck Side Effects

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For several days after a tummy tuck, things will be very tight and it may be difficult to take a really deep breath.  However, if you're finding it difficult to take shallow breaths or you experience extreme pain with each breath, call your plastic surgeon immediately.

Difficulty breathing after a Tummy Tuck

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Generally speaking, yes, patients complain of difficulty breathing and early satiety after meals. This is typically due to the tightening achieved via the muscle repair with secondary decreased respiratory compliance. Kind of similar to wearing a very tight girdle. This will generally ease after 2-3 months unless you gain weight in which case, it could persist.

However, this could be a sign of a much more serious and potentially life threatening condition called pulmonary embolism secondary to deep venous thrombosis. Other causes include fluid retention in the lungs or even fat embolism. Notify your surgeon immediately and describe your symptoms in greater detail.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Breathing after a tummy tuck

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It should not be hard to breathe after a tummy tuck. You definitely willhave some soreness which will get better usually within tthe first week or so.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Not usually hard to breathe after Tummy Tuck

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Part of the art of plastic surgery is judging things correctly...for example, how tight should the muscular repair should be in a tummy tuck. If it is too tight, breathing issues may occur. This is very uncommon in experienced hands.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Difficulty breathing after a tummy tuck

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Tummy tucks are a very popular and effective way to contour the abdomen. Patients undergoing this procedure should understand that there is a significant recovery process afterwards. If you're having difficulty breathing after a tummy tuck the most important step is to find out why. Usually mealy present your plastic surgeon and describe your concerns. One of the known risks after abdominal surgery like a tummy tuck is the development of a clot in the lower extremity which can also travel to the lungs. This will be the most important cause that your plastic surgeon will want to determine. Another possible reason might be over tightening of the abdominal muscle wall during the surgery. Your surgeon will want to assess for both these causes so that they can recommend the treatment plan that is best for you.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

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.