Why do I feel huge after my tummy tuck?

I had my tummy tuck on January 29,2014. I feel like my stomach is way bigger than it was. I know swelling but still. Also I was wondering if I could start doing some workout that do not use the abdominal muscles, such as the eliptical? I'm feeling super depressed. Thank you

Doctor Answers 9

Swelling after tummy tuck

Thank you very much for your enquiry, it may well be that you have fluid within your tummy area which can cause swelling in the period following surgery.
Overall I think it is sensible for you to see your surgeon as they will be able to advise you the best way forward and check whether you have any fluid collection.
I hope this information helps and the swelling in your tummy settles naturally.

London Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

Feeling huge after tummy tuck

Thank you for your question.  First please follow the advice of the plastic surgeon who performed your tummy tuck.  Do not follow the advice given on this website forum.It is not uncommon because of swelling, abdominal distention, and the alteration of the abdominal anatomy by the tummy tuck for the abdominal circumference to be larger this silicone after tummy tuck.  Again please consult your plastic surgeon.

Post tummy tuck swelling and when to exercise

First of all it is important to remember that a tummy tuck is a big operation and your body (including your mind) will take some time to normalize. Swelling develops over the first several days, but takes up to 6 months to fully disappear. Sometimes fluid can develop that will add to the fullness from the swelling so you should probably give your surgeon a call to be evaluated for this. 

As for exercise, your body is not ready for this. If you give yourself this time to heal and hold off on exercising your swelling will go down sooner and your energy will return faster. You are at risk for disrupting something if you do strenuous exercise this early after a tummy tuck. Follow your surgeon's instructions closely as to when it is okay to return to your exercise routine.

Shannon O'Brien, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Feeling large after TT

Do not do exercises at this time- you are physically very vulnerable.  Always check with your doctor before advancing activities.

You may have swelling, a seroma, or even constipation.  See you doctor anyway, you sound like you need a reality check and some emotional support, as well as a bit explanation as to what to expect.



Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Swelling after abdominoplasty

swelling persists for many weeks after a tummy tuck, and is usually maximal at the ten day to two week mark, but should then begin to resolve.  It may take 3-4 months for swelling from liposuction done with an abdominoplasty to fully resolve, and your final contour may take up to 6 months to realize.  A fluid accumulation under the skin (seroma) is the most common adverse event seen after an abdomioplasty, and may result in significant swelling as well.  Your surgeon will be able to determine this, and it is usually a relatively simple thing to resolve in office, at this early date in your recovery.  check with your surgeon before resuming exercise.  If you underwent a muscle repair, it is commonly recommended to avoid vigorous exercise for 6 weeks after surgery.  Hard to be patient!

Howard Silverman, MD, FRCSC
Ottawa Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Very swollen after tummy tuck

  1. Tummy tucks cause considerable swelling. This is normal.
  2. But excessive swelling suggests a problem.
  3. Swelling can be from a seroma (fluid under the skin), or
  4. Infection or
  5. Severe constipation to name a few.
  6. Call your surgeon's office to discuss the problem and to be seen as soon as possible. 
  7. Do not go to the gym or work-out without your surgeon's permission. It is much too early.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Swelling After Tummy Tuck

Have patience!  You are very early in the healing process.  See your Plastic Surgeon for follow up to confirm that you do not have fluid in your abdomen causing some of the swelling.  If you do, he will need to drain that.  Your surgeon will most likely feel that it is too soon for you to visit the gym.  This is a time for healing and following your surgeon's post op instructions for a good surgical result.  Best wishes!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Changes after aesthetic body contouring

I agree with Dr. Pyle in what he has said.  You are very early in your postoperative healing.  Swelling is very typical and can sometimes take months to resolve.  You will also likely gain some weight secondary to not being able to workout vigorously.  Be patient and allow your body to heal.  You should be walking daily, and consult with your surgeon regarding resumption of more aggressive activities.  I typically make patients wait for 4-6 weeks before resuming full activity.  Feeling depressed after aesthetic surgery is actually a common occurrence.  Many patients immediately after surgery will wonder "Why did I do this" or "I can't believe I look like this."  Everyday will represent a new change for you and you will improve with every week.  You will continue to heal both physically and emotional.   As you resume normal activity and as your swelling subsides you will likely be very happy.  

Good Luck, 

Gaurav Bharti

Gaurav Bharti, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Swelling after TT

I am glad you posted your question. There is a distinct emotional roller coaster that some people go through after cosmetic surgery and you are certainly not alone. It is important to remember two things.  1.  At this point in your recovery your wounds and your muscle repair are very immature and, as a result, fragile.  A few weeks of down time and avoiding things that put stress on your recovery are absolutely worth it at this time.  Overdoing it this early runs the risk of significant complication that will, in the long term, lengthen your recovery. 2. You have had a major operation to change your appearance with the expectation that this change can be enjoyed for many, many decades. The operation wasn't to make you look your best in mid February, it was to make you look your best for the rest of your life. Be patient and know that you will get there in time. 
Dr. Pyle

Jeremy Pyle, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 116 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.