What are the lumps I'm feeling on the area I had my muscle repair done? (Photo)

I'm 17 wks post op from MMO w/an extended tummy tuck, lipo & muscle repair. This past week while massaging bio oil on my belly I felt a lump a few inches above my belly button where my muscle repair was done. It's grown in size and got longer since the week went by. I haven't started any abdominal work outs. I just do normal house chores and hold my 27 pound son. It feels tight and sore when I get up from sitting. Is this normal, what is it, do I need to massage it or will it go away with time?

Doctor Answers 7

Lumps after TT

Thank you for your question.  The lumps that you are feeling are probably the internal sutures.  I recommend that you see your plastic surgeon for evaluation.  

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 160 reviews

Concerned About Lumps Post Mommy Makeover

Your #healing will continue for 2-3 months for the early period. This includes some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation in the breasts may also be abnormal and scars will be evolve. Tingling, burning or shooting pains in the breasts will disappear with time and should not alarm you. It is simply a result of the regeneration of your sensory nerves. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self-massage per your surgeon's permission may help.

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks.
As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain. 
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.

As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Tummy tuck - sore enlarging lump after 17 weeks

Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck.

Since you are 17 weeks after surgery, The lump you are feeling is probably an internal suture that has begun to dissolve. If so, it will improve as it dissolves. However to be sure of this, you should return to see your own surgeon for an exam.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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

What are the lumps I'm feeling on the area I had my muscle repair done?

Thank you for the question and picture but online consultants will not be able to be specific help to you. These types of "lumps" may be related to palpable underlying sutures,  scar formation,  irregularities after liposuction surgery (if this was performed), fluid accumulation, muscle wall laxity…  Your plastic surgeon, after physical examination will be able to provide you with more specific information/advice. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with long-term.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Palpable lumps after tummy tuck with muscle repair

There are several factors that may contribute to the lump you're describing--swelling, edema (accumulation of excess fluids beneath the skin), residual fat, sutures, failure of the muscle to adhere together after muscle repair, among others. 

Your best bet is to ask your original PS about your concerns (physical evaluation is a must).  Also, take note that it takes about six months to see the final results of tummy tuck since it really takes time for the skin to redrape to the new contour. 

Good luck and best wishes. 

Tarick K. Smiley, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

What are the lumps I'm feeling on the area I had my muscle repair done?

Thank you for sharing your question and photograph.  As this has been a change in your recovery, and is worsening with time, I would recommend seeing your surgeon for an in-person evaluation.  Bumps along your muscle repair may be suture material, tightened muscles, tissue swelling, muscle laxity, irregular adipose tissue, or a discrete fluid collection.  Best wishes. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Lump after tummy tuck

It would be hard to know without examining, you plastic surgeon should evaluate. Ithe could be a weakness in the abdominal wall, a series formation or some scarring.

David Nicholas Csikai, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 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.