When does post op swelling go down after full tummy tuck?

I had a Full TT with muscle repair, liposuction of flanks, back, upper inner and outer thighs and inner knees one week ago. I'm 3 pounds heavier than the day of surgery. My PS said she removed close to 15 pounds if fat and skin from my body during the procedure. I'm on a high protein diet, no processed foods, low sodium and my caloric intake is between 1,200-1,500 a day. I'm drinking tons of water. Can I be retaining 17 pounds if fluid? When will I see the number on the scale drop?

Doctor Answers 4

Post op swelling

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Swelling -
  1. maximum about day 3
  2. very slow improvement weeks 1 - 6
  3. Continued improvement week 6 - month 6
  4. Continued slow 'reshaping' months 6 - 18
Be sure you are not drinking too much fluid. If you are 160 pounds, you only need about 1,750 cc a day which is 7 cups of water. If you are thinner, you need less. In very hot weather, very low humidity, vigorous exercise or fevers, you need much more. My guess is you are drinking more than you need and your body is holding on it it because of recent surgery. Discuss what you should be drinking with your surgeon.

Swelling after a tummy tuck

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It can take several months after a tummy tuck with liposuction for you to see your final results. You will weigh more after your surgery due to fluid retention, so don't be too concerned with your weight for now. Continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon for your regular visits and relay any concerns to your surgeon.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 400 reviews

A Few Months For Swelling to Subside

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Swelling normally takes a few weeks to subside. On average, most of the swelling goes away after about 3 months, and depending on the extent of surgery, this may even take up to 6 months. A full tummy tuck will involve a lengthier recovery period than a mini. During these weeks and months, you'll notice the swelling gradually lessening.

In the meantime, follow your surgeon's post-surgery care instructions and wear your compression garment as recommended. Your garment will help control swelling by encouraging your body to absorb and eliminate fluids that are causing the swelling. Here are some other tips to deal with swelling:

stay well hydrated and go to the washroom regularly
avoid salty foods and eat healthily
get plenty of rest, but also try to move around a bit at a leisurely pace to keep your circulation going when you're not lying down
once you have adequately recovered, you can consider lymphatic massage, but only with your surgeon's advice

When does post op swelling go down after full tummy tuck?

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Swelling after Tummy Tuck will go down depending on how your body reacts to the procedure. It may take 3-6 months for your abdomen to be flat. 

Best wishes!

Yily De Los Santos, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 1,729 reviews

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