How Long Does Painful Swelling Last After Abdominoplasty?

Tomorrow will be 1 week post-op, and my abdomen looks/feels very swollen. When I take my garment off to wash, it swells to the point of pain and the feeling my organs are being squished. I also feel dizzy and come near the point of fainting. In addition, the pain in my hip bone ares is still pretty intense (maybe due to the drains)? When will the pain/swelling subside?

Doctor Answers 6

Expectations regarding swelling and pain following a tummy tuck

Everyone has a different level of pain tolerance. Furthermore, the extent of your pain can also be related to the extent of the dissection, tightness of the muscle repair and even the associated length of the incision relative to your circumference. Usually after several days, the pain will begin to decrease and be more tolerable. Removal of drains also can result in a substantial improvement of symptoms.

Significant swelling can be present for several weeks, subsiding to a significant extent by around a month. However, it can take up to a year for it maximally resolve.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

How Long Does Painful Swelling Last After Abdominoplasty?

I use drains in the majority of my abdominoplasties. Did you have any drains? As for pain due to excessive swelling that causes stretching in most cases this subsides within a week to 2 weeks. If concerned see your surgeon of record. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Pain after Abdominoplasty

You're at a point where you should start feeling better.  If your drains are still in then this will certainly add to your pain.

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Painful swelling after abdominoplasty

Pain and discomfort after abdominoplasty can vary quite a lot, though often patients are up and about within a week after the procedure. Some will be uncomfortable a bit longer, so listen to your body and give yourself time. We have found drains make people feel unwell and slow recovery and have stopped using them.

Best of luck,


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

Pain usually subsides within one to two weeks

You should experience some pain following a tummy tuck operation for one to two weeks.  It is major surgery and you need to take it easy for three or more weeks after surgery to avoid having any complications.  If you experience unusual pain or swelling, you need to see your plastic surgeon.

James Tang, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tummy Tuck Recovery

You are 1 week out of a major surgical procedure and it sounds like what you are experiencing is normal for this time in recovery.  Please continue to see your surgeon on a regular basis and be patient.. it takes months for the swelling to subside.


Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 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.