I am 12 weeks post op from Tummy Tuck, is this normal?

I have cramping and tightness in my abdomen and a lump at the center of my incision. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 8

Swelling 12 weeks post op

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.
To reduce the swelling I recommend you perform daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the abdomen and wear a postoperative girdle from thigh to the breasts.
If  after six months post-op, I recommend you send us your photos again, to give you more information about how we can solve this problem.
Kind regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 256 reviews

Recovery after TT

Your symptoms are completely normal. Make sure you visit with your Plastic Surgeon routinely though to address these concerns and get more reassurance. Best wishes. 

Erica Anderson, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Tummy tuck cramping at 12 weeks

Cramping and tightness and even lumpy bumpiness of the incision can be quite normal at 12 weeks, but only a checkup with your surgeon will be able ensure nothing else is going on. Please check in with your PS.

Best wishes.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Tummy tuck issue

I can't really say without an exam in person. You are best to speak with your surgeon in person. Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

12 Weeks Post-Op and Tightened Sensation in Abdomen

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

Since you have begun the healing process significantly it would be a good idea to contact your surgeon with concerns and questions and visit for a follow-up exam to make sure the area is healing well.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/Vaser High Definition Procedures/Tummy Tuck Revision

I appreciate your question.

Since there has been a change in your post op course, please contact your surgeon so he/she can examine you and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan at this time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

12 weeks?

Based on your description alone, this may represent a suture dehiscence used to repair  your muscle.  Cannot be sure of course on this forum, I would recommend having your surgeon take a look at this.  Good luck. Hope this helps.

Bhupesh Vasisht, MD
Voorhees Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Cramping and Tightness 12 weeks after a Tummy Tuck

For the first couple of weeks after a tummy tuck, a patient can have some cramping and tightness due to the muscle repair.   I have my patients take a muscle relaxer and Celebrex (an anti-inflammatory) which minimizes those symptoms.   However, you are 12 weeks out from surgery which is a long time out from having this issue.   You should see your plastic surgeon and have him/her examine you to determine where the cramping and tightness is coming from.   You might have some scar tissue under your skin flap and attached to your muscles that is contributing to this problem.   Or your muscle repair could just still be tight. Or, it could just be that you are taking a little longer than most to heal.   You might benefit from a muscle relaxer, an anti-inflammatory, and from stretching exercises.  That lump at the center of your incision could be from a stitch or a lump of scar tissue.   Also, point that out to your doctor.

Best Wishes!

Cecilia Franco-Webb, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 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.