Hardness and Lumps After Tummy Tuck?

I am 6 weeks post op with stomach hardness and lumps, when will these go away? I have been getting 2-3 massages a week deep tissue. Anything to do to help stomach get softer and curves without lumps?

Doctor Answers 5

Lumps after Tummy Tuck can be several things

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A lump can be the result of:

1. A hematoma - this should best be drained or removed by your surgeon

2. seroma - a fluid collection under the skin; this should also be removed by your surgeon.

3. Suture material - sometimes, especially in thin people, the suture material can be touched through the skin. If the sutures are disolvable then there is no need to worry but if they are permanent, maybe your doctor can remove some of them.

4. Fat necrosis - this is when some of the fatty tissue dies and it feals like lumps. This would need a more invasive intervention by your doctor; ask!

5. Liposuction swelling - some tummy tucks use liposuction which can leave lumpiness. Be patient--6 months to a year to be sure that this is not permanent.

Lumps after tummy tuck are not infrequent

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IT is not unusual ot have lumps particularly in the lower and central portions of the abdomen just above the pubic hairline.

This happens quite frequently.

It will likely resolve and your best guide is to allow time for this.

Lumps and unevenness are common after tummy tuck

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It is not surprising that you have hard areas, lumps, unevenness in contour after a tummy tuck. There is a lot of scar tissue that needs to decrease and this can take several months. In addition, the fat can also harden giving you some of the lumps. In some instances, there is fluid build-up (seroma) that may need to be drained to remove lumps. Your surgeon should be able to examine you and determine if that is the case.

Massage is very useful in decreasing pain, stiffness, and even swelling. 2-3 massages a week seems a little more than you would need to do. However, if that is helping you then you should continue to do that. Give it some more time, but be sure to talk to your surgeon about your concerns. Good luck.

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

Massage and Compression Could Help

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The wound healing process following abdominoplasty lasts for over a year.During this time, it’s not unusual for patients to complain of lumps and areas of hardness.This phenomena occurs for a variety of reasons. It’s most often related to swelling, but may also be related to areas of fat necrosis, seromas and hematomas.
In most cases swelling resolves in 4 to 6 weeks, but small amounts of swelling may persist for up to a year.Small areas of fat necrosis, hematomas and small seromas usually resolve spontaneously, but this may take months.
Patients can minimize these problems with massage and compression garments.It’s also important to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon.

Tummy tuck

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It is not unusual to have some indurated areas at 6 weeks after this type of surgery.  Massage is good so continue that.  Other things that can help are external ultrasound and endermologie.

Edmond A. Zingaro, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

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.