How Long for Swelling to Go Down After Mini Abdominoplasty?

I had a mini abdominoplasty 9 weeks ago. After the surgery and for the first week my tummy was very flat and I was very happy. Into the 2nd week my tummy started to swell. I had seroma so I had my tummy drained 3 times. There is now no fluid coming out when they try to drain but it still looks swollen but better. It now feels very hard and pretty swollen underneath my bellybutton. Should the swelling be away by now as this is 9weels past and what is the hard feeling I'm feeling in my tummy

Doctor Answers 7

When will the recovery recover after a seroma is removed.

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Thank you for your recent question.  Any time you have a seroma following  a miniabdominoplasty that requires evacuation one must  expect that  there will be firmness and possibly  a lengthier time for recovery and softening to the abdomen.  Six months to one year after the surgery may be a realistic estimate as to when the  abdomen will recover .  Don't be too impatient.


Good luck to you.


Frank Rieger M.D.  Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Swelling and Recovery from a Mini Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty

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I am sorry to hear that you developed a seroma. Usually when this happens you get a little more scarring than normal under your skin against the muscle. This is likely the firmness that you are feeling. This settle in time but it may be months or more.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

How Long for Swelling to Go Down After Mini Abdominoplasty

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The good news is that if this looked good at a week, it will most certainly look good when all the swelling is resolved. 

The duration of edema (swelling) varies from person to person, but can take some months. The number of aspirations needed will likely prolong the course. The firmness is part of the inflammation and healing



Best wishes.


Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Swelling after Tummy Tuck?

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Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year (or greater)  for complete skin redraping  to occur.
I hope this helps.

Tummy tuck and swelling

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Thank you for your question. Swelling after a tummy tuck procedure typically decreases with every week that passes, with the majority of the swelling gone by six weeks. Lymphatic massage during the first couple weeks can help tremendously to accelerate the swelling reduction process.

From that point, I often tell patients that they can go about freely to exercise or engage in strenuous activity and lifting. Increased activity, however, may prolong how long the small remaining swelling takes to subside. The swelling may also be more intermittent at this stage and related to the degree of activity in any given day. This may last between the three - six month mark. The hardness that you feel in the tummy may be the scar tissue that formed around the seroma.  This should also soften over the next few months.  I would visit with your plastic surgeon regularly so they can help monitor your progress.

Recovery time after tummy tuck or mini tuck

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You can expect swelling up to 6 months after a tumm yck procedure. If you have seroma, then you may require longer recovery period. Seroma is not necessary a complication of tummy tuck, but rather an unanticipated but not unusual event. As long as it is drained properly, you should be fine. Daily massaging of the scare area will expedite the reduction of swelling. Be patient and trust your surgeon.

Richard Hodnett, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Seroms after Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your post. Seromas can be painful and cause a cosmetic deformity, as well as sometimes leak. The whole point of drains is to keep a seroma from happening in the first place. If a drainless procedure was performed, and you had a seroma, or you had drains that were pulled and you subsequently had a seroma, then you should be drained, otherwise a capsule builds around the fluid making it permanent. If a capsule builds around the seroma (pseudo bursa or encapsulated seroma) then the only way to remove the seroma is to surgically open the areas and excise the capsule, and close over drains to prevent another seroma from happening. If the seroma is encapsulated and is tight and painful, then it can be confused with just swelling or fat. An ultrasound is useful in distinguishing these and identifying the extent of the seroma. If the seroma is not yet encapsulated, then it is usually loose and has a 'fluid wave' or water bed type feel. Occasionally, a seroma can also become infected, especially if a permanent braided suture was used. This will have a hot, red appearance, and will eventually open up. I have never seen an infection from sterile aspiration of fluid.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 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.