6 Days Post Op TT, Lots of Swelling Around the Whole Incision Area and Tightness, Is this Normal?

Hello, I'am 16 days post op and I still have lots of swelling around the whole incision area and tightness. My stomach looks as if I'm 3-4 months pregnant and at times my stomach gets very very tight and it hurts. It feels as if I'm having braxton hicks contractions. The stomach gets very hard and tight. I'm unable to wear any of my regular clothing because the swelling. I'm unable to fasten my clothing. It is very uncomfortable. Is this normal? Should I be taking anything for the swelling.

Doctor Answers 8

16 Days Post Op TT, Lots of Swelling Around the Whole Incision Area and Tightness, Is this Normal?

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More than likely this is very normal. Your contractions are likely muscle spasms from the muscle plication. If you have heavy bruising or high bloody output from your drains you may have a hematoma, or bleed. This is much less likely.  It takes about 4-6 months for all the swelling on the abdominal flap to go away. Be patient.  Two weeks is very early in the healing process. Good luck!

Tummy Tuck Recovery?

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Thank you for the question.

What you are describing may be part of the normal recovery process  (only 16 days out of major surgery).  The most concerning part of your description is the “3 to 4 months pregnant";  you may want to see your operating plastic surgeon to rule out abnormal swelling (seroma  or hematoma).

Keep in mind that online consultation is a poor substitute for in-person examination by the surgeon who performed your operation;  you should be seen by him/her ASAP.

I hope this helps.

It can be normal, make sure its not a seroma

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The sensation you describe is not necessarily abnormal for 16 days following a tummy tuck although I would imagine that you would be feeling better now than earlier on in your recovery.  You may also have a seroma which is the collection of healing fluid.  This may also explain the fullness in appearence that you are describing as looking 3-4 months pregnant.  Have your plastic surgeon evaluate you for a seroma as this should be drained if it is present.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Tummy Tuck - 6 Days Post Op TT, Lots of Swelling Around the Whole Incision Area and Tightness, Is this Normal?

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It's a question of degree.

A certain amount of swelling is normal after this procedure (or any other) but it's also possible that you have a buildup of excess fluid (a seroma) and/or blood (hematoma) that may need to be drained.  This is not uncommon, and it's not much more than an annoyance to have it removed (although in rare cases, drains needs to be reinserted).

Either way, you should contact your PS and be seen in the next day or so, just to make sure there's nothing like that going on.  As long as this is not the case, it can be assumed to be a normal part of the post-procedure recovery from surgery.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Call/visit your surgeon - it is important

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You are only 16 days after tummy tuck. The incisions are still fresh and some swelling is expected at this stage of recovery. However at this early stage of recovery all the questins should be related directly to the operating surgeon - it could be serious it could be nothing , he/she should be able to tell. If in doubt seeek second opinion from a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

!6 Days Post Op TT, Lots of Swelling Around the Whole Incision Area and Tightness, Is this Normal?

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Please seek immediate in person attention. Sounds like a seroma/hematoma or other issues. When was the last time you saw your surgeon? 

Swelling after a TT

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It takes at least 6 months for all the swelling to go down after a TT.  If you tap on one side of your abdomen and see a wave moving across it you may have a seroma that your surgeon will need to aspirate.  The contractions are muscle spasms.  I generally give my patients muscle relaxing medication for these.  It will be a year and a half before you see your final result.  It takes that long for the scars to mature.  Two weeks is just the beginning, but it will all be worth it.  Just be patient and keep your appointments with your surgeon.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Post op swelling

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This can be very normal and may indicate you are doing too much at this time. Other post operative complications can cause these symptoms as stated in the other responses. Check with your surgeon.

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.