My tummy does not look much different after getting an abdominoplasty. Is it because of swelling? (Photo)

I had a abdominalplasty 11 days ago. I am 5'10". I know my love handles had lipo. And a huge flap above my belly button to my pubic area and hip to hip was removed. I had my stitches removed and replaced with steri strips. My drains have not came out yet. My question is... I don't feel my tummy looks much different that it did before I go my ftt. Is it because of swelling? When do I see results? Or is this basically what my tummy will look like once fully healed?

Doctor Answers 8

Early in recovery phase

You are very early in the recovery phase of a tummy tuck. Especially if a lot of liposuction was done, you may be swollen for several weeks. I find in my patients, that the swelling looks better in the morning and worse in the afternoon while you're up right. Once the drain is out in a compression garment is placed, I think you'll start to look better and better each week. I recommend you follow-up with your plastic surgeon as recommended by he or she.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

My tummy tuck, is this it?

You're only 11 days post op. Give yourself more time to heal before you start comparing side by side results. Keep in mind that liposuction is always an option later, because liposuction during a tummy tuck is very limited. Make sure you follow all of your board certified plastic surgeon's directions and keep all post operative appointments.

Thank you for your question and for sharing your pictures!

Melinda Lacerna, MD FACS

Melinda Lirag Lacerna-Kimbrell, MD, FACS
Sarasota Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Tummy tuck

Thank you for your question and your pictures.  At this early stage in recovery you are still very swollen.  Expect to start seeing results at least 6-8 weeks down the road and final results at least 6 months.  Be patient and keep all your appointments with your PS to ensure the best recovery.

Ramiro Morales, Jr., MD
Pembroke Pines Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Not much different after abdominoplasty.

At just 11 days and the drains still in it can be hard to judge progress, though as you mention the abdominal flap hip to hip is now gone. Stick with regular appointments, watch your diet and see how things sort out.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Abdominoplasty - where's my result?

Thank you for your question about your tummy tuck.
  • Yes  - you are very swollen.
  • your result will appear slowly, as swelling subsides.
  • It subsides top-down.
  • At 6 weeks you will have an idea of your result
  • It takes 6 full months to see the final result.
Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

My tummy does not look much different after getting an abdominoplasty. Is it because of swelling?

Thank you for your question and for sharing your photographs.  At 11 days you do have a significant amount of swelling taking place along your lower abdomen that will be obscuring your long-term results, but without an in-person examination it is difficult to know how much of an improvement you will see.  If you did not have a significant amount of muscle laxity prior to surgery the rounded appearance of your stomach is the result of the fat found deep to your muscles.  This tissue can only be addressed through diet and exercise to achieve a flatter stomach.  Voice your concerns to your surgeon, they should be able to review with you your ultimate results and any tips to enhance them.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews


Not knowing how you looked before surgery nor exactly what was done at your surgery makes it impossible to respond very specifically. Suffice it to say, your flap is gone and your swelling appears normal for this early. That will improve but over weeks and months, not days and weeks.

Robert H. Hunsaker, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

10 days post op, some advices:

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.
At this point (10 days post-po) the swelling is normal.
To reduce it, I recommend you perform daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the abdomen and wear a postoperative girdle from thigh to the breasts.
Kind regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 255 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.