5 DayS Post-op Tummy Tuck and Liposuction; is This Swelling or Extra Skin/fat? (Photo)

I may be a little paranoid here but after my surgery, the area below my belly button looks like a butt. I saw my PS the day after the procedure and he said it was swelling but I don't understand why it looks this way. I want to be reassured this is more than likely swelling and not fat. I know it's early in my recovery, but I wanted some expert opinions as to whether or not this will last. Why would the swelling be taking on a butt-like appearance?

Doctor Answers 5

Is This Swelling or Extra Skin/fat?

I don't see a photo, but  I can imagine what this might be from the description. The central part of the closure is often tighter that the rest, causing a constricting band. This is usually not noticeable at surgery, but becomes apparent with swelling.

The usual course is for the skin to relax and the swelling to resolve, and with these, the problem is also resolved. Best wishes.

Post-TT question

You are probably seeing the effects of postop swelling in this area, although seroma can't be ruled out without an exam.  It is way too soon to be concerned and I am unsure why you would think that this could be a fatty deposit.  Continue to followup with your surgeon.

Abdominal wall appearance after an abdominoplasty

If you lower abdominal skin has the appearance of a butt it may be due to excess tension centrally flattening the space between the umbilicus and the lower incision.  This combined with swelling may give you this early look. I would think that over time the area will stretch and look just fine.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Swelling after Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question.
As always, it is best to be seen in person ( by your plastic surgeon) for precise diagnosis and treatment.
Abdominal wall "swelling" after tummy tuck may be related to:
1. Swelling in the soft tissues.  This may take several months to resolve and may worsen with increased activity  or at the end of the day.   Patience  is required to allow for resolution of the swelling. The swelling occurs because of the interruption of venous and lymphatic channels that occurs during the tummy tuck operation.
2. Fluid accumulation in the space between the skin and the abdominal wall muscle.  this may consist of blood ( hematoma)  or serum (seroma).  This fluid accumulation can generally be diagnosed by physical examination ( occasionally ultrasound  may be helpful).  Treatment consists of aspiration;  several episodes of aspiration may be necessary. 
3. Separation of the abdominal wall muscle repair may lead to a swelling/bulge appearance. This may be diagnosed on physical examination  with your surgeon examining you in different bodily positions. One of the steps of a tummy tuck procedure involves reapproximation (plication)  of the rectus muscles.  These muscles have spread apart during pregnancy and/or weight gain. Bringing them together again in the midline helps to “tighten” the abdominal wall as well as to narrow the waistline.
4. Residual adipose tissue may be confused for swelling. Again this is most easily diagnosed by physical examination. Additional liposuction surgery maybe necessary to improve the results of surgery.
Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year  (or greater)  a complete skin redraping  to occur.
I hope this helps.

Swelling post tummy

Not seeing photos it is hard to judge but at 5 days I wiould be patient.Do you have a drain in?This will drain excess fluyid.Just wear your binder and keep it as tight as you can to minimize swelling.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

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