Large bulge on one side of my stomach. 8 months post-op of Tummy Tuck. (photos)

I had a tummy tuck and liposuction 8 months ago. I had the TT while I was still over weight and have lost 20 lbs since. I've had this bulge almost from the beginning and I don't know if it's a seroma or just fat. The bulge is wiggly .

Doctor Answers 20

Seroma vs Fat

Dear SamanthaAlexis2212, That is either a fluid collection (seroma) or fat. You have to remember that the thickness of the fat layer just below the bellybutton is always thicker than over your privates. Liposuction is usually not done simultaneously on this abdominal flap during a tummy tuck because of fear of damaging the circulation. For that reason, in my own practice, if I have done a tummy tuck on a patient and the thickness of the fat is distressing I offer them liposuction of the abdomen after six months’ time just for the cost of operating room and supplies, but that is certainly a policy different for every surgeon. I hope this has been helpful. Robert D. Wilcox, MD

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Large bulge on side of my stomach. 8 months post-op of Tummy Tuck.

From your photos, this bulge may either be fat or a small seroma.  I suggest you check back with your surgeon.  Once they have had a chance to examine you, they will be able to advise you as to exactly what the problem is and how to proceed to resolve it.  If it is a seroma it may be aspirated and if it is fat a small area of liposuction could be considered.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Jiggly skin after a tummy tuck

usually suggests excess skin that easily occurs when your have your muscles sutured as it pulls the skin inward with it.  Releases are done but there is still excess skin centrally.  If it was fluid, you would appreciate a fluid wave like what you see when you step on one side of a water bed and the other side pushes up.  Best to see your surgeon and congratulations on your weight loss.  Revisions can always be done to further improve results.

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

Battling the bulge

Thank you for your question and photos.  It's difficult to tell for the photos alone, but I think you have excess skin and fat in the area above your scar.  You may need a revision to smooth this area.  A seroma would have a fluid shift or wave and can be found on physical exam most times.  I recommend you follow up with your plastics surgeon.Best Wishes!

Jamie Moenster, DO
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Bulge area after TT and Lipo

Hello,  thank you for your question and photos.   A ultrasound of the abdominal wall will help you to determine whether or not you have  a seroma wich I personally don't think. From what I can see in photos you have excess of skin and probably fat on the bulge area.  Please contact a local certified PS for a in person evaluation.  Have a great day. 

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Large bulge on one side of my stomach. 8 months post-op of Tummy Tuck. (photos)

Thank you for your question.  If there is a question whether it is a seroma or anything else an ultrasound may help.  With what you describe, the additional weight loss may be responsible for this because it may have caused recurrent redundancy both in the skin / fat layer, and the muscles.  Hope this helps.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Bulge following tummy tuck

Thank you for submitting your question.  While looking at your pictures gives me an impression that you have loose skin and some fat in area above your tummy tuck scar, whether there is a seroma, or if this is related to your post surgical weight loss can only be determined by examining you and taking a more comprehensive history.  I suggest speaking with your surgeon and reviewing your concerns, only then will you be able to determine what option will best address the bulge that is seen in your pictures.

Isaac Starker, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Bulge on abdomen after tummy tuck

Thank for your inquiry and pictures, but without an exam it is hard to advise.  The differential diagnosis for the bulge includes a hernia, extra skin, extra fat, old seroma, etc.  Please go see your plastic surgeon to discuss.  

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 200 reviews

One Sided Bulge 8 Months After TT - What's the Diagnosis?

Congratulations on your tummy tuck.  This is the first step at regaining your figure and your life.
No single part of the human body is symmetrical. Once you add in weight loss and surgical intervention, it is highly unlikely that the two sides of your abdomen would be even.  In an attempt to keep your abdominoplasty scar short, your surgeon did some pleating at the suture line which can then lead to to bunching of your tissue above the suture line.  Having one side bunch more than the other can lead to one side looking bigger than the other, etc. etc.
As you can see, there are significant number of potential causes for your bulging on one side just secondary to the surgery.  I will assume for a moment that the liposuction you refer to was of your hips and not of your abdomen.  Because of that and because the process of regaining a flat stomach and a great waistline is a process and not an event, I highly recommend you seek consultation with your personal plastic surgeon as to the next step in this process.
If you were my patient, I would build into the very first surgery a second surgery in which you have liposuction to flatten the abdomen and improve symmetry.  

TT Result

Based on your photos, the bulge is likely the effect of weigh loss after a TT. A revision of your tummy tuck would improve the appearance. I recommend you see your plastic surgeon for further guidance. Best wishes.

Erica Anderson, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.