Concerned About the Look of my Recent Tummy Tuck

Hello I am 10 days post-op from a suction abdominoplasty with lipo to the flanks. My surgeon does not use drains, instead the quilting technique. It has been very hard for me to see pics and get info on the suction abdominoplasty because not very many surgeons practice this technique. My stomach is very lumpy and un-even. It feels hard to the touch so I don't believe it is seroma. I asked my doc and he just said this is normal. Is the lumpiness from the lipo and will it subside?

Doctor Answers 10

You still have a lot of swelling

You just had surgery and need to wait till swelling resolved. You may discuss your concerns with your surgeon and may benefit from Endermologie

New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Early results after tummy tuck

You have a very good result this early after surgery. One thing I have to remind my patients is that unlike patients they see on the internet or TV, I don't have an editor. I can't skip to the "After" photo. The patient has to go from before to after in real time. It is this intermediate phase that isn't on the internet or TV. This website is a good resource to learn about the in-between phase between before and after. 

William A. Wallace, MD, FACS
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

After drainless tummy tuck

The result you are showing us is great, not good. That's exactly how it should look and feel after this surgery. Asking people who had the old tummy tuck, including surgeons who haven't caught on to this new technique, is an invitation to unhappiness. I've seen quilting and welling months after I performed this operation. It will go away. Ask your board certified plastic surgeon and trust her or him to tell you the truth.

Ayman Hakki, MD
Waldorf Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Results from Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck

10 days is way to early to start getting worried about your results.  During the first few weeks after surgery your body is still healing, the tissues need to settle and the swelling needs to resolve.  My suggestion is for you to continue following closely with your surgeon.


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

It is too early to say ............

I agree with the other answers.  It is too early  to say .   Wear your garmet and follow you surgeons advice.  Good Luck. 

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Post tummy tuck

You are very early in the post op period.  There is significant swelling that will take up to six months to resolve.  Any pressure garment will also lead to irregularities if not fitted properly.  Discuss with your surgeon proper garment fitting to prevent this.  Donald R. Nunn MD Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Firmness after Liposuction

Firm areas generally develop 10 to 12 days after liposuction. This healing ridge is normal. The area will soften on its own, but can take 6 to 8 weeks to resolve. If the area is especially firm or uncomfortably you can use ultrasound to soften it.

If the surface of the skin feels smooth when you run your hand over it, the result will be nice. If there are visible divots, the area may  have been over suctioned.


Jon M. Grazer, MD, MPH, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Lumpiness after tummy tuck

At 10 days it is too early to assess the contour of your tummy after liposuction, tummy tuck, or both. If you do not have a "fluid wave" (like a waterbed), then you do not have a seroma.  Lumpiness can be caused by swelling or scar tissue thickening (both of which should resolve on their own), or uneven removal of fat (which will not).  It looks you you have some garment indentations, so you should be certain that your garment is fitting properly and not causing uneven pressure...discuss this with your surgeon.  You should give this several months to settle out, for swelling to subside and scar tissue to soften and mature, and if you are still uneven then consider a revision. If you have particularly thick scar tissue forming (and some patients do), massage or even ultrasound treatments can be helpful starting a few weeks after surgery. Again, you can discuss this with your surgeon.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Lumpiness After Liposuction Will Improve

The uneven nature and lumps you feel after liposuction can occur right after your procedure.  They are due to

-  short time after your procedure

-  garment causing creases

-  normal liposuction healing


Given that it's only 10 days after your procedure, some areas that are uneven are to be expected.  Make sure your compression garment is not causing any creases or uneven areas.  Finally, some lumps, espeically in the areas of liposuction, may occur naturally.  Most of the time, healing and direct massage to the areas of concern will reduce the areas that are uneven, reduce pain, soften up the lumpiness, and give you a better, more aesthetically pleasing result. 

I would encourage you to talk to your plastic surgeon about these things, and ask him/ her if there's more that you can do to accelerate healing. 

I wish you the best of luck while you're healing!

Roy Kim, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Early tummy tuck lumps

You are in the initial phase of healing and lumpiness and asymmetry is to be expected until the swelling goes down. You have to have a little patience and I think that, in the end, you will be pleased with the result.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 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.