Could Over Exertion be Causing Post Tummy Tuck Swelling?

I am a single mom with three young kids that have me on the go. I had a full TT 6 weeks ago but I am still very swollen from belly button down. I wear my compression garmet 24/7, I also take arnica on a daily basis, along with vitamins and drink plenty of fluids. But since about week 3 I have had no choice but to do laundry, go up and downstairs, bath my kids, etc. Could this be a reason for the swelling? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 12

Swelling after tummy tuck may last up to a year

Swelling of the lower abdomen is entirely normal at 6 weeks post op. Of course you need to be active with 3 young children, and it is great that you feel well enough to do your regular activities, as demanding as they are. Swelling, particularly in the lower abdomen will fluctuate with activity and often be worse in the evening than in the morning. This will improve over time. As long as the incision is healing and your surgeon does not feel there is a collection of fluid under the skin in this area, what you are experiencing is normal and will resolve.

Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Abdominal Swelling after Tummy Tuck

It is entirely normal to have swelling 6 weeks after a tummy tuck and it is also entirely normal to have more swelling after being active and late in the day. This can continue for many months although it gradually should improve. I am assuming that you are seeing your surgeon on a regular basis and that he or she is not concerned about a seroma (fluid collection under the skin). If you haven't seen your surgeon in a while, you probably should make an appointment and discuss your concerns with him or her.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Could Over Exertion be Causing Post Tummy Tuck Swelling?Answer:

I would give it more time....But it is not unusual to see swelling up to 6 months later after exertion...or for  no reason at all!!! But by 3 months you should have an idea!

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Increased swelling of abdomen with greater activities following a tummy tuck

Some increase in swelling with greater activity for the first few months after a tummy tuck is very common and the distribution is usually in the lower part of the abdomen. What you want to be sure of is that this increase in swelling is not actually a seroma that has developed/enlarged. You should strongly consider having your plastic surgeon check you out and make sure that is not the situation. You may also want to find out what his/her recommendations are regarding wearing a binder.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Swelling after tummy tuck

Swelling normally takes a few weeks to subside. On average, most of the swelling goes away after about 3 months, and depending on the extent of surgery, this may even take up to 6 months. A full tummy tuck will involve a lengthier recovery period than a mini. During these weeks and months, you'll notice the swelling gradually lessening, although the rate at which this lessens can be affected by increased physical activity. So, yes, your activities may be contributing to the swelling. Please continue to wear your binder and talk to your surgeon for their advice.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Exertion after tummy tuck and swelling

It is normal to have swelling for up to 6 months after tummy tuck.  I doubt that you are hurting anything with exertion at 6 weeks.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Over exertion and post Tummy Tuck Swelling

Yes, over exertion can contribute to post tummy tuck swelling even 6 weeks after the surgery.  Be careful how much you lift and exert youself.  If you are sweating or you heart is racing, you are probably over doing things.  Also be careful to avoid excessive fluid or salt intake as this can contribute to swelling and possible seroma formation.  Good Luck.

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

Swelling after tummy tuck

It takes time for the postop swelling to resolve. Complete healing will continue over the course of a year. Certainly, the more you exert yourself, the more you may observe swelling in response but life, particularly with a family, entails responsibilities. You should followup with your plastic surgeon to make sure that you don't have a seroma, or fluid collection, in the lower abdomen. Arnica and vitamins are not of any benefit in terms of reducing swelling.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Swelling in Lower Abdomen after Tummy Tuck

You may want to tell your plastic surgeon (to make sure you don't have a fluid collection under the skin) but it is very common to have swelling in the lower abdomen after a tummy tuck. This may come and go for a few months. The Arnica and vitamins are not likely to help at this time.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Swelling after tummy tuck

The answer is YES, swelling of the lower abdomen will be present six weeks and longer after traditional tummy tuck, and YES, this swelling may be exacerbated by increased physical activity.  In agreement with other responders, you should see your surgeon to be sure the "swelling" is not actually a seroma.  If the swelling and lower abdominal fullness is fluctuant or enlarging, it is likely seroma.  An ultrasound study will definitively differentiate swelling from seroma.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 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.