Skin Laxity? Swelling? Poor Tone? Seroma? (photo)

I am 15 weeks post TT w umb float and muscle plication. Upon awakening I am relatively flat and skin moderately tight. After rising, within the hours, I develop what looks to be poor skin tone and laxity as well as outpouching on the area above and around my BB. Could this be swelling? Not enough skin removal? My PS is pretty sure this is not a seroma and is not sure what it is. He wants me to wait 6 months and then offered an office lipo for this area. I am afraid my skin will be even looser!

Doctor Answers 4

Swelling is still present 15 weeks after abdominoplasty.

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From the photographs it looks as though you're getting a pretty good result. Contour irregularities are commonly caused by swelling 15 weeks after in abdominoplasty. Give yourself plenty of time to heal before making judgments about the aesthetic outcome.

Skin Laxity? Swelling? Poor Tone? Seroma?

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It looks like a nice outcome in the morning. For the abdomen, this is probably the time of maximum swelling. As you are up during the day, the swelling resolves and the skin does not look as tight. There is a limit to how much tightening can be accomplished with umbilical float technique--more removed could result in an abnormally low navel.

Best is to have some patience, and review the outcome at 6 months. I concur that liposuction of the upper abdomen is not a solution.

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Recovery after Abdominoplasty

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15 weeks is a very short time and you have miles to go before recovery.   Variable swelling is normal at 15 weeks.  Let the full healing period elapse and then see where you are. Full healing takes a year.  Wait a full year. Doing anything prior to that just stirs up the entire healing process and you again have a one year waiting period.  As best I can tell it appears you have had quality work .   My Best,  Dr C

Laxity and swelling of tissues 3 months post-op following tummy tuck

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With an umbilical float procedure one is sometimes limited in the amount of skin that can be removed, especially centrally and around the belly button.  This is because removing larger amounts of skin would equate to further lowering of the belly button, and we are limited by aesthetics as to how low we can position the belly button.  Thus, there is a possibility that what you are seeing amounts to residual redundant skin around the belly button.  At 15 weeks post-op you are still on the relatively recent side of your recovery, and therefore, I agree with your surgeon to wait another few months before making any final determinations of the appearance.  If a revisional liposuction procedure is to be contemplated to address this, it must be done properly with a very meticulous superficial plane liposuction to promote as much skin contraction as possible.  Good luck.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

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