Taking Too Long to Heal? Had Hematoma After TT? (photo)

Hi I had a mini tummy tuck 5/8/12 and had to stay overnight in hospital for hematoma. I had drain in for 3 weeks. I still have some swelling / bulge in my stomach. It is still pretty hard. I have an appointment for end of August but should I go sooner?

Doctor Answers 4

Post-operative hematoma

Thanks for your question, I do not think you are having an acute problem, but given your concern, you should try to move up your appointment.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 201 reviews

Lower abdominal bulge after "mini" tuck may require more surgery.

This bulge could represent seroma (more drainage, possibly surgery to remove pseudobursa), recurrent hematoma (unlikely), or simply residual fat and scar fibrosis in addition to the normal lymphedema seen after surgery in this area. If the latter, this will improve over time, but may well require additional surgery in the form of liposuction to achieve the smoothness both you and your surgeon should anticipate.

I am sorry to hear how this has turned out for you, and yet this is one of the reasons I am not a big fan of mini-abdominoplasties. They seem attractive because of the seduction of a short(er) scar, no umbilical scar, less cost, perhaps no drain, etc. yet this exact scenario seems to occur with all-too-frequent regularity. By the time all is said and done, to get the look you deserve, you may well end up spending more time, money, revisional surgery, and anguish than if you had undergone a full, standard tummy tuck in the first place. Of course, some of those require revision as well, but of my cases shown in the web reference link below, all 7 were one operation with no additional drain insertions, liposuctions, or revisions of any kind, at various stages of scar maturation.

Hang in there; good luck and best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Hematoma After TT

I can easily see why you are concerned. Although this may be swelling, it may also be a fluid collection, either a seroma or hematoma. I would suggest moving up your appointment, because if you need this to be treated, the sooner done the sooner you can be back to a "normal" recovery pattern.

Thanks for the question and for the photo. Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

See your surgeon sooner if concerned with tummy tuck

Complications after tummy tuck such as bleeding or a hematoma can take longer to resolve, and your photo might suggest a fluid collection called a seroma. Move up your appointment, if you have concerns about your progress.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.