Is It Normal to Feel Fluid Shift from Above and Under my Incisions? (photo)

I had my TT on Oct. 1. I have had the swelling just like I have read others have had. You can see in my pics how swollen my pubic area. When I stand up I can feel the fluid shift and move around is this normal. I am also wanting to know what your normal follow up schedule is like with your patients after a TT. I was a heavier pt, so I still have a drain in. It is still putting out 60 or more a day. The insertion site is getting really red.

Doctor Answers 4


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I cannot tell from photos alone, but if you feel fluid, it is quite likely that there is some. Unless there is  huge amount, it is not surprising that a try at aspiration was not successful. If your doc is suspicious, an ultrasound should find a fluid collection if there is one. 

As to normal follow up routine, I see my TT patients sometime around a week to remove drains, and then again at 4 to 6 weeks. I see them as much as needed if there are issues.

Thanks for your question, best wishes. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Seroma with a drain

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Thank you for the question and the photos.  Believe it or not it is possible to get a seroma while having a drain in.  I am sure of this since I noticed it on one of my patients recently.  When this occurs the tissue near the drain heals together but an area beyond still accumulates seroma.  To treat this the drain should remain in and your plastic surgeon should aspirate the separate area of seroma.  In addition I would encourage you to wear your abdominal binder tight, low, and consistently.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Fluid after a tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question and for the photos. It is possible to have fluid build up after a tummy tuck despite having a drain in place. Sometimes a fluid collection can develop in an area that the drain no longer reaches, and creates a loculated seroma. This can show as a fluid wave like you are describing.

I would recommend contacting your surgeon to be seen. They can better assess the cause of the fluid and determine whether this is normal swelling or a seroma. Either way, I am sure that he/she would be happy to see you.

Best of luck with your recovery.

Jeff Rockmore

Time to visit your doctor

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Even though the drain is still putting out, there may be undrained fluid needing further attention and drainage.  Your doctor will be able to tell.

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.