Bulging Mid-Section After Full Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I had a TT approximately 3 1/2 month ago, I have a bulge from the top to bottom of my stomach, it is soft one day & hard the next. My PS says it's inflamed & to keep using my garment. I really am disappointed,stomach & flanks seem to be getting larger. Just wondering is this normal after 3 1/2 months. Should I be worried? Stomach is not flat at all. I have added a pic. I am located in Essex & Union County & am willing and would like to come see another doctor for consultation. Thanks

Doctor Answers 2

Post op results

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Thanks for your question and photo. This is really a hard to answer question without a physical exam. You could have a seroma or hematoma or this could be swelling or extra skin.

Concerns after Tummy Tuck Surgery?

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I am sorry to hear about your concerns after tummy tuck surgery. You are correct, in that online consultants will be of limited help to you. You will be best off seeking additional in person consultations, with board-certified plastic surgeons, for accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Generally speaking, abdominal wall "swelling" after tummy tuck may be related to:

1. Swelling in the soft tissues. This may take several months to resolve and may worsen with increased activity or at the end of the day. Patience is required to allow for resolution of the swelling. The swelling occurs because of the interruption of venous and lymphatic channels that occurs during the tummy tuck operation.

2. Fluid accumulation in the space between the skin and the abdominal wall muscle. this may consist of blood ( hematoma) or serum (seroma). This fluid accumulation can generally be diagnosed by physical examination ( occasionally ultrasound may be helpful). Treatment consists of aspiration; several episodes of aspiration may be necessary.

3. Separation of the abdominal wall muscle repair may lead to a swelling/bulge appearance. This may be diagnosed on physical examination with your surgeon examining you in different bodily positions. One of the steps of a tummy tuck procedure involves reapproximation (plication) of the rectus muscles. These muscles have spread apart during pregnancy and/or weight gain. Bringing them together again in the midline helps to “tighten” the abdominal wall as well as to narrow the waistline.

4. Residual adipose tissue may be confused for swelling. Again this is most easily diagnosed by physical examination. Additional liposuction surgery maybe necessary to improve the results of surgery.

Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year (or greater) a complete skin redraping to occur.

Best wishes.

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.