Is the fluid in my stomach after tummy tuck normal?

I had a tummy tuck with Lipo done on July 22. Today when I touched my tummy it felt like a water balloon jumped from one side of my tummy to the other. It isn't hard but my tummy is a little but distended. Plus there are a couple of harder lumps that feel like they are about the size of a lemon along mu incision line. I tried to call my doctor but since it is Sunday the office is closed. It did say they check messages throughout the day. I waiting for a call back but very concerned.

Doctor Answers 13

Post Surgery appearance in Melbourne, FL.

Thank you for your question about the appearance of your abdomen after your tummy tuck.  What you are describing could be consistent with a seroma, but it is important to see your board-certified plastic surgeon as soon as possible to determine whether there is a fluid collection and possibly whether it is needs to be drained.  I hope this is helpful to you.  Best of luck!

Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Fluid collection

Thank you for your query. I would agree that this appears to be a fluid collection which is not uncommon after a tummy tuck procedure. You are now 3 weeks after the procedure and need a full evaluation. Typically this would involve a full consultation with your plastic surgeon followed by possible ultrasound scan guided removal of fluid.

This will generally resolve but may need further care including appropriate garments, antibiotics, pain killers and close followup.

Sometime the problem will persist and then requires an operative procedure to deal with it comprehensively. 

In the meantime feel free to post any further questions and best of luck for a great result.

Sanjay Azad, MS, FRCSEd
Thunder Bay Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


Dear Jamie_L, What you are describing is a seroma under the abdominal flap. This is treated with either intermittent aspirations or placement of a small drain under local anesthesia for continuous drainage. That latter usually resolves the problem more quickly. Keeping your activity level low and wearing a compressive band will also help with that. I hope this has been helpful. Robert D. Wilcox, MD

Robert D. Wilcox, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

You should have seen your surgeon

by now and had an aspiration for your seroma.  You can anticipate repeated aspirations until this is resolved.  And if it doesn't resolve, there are procedures that can help with resolution.  Best of luck.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Fluid after tummy tuck

an unusual complication if you had a drain for 4-5 days postop, but not a big problem. It should be drained in. Office, may need to be done several times, and will benefit from a snug garment. This is more common after lipo done with tummy tuck in my practice.

Robert V. Mandraccia, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Fluid wave

Hello and thank you for your question! What you are describing sounds like there is fluid under the abdominal tissue. This is something that the body produces and sometimes can accumulate in areas where there is a significant amount of empty space. As long as there is no infection present this is not something that is an emergency but it should be drained as soon as possible. If you notice redness, warmth, pain, fever and any other signs of infection, then this is something that should be addressed immediately. A seroma can be a common complication after tummy tuck. If this happens in my practice I usually aspirate the fluid with a needle and then place a compressive dressing so as to apply pressure in the area that I drained. Then I have the patient come back a few times during the week to check if the fluid re-accumulates (which is usually the case) and then I repeat the above steps. The fluid usually decreases in volume with each drainage and eventually stops accumulating. You should definitely be seen by your plastic surgeon as soon as possible. I hope this helps and good luck!
Ankur Mehta MD

Ankur Mehta, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tuck Tuck Question

Good question! You have fluid that needs to be drained. Your doctor or nurse should be able to aspirate most of the fluid off of your abdomen. This procedure should not hurt.  You will probably need to be aspirated 2-3 times a week until your fluid stops building up. Keep tight compression on your abdomen at all times to help your skin stick back down to your muscle layers. Keep massaging your incision line daily to help with buildup of scar tissue underneath your incision. Good luck! 

Ed Breazeale, Jr., MD
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews


Hello,You have a seroma, the number one complication after a tummy tuck. It is not dangerous, but you will need to get it drained soon. Continue trying to get an early appointment with your surgeon.Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Is the fluid in my stomach after tummy tuck normal?

What your describing sounds like a seroma. This is a collection of fluid under the skin. It typically needs to be drained. Hopefully you are now able to get in contact with your surgeon, so that they can see you in person and make definitive recommendations.

Austin Hayes, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Dr Derby

Thank you for your question. From what you describe it looks like you have a seroma. It is very important to see your surgeon as soon as possible to have him take the liquid out or place a drain. Best of luck

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 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.