Fluid Collection After Tummy Tuck?

Hi, I had a tummy tuck 9 months ago. My stomach has never been completely flat. After 2 months I noticed my scar was thick, hard, and getting dark. My PS performed an ultrasound and said he saw fluid but when he tried to drain it but he said it was dried up. He gave me a diet pill. Every time I see my PS he tells me that everything looks fine. Now recently last week I developed an abscess on my stomach right above my scar and it had to be lanced and doctor feels it is in connection with TT.

Doctor Answers 11

Fluid Collection after Tummy Tuck

   I would advise getting an ultrasound to determine if there is any significant fluid or cavity present.  I would then go back to your plastic surgeon to determine if aything else can be done.  If you do not have a significant fluid collection or seroma cavity, then you may have a good result.  Very difficult to speculate without pictures or an exam.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Fluid Collection After Tummy Tuck?

It is hard to make any useful comment without being able to see photos from before surgery and now. It there was a large amount of fluid seen on ultrasound it may be that this will need to be addressed, since it could contribute to the fullness you note. 

As to not being flat, there are limits to what a TT can do, and again, without photos, I can't comment further. 

The last thing you mention sounds like a "suture abscess" and incising and draining and removing the suture sounds like the appropriate treatment. 

Continue to follow up with your surgeon until these issues are resolved. Best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews


It takes almost one year from the time of surgery for full healing and maturation of the scar. Hypertrophic scars do happen and can be treated.

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Complication after Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question.

It sounds like you are doing the right thing by staying in close touch with your plastic surgeon, who is in the best position to diagnose/treat any issues that arise. Based on your description, it is likely that you recently experienced a “stitch abscess”,  that was appropriately managed with a drainage procedure.

 Again, continue to follow up closely with your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,485 reviews

Thick scarring following an abdominoplasty

It is possible that you have developed a suture knot abscess and this is what needed to be drained.   If your scar is raised and thick you may be a candidate for steroid injections.  This type a scar injection can help to flatten a raised scar.  Your plastic surgeon is in the best position to diagnose your problem and determine the best course of action.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Issues post tummy tuck

The issues that you described are quite common post tummy tuck. Since there is no photos, it's hard to decide the significance of each issues that you raised. It takes about 12 months to completely heal and recover from a tummy tuck. The scar wouldn't mature and flatten until 1 year out post surgery. The residual swelling may persist just as long. You may have suture irritation and minor abscess if the stitch is not absorbed by the body. Fluid collection (seroma) is usually seen early and may affect final result if not drained. Your operating surgeon is your best source of care for all of the above issues that you mentioned. If you trust your surgeon then go back and continue your recovery care until everything is settled. If you lost faith with your surgeon then it's time to seek second opinion so that you can continue to received appropriate care.

Best Wishes,

Stewart Wang, MD FACS, Wang Plastic Surgery

Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Fluid collection nine months after tummy tuck

A fluid collection nine months after tummy tuck would be quite unusual, and most have to rememeber that the abdomen will never be flatter than it can be naturally when supine or on your back. Even after nine months thick scars can respond to massage and scar treatments to check out what your surgeon has to offer.

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

Complications after abdominoplasty surgery.

I am not entirely sure what you are asking. Complications and side affects can occur with any surgery and certainly can occur with a procedure as involved as are most tummy tucks. Seromas, or postop fluid collections, are a well known side affect and can usually be resolved by repeat aspirations. The infection you are describing may be related to the seroma or may be caused by a suture that became infected. It sounds as though you have lost trust in your plastic surgeon so you should strongly consider seeking out a second opinion to either verify your doctor's assessment or ensure that you are being properly treated.  Good luck.  

Michael A. Epstein, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Fluid Collection after Tummy Tuck

Dr Lazarus seems to have summarized things pretty well. Without knowing more information, it is difficult to say how the fluid collection, scar, lack of flatness and abscess are related. You may want to ask your plastic surgeon about a second opinion. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Tummy Tuck Concerns


You have several concerns 9 months after TT:

  1. Tummy "has never been completely flat": The final TT look depends on the before appearance ("apple shape" with internal fat will not be completely flat after surgery) and whether or not a diastasis repair was done.
  2. "Thick, hard,dark scar": Scars are most noticeable (thick and red) at 6-8 weeks post-op. Then, over 6 -12 months scars (with some exceptions) "mature" and become white and soft.
  3. "Fluid seen with ultrasound": Would be unusual to have a seroma (fluid) collection this long post-op. May be difficult to evaluate if the skin/fat layer of tummy is thick.
  4. "Abscess above incision" : This is usually caused by a "suture spit" or in-grown hair. If the abscess recurs, a deeper probe of the wound may be required.

Follow-up with your PS and/or seek a second opinion for reassurance.

Thanks for your question and best of luck!












Stephen M. Lazarus, MD
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 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.