Is This Normal Swelling for 6 Months Po Tummy Tuck? (photo)

Hello, I am 6 months po tummy tuck with muscle repair and not happy with my results. When I sit down, I have a spare tire around my belly, and have never been flat. My PS tells me it is just swelling, but to me, it looks like something else. What can be done to fix this?

Doctor Answers 7

Swelling after tummy tuck

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Hi Nanny938

It is always hard to provide solid advice without standardised pre and post op photos, but it is equally hard for a patient to take these.

Your photos presented appear to show a contour that I would be less happy with as a surgeon. Possible causes include remaining extra-abdominal fat or remaining intra-abdominal fat. It is unlikely that it is still remaining fluid/swelling at the 6 month mark.

Intra-abdominal fat can only be addressed through old-fashioned weight loss with diet & exercise. Extra-abdominal fat (between the muscles and skin) can be reduced through weight loss or liposuction. Additional liposuction after your tummy tuck could lead to new skin wrinkling.

Good Luck

Dr Gavin Sandercoe


I would not expect much swelling to be present at 6 months

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Thank you for the question and the photos.  I would not expect to see a significan amount of swelling at 6 months.  A combination of excess fat, excess skin laxity, and excess muscle laxity can be the case.  Your before and after photos should be compared as well as your before and after weight status.  Weight loss or liposuction can help thin the waist down but a revision tummy tuck might be needed to tighten the abdominal wall and overlying soft-tissue.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Is This Normal Swelling for 6 Months Po Tummy Tuck?

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Many thanks for the question. I normally treat such patient with Liposuction along with TT.I am sure if you had liposuction. If not this is the best you can get at this stage. May be later liposuction can be performed for you to improve upon the result if you are still fairly young where the skin can shrink after liposuction. At a later age it does not retract so much. Wish you good luck.

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Is This Normal Swelling for 6 Months Po Tummy Tuck?

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No it is NOT swelling. It could be subcutaneous fat or intra abdominal fat or both . Try weight loss of 20 pounds. 

Swelling is normal after tummy tuck

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It is impossible to evaluate, from you photos, whether you have swelling but certainty many patients show swelling till the 4th quarter of healing.  Have you gained weight?  Do you watch your salt intake?   Swelling or not at 6 months needs good pre and post op photos, a physical exam, weight history etc.  More info please.  My Best,  Dr C

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You look about right to me.  One thing you might consider is the numbness after tummy tuck surgery.  When you go to the dentist, the numb lip feel larger than it really is.  The same is true in your abdomen after surgery.  The lower part is numb and this makes you feel like it is swollen.  Do your best to be patient and I think some of this sensation will pass in the next six months to a year.  Good luck.

Ralph W. Bashioum, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon

Is This Normal Swelling for 6 Months Po Tummy Tuck?

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A set of preop photos and a side view that shows the abdomen (the posted side view is cut off) would be necessary to comment on the outcome. A tummy tuck can remove excess skin and fat, and tighten the abdomenal wall, but none of these items without limitation. 

When a person sits, the chest and pelvis are moved close together, and the abdominal wall tissues are not infinitely elastic, so the skin buckles and the fat seems to thicken. This may happen somewhat less in a patient your size who never had a TT and whose skin elasticity is better, but it happens to some extent to all.  You won't see pictures of swim suit models sitting. 

Please consider posting some before photos and more useful responses should be forthcoming; 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle 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.