8.5 Weeks PO Full TT with Muscle Repair and Lipo of the Flanks? (photo)

There is a bulge above my incision line and I am wondering if this is still swelling or if it still a roll of fat. I do have stretch marks there so my other question is that if it is swelling will the skin sag once the swelling goes down? The bulge seems to have gotten smaller as time has gone on but I am still worried about it. PS says that it is normal since they took 5lbs of skin/fat during the operation and that it is still too early yet to know the final result. Still, I am worried.

Doctor Answers 4

8.5 Weeks PO Full TT with Muscle Repair and Lipo of the Flanks?

To me your result is excellent! How long did it take you to appear as you do in your pre operative photo? YEARS!!! So ONLY 8.5 weeks after and LOOK how good you look! Best to allow 4 months healing time and try some 10 pounds weight loss to improve the result even more. 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Swelling after tummy tuck

You do look good at this point so early after surgery. At 3 months you should see what the results really will be like. Some time swelling sticks around a long time. A seroma needs to be drained if present and will keep things swollen for a long time if not drained. Your doctor should be able to take care of this for you. Good Luck!

Gregory T. Lynam, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Healing and Swelling After Tummy Tuck

Thank you for the question and pictures. Based on these pictures it appears that your plastic surgeon has done a very nice job for you. He will continue to be your best resource when it comes to addressing the specific concerns that you have.

 Generally speaking,  abdominal wall "swelling" after tummy tuck may be related to:

1. Swelling in the soft tissues.  This may take several months to resolve and may worsen with increased activity  or at the end of the day.   Patience  is required to allow for resolution of the swelling. The swelling occurs because of the interruption of venous and lymphatic channels that occurs during the tummy tuck operation.
2. Fluid accumulation in the space between the skin and the abdominal wall muscle.  this may consist of blood ( hematoma)  or serum (seroma).  This fluid accumulation can generally be diagnosed by physical examination ( occasionally ultrasound  may be helpful).  Treatment consists of aspiration;  several episodes of aspiration may be necessary. 
3. Separation of the abdominal wall muscle repair may lead to a swelling/bulge appearance. This may be diagnosed on physical examination  with your surgeon examining you in different bodily positions. One of the steps of a tummy tuck procedure involves reapproximation (plication)  of the rectus muscles.  These muscles have spread apart during pregnancy and/or weight gain. Bringing them together again in the midline helps to “tighten” the abdominal wall as well as to narrow the waistline.
4. Residual adipose tissue may be confused for swelling. Again this is most easily diagnosed by physical examination. Additional liposuction surgery maybe necessary to improve the results of surgery.
Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year  (or greater)  a complete skin redraping  to occur.
I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

Persistent bulge after abdominal liposuction and full tummy tuck

At 8 1/2 weeks postoperative bulging can be the result of persistent swelling, residual fat, or seroma fluid. Photos are helpful. But, without the benefit of a face to face exam it will be difficult to provide you with an accurate assessment of your condition. A visit with your plastic surgeon or another surgeon in your area should give you the answer to your question. Thank you for sharing your photos and concerns. Best wishes.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 164 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.