Tummy tuck bulge above belly button. (photos)

Dr has checked me out. Had a CT scan done. "Doesn't know what it could be. Everything looks completely normal on scan." Is this going to go away or is it going to be this way forever? I am 5 months post surgery.

Doctor Answers 8

Abdominal issue

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You would have to be examined in person and a review of  your surgical procedure would be necessary as well. Was your muscle plicated?

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Post Op Bulge

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Thank you for your question and photos. It appears that this protrusion when not flexed would be either a muscle separation or swelling. At 5 months post op, swelling should be almost completely gone. Did you speak with your Plastic Surgeon about diastasis recti repair when planning your Abdominoplasty? I recommend that you discuss your concerns with your surgeon and have them examine you.

All the best

Tummy tuck bulge above belly button.

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Without an in person evaluation, it is hard to say but I have done small liposuctions in such cases. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews


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Sometimes patients have areas of swelling after surgery and it is usually either weak muscle or extra fat. If your muscle was repaired correctly it should be pretty flat. If it is extra fat a little bit of liposuction should help 

David R. Alfonso, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Tummy tuck bulge above belly button

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Thank you for your question. Because CT was normal, it may be residual laxity in upper abdomen. Please talk to your PS express your concerns and he/she may come up with a plan

Upper Tummy Bulge

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Thank you for your question and photos.  There are a few things that can cause an upper abdominal bulge after a tummy tuck.   A seroma would likely have been visible on a CT.  Rupture of the upper abdominal sutures causing recurrence of the diastasis is another but would not necessarily be visible on a CT.  A hernia is often not visible on a CT done while lying down.  Intra-abdominal fat is an unavoidable cause, but that is less likely given your preop photos.  Upper abdominal flap fat is also possible, but your photos do not suggest this cause.  Finally swelling and inflammation is another cause that usually resolves on its own.  At this point, residual looseness of the upper abdominal muscles or new intra-abdominal fat are the most likely causes.  I would recommend getting back on a good diet and exercise regimen to loose a couple of pounds and to get as close to your ideal weight as you can.  If it has not resolved with a bit of weight loss and it really bothers you, re-tightening the muscles with additional surgery is the best option.  Hope this helps.  Best wishes!

Tummy tuck bulge above belly button. (photos)

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Thank you for sharing your question and photographs and I am sorry that your results have not been what you anticipated.  Though you have received a nice improvement I see your area of concern, and based on a normal CT scan result, my best guess is that your upper abdominal muscles were not sufficiently tightened to avoid this bulge appearance.  Correction would require a surgical revision but voice your concerns to your surgeon, as they can offer you the best recommendation based on an in-person examination.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Bulge above the umbilicus appears to be loose muscle

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Thank you for your question and photographs. If the CT scan is "normal," then there is no fluid collection causing the bulge. It would be unlikely to be a fluid collection anyway as this would not change much at all with flexing the abdominal muscles.  It appears that either the muscles were not tightened above the umbilicus or not done adequately.  You may want to get a copy of the operative report to see to what extent the muscles were imbricated with sutures. Just tightening the lower muscles can create a bulge in the upper abdomen.  A critical review of the CT scan would also reveal the position of the muscles above and below the umbilicus.  This is not something that a radiologist would comment on in reviewing the scan. Best wishes. 

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 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.