I look worse 4 weeks out than I did at 1 week post-op after my Tummy Tuck, is this normal? (photos)

I just had my dr apt and I told him I felt bloated/swollen and he said that I don't look swollen and that this is as flat as I'm going to get and that I'm healing nicely. But I didn't start swelling until I went back to work last week and before when I would swell, I'd get flat again in the morning and now that's not happening. Is this really my end result? My dr checked me and said everything is healing fine. Can I get more opinions? My entire stomach is just more solid all the way around now.

Doctor Answers 3

Swelling after a tummy tuck

Swelling is absolutely normal after a tummy tuck and for some, it can last up to a year and sometimes even longer. This is likely not your end result, but it does seem that the work you have resumed to is causing more swelling. Be sure to wear your binder whenever you can, that might help relieve some of the swelling and feeling of bloating. If you are uncomfortable or concerned, definitely reach back out to your surgeon, that is what he or she is there for. best of luck. Dr. K


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Post Op

Thank you for the photos.  Althought it is difficult to tell exactly what is going on with your case, in general when patients resume their usual activity, things do begin to swell up.  Once you wake up in the morning the majority of the swelling has resolved.At this point the best thing you can do is be patient and wait and see how things look when you are 4-6 months out.  At that point you may discuss things further if you are still concerned or unhappy with your results.Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Too much activity

Swelling after a tummy tuck is normal.  Some patients have prolonged swelling.  I have seen it for 18 months, then just suddenly resolve.  What is clear, however, is that if you listen to your body, the swelling will resolve faster.  If there are activities that cause swelling, you must hold off on them until they no longer create an issue.  If you try to work through the swelling, it will prolong the process because you are never letting it heal.  Everyone is different.  People want to get back to their routine and want to see results, fast.  The tummy tuck is a big operation that must be respected.  If you can exercise without swelling, then you are doing well.  If you swell at the end of a day at work at a desk job, then you have to be very careful with your choices, and you must rest as much as possible.  After a month, compression also helps

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.