How Long Will Swelling Around T-tuck Incision Last? Can I Take Something to Make It Go Away? (photo)

I'm 11 days post-op after having a diastasis repair & tummy tuck (they also fixed a hernia). I'm swollen above the incision area but everything else looks smooth and amazing. My surgeon used dissolvable stitches and glue so I only had drains removed 8 days after. Pain has subsided I'm just nervous to make the wrong move or trigger pain. I'm currently taking HCTZ (water) pills for blood pressure and I was hoping these would help get rid of the swelling or is it that draining fluid?

Doctor Answers 12

Normal Swelling

It looks to me as though you have a very nice early result. Swelling is not completely resolved after a tummy tuck for 3-6 months and there is very little to do to speed the process up. HCTZ will not help with surgical swelling. Be patient - you look good so far! Good Luck.

Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

How Long Will Swelling Around T-tuck Incision Last?Can I Take Something to Make It Go Away?(photo)Answer:

I kind of think of it in two phases..swelling and shaping. Swelling can be anywhere from 3-6 weeks and shaping usually takes much longer, anywhere from 3 months to a year. In most cases, by six months you should see most of your result (except for nasal surgery!) but again, you can continue to see results even longer out. It is not uncommon for patients to come home after work, 4 months after a TT and see a little groove where their belt was worn!! It shows that there is still swelling present.


John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Swelling after abdominoplasty

It looks like you are off to a good start. Avoid salt, stay hydrated and use a compression garment. Check in with your surgeon and be patient.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Swellling after a tummy tuck

A majority of the swelling from your tummy tuck will subside by 6 months but it can take up to a year for it to maximally resolve. Scar maturation will take this long and sometimes even longer. A scar cream for the first several months can help. (Note - you may see some increase in swelling around your incision over the next 4 - 6 weeks or so and then start its inevitable decrease.)

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tummy tuck Swelling?

Thank you for the question.

Congratulations on what appears to be a very nice result.


Some swelling after tummy tuck surgery is to be expected and may continue for several months after surgery. It may take up to a year to see the final results of surgery. Localized swelling, if it should occur, may be a seroma  or hematoma.  

I would suggest continued follow-up with your surgeon and the doctor following you for hypertension.  Make sure you are not taking more diuretic that has been prescribed because electrolyte abnormalities may follow.

I hope this helps.

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

Swelling after a tummy tuck.

Swelling can take several months to completely resolve after a tummy tuck. The most common area is just above or below the incision line. Compression garments (binders) can help hasten this process, but it still requires a reconstitution of drainage patterns in the skin that was elevated. Best advice is to stay patient and follow your postoperative instructions.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Swelling After Abdominoplasty Normal

It is not unusual for patients undergoing an abdominoplasty ( tummy tuck) to experience swelling on and off for up to three months.  This is the normal healing course as the body gets used to the changes that have taken place.  Just be patient, where a good compression garment, follow the post-opertaive instructions, and see your surgeon as instructed for normal post-operative examinations.  By three months everything should have settled down and be good to go.  I hope this helps.

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

How long will swelling last

Although it varies, the swelling can last a couple of months. Be patient and follow your surgeon's post-op instructions.


Michael Hueneke, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Swelling is normal, compression may help


The swelling that you show is normal 11 days after surgery.  Medications are not needed or helpful but compression will help and is beneficial.  The swelling will improve slowly with time with most of the swelling gone by the end of the first month and the remainder over the next few months.  A little swelling persists for up to a year sometime.  A compression garment such as an abdominal binder should be worn early in the healing process.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Swelling after TT

You are doing very well and seem to be healing normally.  The swelling in your abdomen will not be gone for at least 4-6 months.  Your results will continue to improve for up to a year and the scar may take a year and a half to be mature.  HCTZ  does not help surgical swelling much.  Lymphatic massage can help.  You should only need two or three sessions to get the lymphatics opened up and draining.  Your best option is patience and the knowledge that it will all be worth it.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 28 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.