Muscle bulging after 7 months. Any suggestions? (photos)

Hi I had a tummy tuck, muscle repair and breast reduction 7 months ago and all was going well (apart from a few hiccups in beginning) but this last month I have noticed my muscles bulging and seems to be getting worse, it's uncomfortable but not exactly painful. I feel like I'm going backwards and once again starting to wear lose clothing so you can't see it. Is this normal? Is there anything I can do?.

Doctor Answers 3

Muscle Bulge 7 Months Post-Op

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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.

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

Considering the fact that your muscle bulge may just be continued swelling or tightening then there would be nothing to worry about. But if you are concerned at all it would be best to contact your surgeon for a visit and have the area examined for proper healing. 

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Abdominoplasty concerns

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Thank you for your question and photos.  An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) commonly addresses three components (removal of excess skin, removal of excess fat, and tightening of any abdominal wall (muscle) weakness).  Commonly, the abdominal muscle repair is done with permanent sutures.  That should provide a long lasting effect to your abdominal contour.  You will best benefit evaluation of your abdominal concerns by your plastic surgeon.  Clinical examination should clarify your concerns and give you a directed treatment that will be best for you.  

Best of luck,

Dr. Mooty

R. Clark Mooty, MD
Lubbock Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


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Your muscle plication may be stretching or some of the sutures may have popped. Your surgeon will be able to better tell this on exam.  If that is the case and you still have the bulge you dont like after all swelling is gone, you may need the rectus repaired again.

Tyler C. Street, MD
Napa 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.