Swollen After Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I hand a full tt 2 weeks ago. Was very happy with the results but today I feel that the more skin from my tummy above my belly could've been removed. Below my tummy looks swollan and fat, my belly feel like a waterbed. However if I sand up I like the results. And then the love handles. Were did that come from it makes me look totally upnormal in my skirts.Is this only part of the tummy tuck will the swollan and flabby tummy go away. Can I start with zuma. Light arobic? Pic 5 days post operation.

Doctor Answers 5

Swollen After Tummy Tuck?

Thanks for the question, and for the great photos.

I find myself looking at what appears to be an excellent result so far. Yes, there is swelling at two weeks--expect at least about 3 months for most to resolve. The waterbed sensation suggests possible fluid collection, and a visit to your surgeon soon is imperative. 

Results are always determined in standing position. When you sit, the chest and pelvis come closer together, and the skin is not infinitely elastic, and it buckles and folds. You won't see a swimsuit model sitting. If your abdomen looked tight while sitting, I can assure you that you would not be able to stand erect. 

As to post-op return to activities, that is a question that should be asked of your surgeon. I don't know you, don't know what was done, and have not followed your recovery.

All the best. Congratulations on a nice outcome of your breast and TT surgery. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Tummy tuck post op swelling


  It is very important to understand that you are in the very early stages of body contouring. With the waterbed phenomenon, you might have a seroma (I do not see drains).  If so, that will need to be drained.

  If you had liposuction of the love handle areas, then these areas should be improved also with time.    Your plastic surgeon will be able to let you know how much tissue was removed.  Also, your doctor needs to guide you on activities but at 2 weeks post op, in my practice, I would not have you yet doing intense exercise.

  Stay close to your ps and get the right guidance for YOUR case.

Steven M. Lynch, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

When to

Thanks for posting and your photos. Your result of breast and tummy surgery looks very good. Kudos to you and your surgeon. At 2 weeks, it is way too early to say this is going to be your final result. I tell my patients that at about 1 year from a tummy tuck they are most likely to achieve the final results. Most likely, you have swelling in the tissues. All your other questions are best answered by your PS. Be sure to discuss your concerns. Best wishes, Dr. Aldo.

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

Swollen After Tummy Tuck?

Based upon the series of excellent before and after posted photos I see a very good EARLY result. Best to allow 4 months healing before making a final determination that you wrote. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Swelling after Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question and pictures.

It is best to be seen in person ( by your plastic surgeon) for precise diagnosis and treatment. He/she should also be your resource when it comes to returning to activity/exercise. Remember that he/she knows how you are progressing and is ultimately responsible for your care.

Generally speaking, 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.

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