Upper abdominal swelling I'm 3 months post op. Any suggestions? (photos)

Hi I only only have upper adomnial swelling it started when I was 6 six weeks im three months post op the bottom part of stomach is flat the swelling it's just at the top of my stomach it's like this all day everyday. I wear a compression garment all day. It looks like im pregnant...I seen my doctor 3 weeks ago he says everything's fine but I really don't know. My friend and mother had this surgery and they don't have swelling at the top part of there stomach.

Doctor Answers 6

Stomach Swelling

Stomach swelling post Abdominoplasty is common, however every case is different and it's essential to consult with your surgeon for any concerns you might have. Staying in constant contact with your surgeon  will allow him/her to advise you with the proper post op instructions, especially if the swelling continues.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Swelling can take 6 months or more to fully dissipate after a tummy tuck.

Thank you for your question and photos. After a tummy tuck, people are understandably anxious to see their final results. However, the recovery process following abdominoplasty is a lengthy one, and final results are sometimes not fully achieved until 6 months or a year after surgery. It’s difficult to say without examining you, but it appears you are still experiencing swelling and possibly fluid retention, which is not uncommon at only 3 months post-op. If you’re overly concerned about the swelling or are experiencing any pain, consult with your plastic surgeon as soon as possible. Also, be careful not to compare your recovery to what others have experienced. Everyone is unique, and people heal differently and on varying time tables. Try to stay patient and continue to follow your plastic surgeon’s post-op instructions. 

David L. Kaufman, MD
Folsom Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews


You need to tone up your abdominal muscles. Start doing abdominal exercises and strenthen your muscles. You do not need garment anymore.

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews


It is not uncommon to have upper abdominal swelling.  I would wait 6 months and if you still have swelling you perhaps could benefit from liposuction if the cause is residual fat.  Hope this helps.

Jules Walters, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Dont know

Nothing beats a face-to-face consultation.  From you photos, it appears that you have an excellent result.   A tummy tuck typically takes 6 months to settle in.  At this point, I would trust the opinion of your doctor.  Good luck. 

Swelling after tummy tuck

Thank you for your question.  It is difficult to assess your result without seeing the preoperative photos, but in general, it can take a long time for swelling to go down after a tummy tuck.  Continue seeing your doctor for evaluation.  Best of luck.

Mark A. Schusterman, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 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.