Difference between swelling and firmness?

Hi , I am 3 weeks post tummy tuck without lipo. I do have firmness (hardness) in lower abdomen (from right lower quadrant to LLQ) does firmness indicate swelling and when the hardness subside will improve the shaped of my abdomen

Doctor Answers 6

Swelling versus firmness

Tissue that is swollen will have some firmness to it.  You should check with your surgeon to make sure you do not have seroma or hematoma.


Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

3 weeks tummy tuck post op. Some advices:

Thanks for sharing your concerns with us. 

I I recommend you to tell yourplastic surgeon and follow his advices.
usually what you are feeling correspond to the normal healing after tummy tuck, I recommend to my patients to perform daily therapy of lymphatic drainage massage over the abdomen and wear a postoperative girdle from thigh to the breasts.
If the fter six months post-op, I recommend you send us your photos again, to give you more information about how we can solve this problem.

Kind regards,
Dr. Emma Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Difference between swelling and firmness?

Thank you for the question. You are still in the early stages of the healing process. Healing from surgery will take time. In the initial phase after surgery, within the first three months, there is a period of inflammation and scarring that must occur in order for you to heal. The surgical areas will typically appear as swollen, "lumpy/bumpy", feel tender, firm, etc. Over ensuing months these processes will subside and the inflammatory process gives way to scar softening and remodeling. It is during this time that you will start to see your results appear as the swelling dissipates and the soft tissues soften. I tell my patients that they will not see their final results for at least to 6 months.

At this point I would recommend to continue close follow up with your plastic surgeon as they are in the best position to evaluate and treat you during your post operative recovery. This will allow you and your surgeon the chance to discuss your concerns and help allay any anxieties you may be experiencing.

I hope this helps. Best wishes

Difference between swelling and firmness

Hi, Aom.  Thanks for your question.  Tissue swelling may manifest as firmness.  Healing/inflamed tissue may also manifest as firmness.  Firmness/swelling may take 3-6 months to completely disappear.  As the swelling decreases, you will have a softer, smaller shape.  Massage over the area and follow your plastic surgeon's post-operative instruction.  Best wishes!

Difference between swelling and firmness?

Hello often when tissue becomes swollen it becomes firm as well, so often the two terms are describing the same process.  However, it is possible for tissue to become slightly swollen without getting firm and vice versa.

Difference between swelling and firmness?

Thank you for the question. Yes, firmness may indicate swelling. However, there are other reasons why tissues might be firm;  your plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to an accurate assessment, advice, and/or meaningful reassurance.

Generally speaking, patients who have undergone tummy tuck surgery should understand that it may take several months ( and even beyond a year) for swelling to dissipate completely and for the same period of time to elapse before full skin "redraping"  occurs. Time and patience are definitely important… 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.