Is this swelling/something that will go away? Or will I require further surgery? (Photo)

I'm 2 weeks PO from full TT with muscle repair, no lipo. I am a lot bigger right above my insision line. It is hard, so I know it's not fluid. I'm just nervous that I will require lipo or further surgery in the future. Do you think it's just swollen? I will attach some pre op and post op pictures.

Doctor Answers 8

Is this swelling after tummy tuck?

I'm sorry to hear about the concerns you have after tummy tuck surgery.  As you likely know, your plastic surgeon will be your best resource for precise diagnosis...

Generally speaking, an abdominal wall "swelling" after tummy tuck may be related to:

1. Swelling in the soft tissues. This may take several months to resolve and may worsen with increased activity or at the end of the day. Patience is required to allow for resolution of the swelling. The swelling occurs because of the interruption of venous and lymphatic channels that occurs during the tummy tuck operation.

2. Fluid accumulation in the space between the skin and the abdominal wall muscle. this may consist of blood ( hematoma) or serum (seroma). This fluid accumulation can generally be diagnosed by physical examination ( occasionally ultrasound may be helpful). Treatment consists of aspiration; several episodes of aspiration may be necessary. 

3. Separation of the abdominal wall muscle repair may lead to a swelling/bulge appearance.  One of the steps of a tummy tuck procedure involves reapproximation (plication) of the rectus muscles. These muscles have spread apart during pregnancy and/or weight gain. Bringing them together again in the midline helps to “tighten” the abdominal wall as well as to narrow the waistline.



4. Residual adipose tissue may be confused for swelling. Again this is most easily diagnosed by physical examination. Additional liposuction surgery maybe necessary to improve the results of surgery.

Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year (or greater) a complete skin redraping to occur.


Best wishes. 

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

2 weeks post op, some advices:

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.
At this point (2 weeks post-po) the swelling is normal.
To reduce it, I recommend you perform daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the abdomen and wear a postoperative girdle from thigh to the breasts.
Kind regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 270 reviews

Post Op Tummy Tuck Swelling at 2 Weeks

Dear Lauren, Thank you for posting your post op tummy tuck photos at 2 weeks. It appears that you have some post op swelling that should improve dramatically in the next 2 weeks if you continue to wear your abdominal binder and limit your physical activity. Please continue to follow up with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who performed your tummy tuck each week for the first few weeks. Your surgeon can examine your and carefully moniters your post operative course and check for a stromal, a collection of fluid. Best wishes, Dr. Richard Swift 

Richard Wellington Swift, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Post op swelling

Based solely on your photos, this appears to be normal post op swelling. You can expect to be swollen for the next few months at least. It really depends on the patient and how your body heals. Hope this helps.


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews


In all likelihood it is due to swelling. The lower portion  of the abdominal flap is often where the fluid ends up as an effect of gravity.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Be patient

you are only two weeks post-op, you are clearly swollen, hopefully your surgeon trimmed the abdplasty flap thin enough so it will set in at the same level as the skin at the pubic level, only he/she knows what they did and how things looked on the table. It will take 3-6mo until you know how things will look. 


Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to speed the swelling process  or eliminate it. 

The swelling will remain at least 2-3 months. So please be patience. After 3-4 months your doctor will determine if you may need Liposuction to the abdomen. 

Be encouraged

Dr. Cardenas 

Laura Carmina Cardenas, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Swelling at 2 Weeks Post-Op

Most patients will be placed in an abdominal binder, which they will wear the first week. There is usually a fair amount of swelling and the binder should be opened several times a day so that there are no pressure points. After the first 7 to 10 days the patient is placed in an elastic garment for compression over the next six weeks.

Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area and the scrotal and penis area for men can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

Now, there is a chance that swelling is continuing and will continue for months to come. If you find yourself concerned or worried about the appearance or results of your procedure it would be best to visit your surgeon to have the area checked for proper healing. Good luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 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.