3 weeks post TT, lipo of flanks/thighs and still excessive swelling of lower abdomen. Dr becoming concerned. Options? (photo)

Three and a half weeks post TT and lipo of flanks/thighs. Finally able to have the drain pulled today as drainage went below 30 CC for two days in a row. Doctor and I discussed the obvious---all of my swelling is going down except at my belly button and below--it's awful and he even stated--kindly--I have a "baby belly" What could be causing such a delay in my swelling from going down? He said in two weeks without improvement we need to look at "options". What options do I have? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 9

3 weeks post op, some advices:

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Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.At this point (3 weeks post-po) the swelling is normal.
To reduce it, I recommend you perform daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the abdomen and wear a postoperative girdle from thigh to the breasts.
Kind regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 308 reviews


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The technique your PS appeared to have used (which is a perfectly good one) requires the longest distance for blood and lymph fluid to return from the skin. It takes a long time for the swelling to subside. Up to 4 months. The compression which is necessary for a time actually makes it worse in my opinion, but I still have my patients do it anyway. Unless there is fluid forming under the skin, there is nothing to do right now.

Swelling can be addressed

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Thanks for your question and the photo. Sorry that you are having problems, but this is not too far out of the norm. I suspect your body will be able to reestablish lymphatic channels to help remove the swelling. Lymphatic massage is a great stimulator and I would highly recommend that. If fluid builds up (seroma) it is easily treated with aspiration in the office. The skin is numb in that lower area so it is not painful. Best of Luck!

Tummy tuck and liposuction - still swollen in lower abdomen

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Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck.
  • The lower abdominal swelling can be normal after this operation - it can take months to subside.
  • But it may also be a seroma.
  • If you were my patient, I would have an ultrasound study done to see if the swelling didn't visible improve in 48 hours.
  • If you have a seroma, it needs to be drained at least 3 x a week until it stops forming.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Swelling after TT

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Thank you for your question. Obvious swelling seen, but it is not uncommon at this stage of healing. Because you have drain more than normal duration we need to think about fluid collection. Either put needle and aspirate by your physician or ultrasound to see any collection. If there is a collection drain needed. If no collection then proper garment and wait, usually it goes down in 3 months sometimes more.

Swelling after TT

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Sorry to hear about your troubles, and certainly some swelling at week 3 is within normal. But, and ultrasound is a simple test that can answer the question as to whether or not there is fluid accumulating or not. A small needle can be placed in the office to drain that out easily. We don't want that fluid to sit idle for a long time because it makes it harder to get the tissues to "stick down" to one another. Keep close follow up with your surgeon. Best wishes.

Tummy Tuck - Post Op Swelling?

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Thank you for your question and photo. You are relatively early in the post-operative period and should expect to have swelling for three to six months following your tummy tuck surgery, Use of a properly fitted compression garment will help decrease the length and severity of the post-operative swelling. As the swelling decreases, the contour of your abdomen, flanks, and hips will dramatically improve. Please follow your plastic surgeons specific advice regarding your level of physical activity. Hope this helps and good luck with your recovery.

Swelling after TT

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It is normal to have swelling above the incision line that persist after surgery. It takes some patients longer than others to have it resolve. Please be patient. Compression garments or a binder can be helpful as well as massage of the area. Best wishes.

Swelling After Tummy Tuck

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Thanks for your question! I have to agree with the others that ur swelling is probably a seroma, which is lymphatic in nature, and should go away with compression and lymphatic massage. I would try to drain it by needle aspiration in the office also. Sometimes you'll need that done multiple times before it completely goes away in a few months. We have an ultrasound in our office that helps us to see fluid also. Best of luck!

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.