Why do doctors tell patients that TT swelling lasts about 3 to 6 months?

Why do doctors tell patients that TT swelling lasts about 3 to 6 months? I had a TT 18 months ago and I am STILL swelling. My friend had a TT 3 weeks after me and she is STILL swelling. I have clients who have had TT's and they are STILL swelling, one at 3 years post. Swelling is a major issue with abdominoplasty and you guys need to admit it and try to offer solutions, not excuses.

Doctor Answers 4

Tummy tuck still swollen

I think that tummy tuck swelling is related to how much of the skin you have to elevate off its blood supply from the muscle. Some of the older techniques, separated tissue all the way out to the sides and all the way up to the rib cage. This makes the addition of liposuction a little tricky and certainly would delay the regrowth of the lymphatics and veins that would allow for the swelling to abate. I hope this is helpful. Good luck.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Swelling Post Tummy Tuck

Swelling will persist for as long as it takes new venous and lymphatic channels to re-form after the skin/fat is elevated off of the muscle. That being said, swelling for years is uncommon, at least in my experience. I have had patients that felt like they were still swollen but after examining them we both agreed that actually it was more of a bloat problem that was more noticeable because their tummies were so much tighter.

Lee E. Corbett, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews


Hello dear, thanks for your post and provided information as well. In general cases is form 3 to 6 months, but that will be different from patient to patient.

It is normal to see swelling after tummy tuck; the swelling is more common in the dependent position such as lower abdomen and pubic region. Especially toward the end of day or if you have been active during the day, you would see more swelling. It will take up to 3 months for all the swelling to disappear. However, if you see a sudden swelling or persistent swelling, you may want to see your plastic surgeon to rule out hematoma/seroma. Also, follow your plastic surgeon's post-operative instruction in regards to compression garment and activity limitation. Good luck :)

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Tummy tuck post op swelling

I am so sorry that you are still  experiencing post op swelling. Whenever we give a range for recovery, it is just an average. I am assuming that you've been assessed in person by your surgeon just to make sure that nothing else is going on? If not, please do so.
My best,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian
@drsheilanazarian on Instagram

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 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.