Swelling After Mini Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

I had a mini Tummy Tuck and Liposuction 8 days ago and I am still very swollen.The pants I could wear before the surgery are too tight! How long until the majority of the swelling goes away?

Doctor Answers 8

Swelling after Mini-Tummy Tuck

Swelling after a mini-abdominoplasty can last for several weeks. The mini-abdominoplasty consists of a lot of liposuction and smaller amount of skin excision. Liposuction leads to prolonged swelling and requires compression to help get the swelling to subside. Many patients in Naples, Florida cannot fit in their clothes after surgery for several weeks due to this swelling. A majority of the swelling goes down by 1 month, but can take up to 4 - 6 months for rest of the swelling to go away. Be patient!

Naples Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Swelling After a Tummy Tuck

After any surgery, swelling can last for up to 3 months but over that time it slowly improves.  With a tummy tuck, because there is long scar across your lower abdomen, the fluid that accumulates in all us through the course of a day and has to get absorbed through our lymph nodes.  will build up just above the scar similar to how yor ankles swell at the end of the day.  This will get better with time and it is different for everyone.  Somewhere between 3 and 6 months is has completely gone.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Recovery Following Combo Procedures

The amount of swelling and the time necessary for it to fully subside varies from patient to patient and the magnitude of the procedure performed.Normally, in the course of a mini abdominoplasty the entire abdominal wall is treated with liposuction first.Following that, an incision is made in the lower abdomen, lifting the skin and fat layer off of the underlying muscle layer.This elevation is continued up to the bellybutton.At this point, the excess skin and fat are pulled downward and the excess is removed.Commonly, a suction drain is placed in this space and the skin is then closed.One would expect a longer period of swelling if more fat was removed during the course of the liposuction.Additionally, each patient has their own healing characteristics.In general however, one should expect approximately 80% of the swelling to subside within the first two to four weeks.The last 20% may take as long as four to six months.

Watch my tummy tuck video for a simple and illustrated explanation of tummy tuck and body contouring procedures.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Mini tummy tuck at 8 days

Yes, it is quite normal to be swollen eight days after a mini tummy tuck. Give it some time like 3-4 months to improve.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Prominent swelling after mini tummy tuck.

Swelling after any tumy tuck can be very common for up to 3 weeks at a minimum. Discuss this with your surgeon to make sure it is not a seroma/hematoma.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Tummy tuck and swelling

Thank you for your question. Swelling after a tummy tuck procedure typically decreases with every week that passes, with the majority of the swelling gone by six weeks. Lymphatic massage during the first couple weeks can help tremendously to accelerate the swelling reduction process.

From that point, I often tell patients that they can go about freely to exercise or engage in strenuous activity and lifting. Increased activity, however, may prolong how long the small remaining swelling takes to subside. The swelling may also be more intermittent at this stage and related to the degree of activity in any given day. This may last between the three - six month mark. I would visit with your plastic surgeon at the six month mark to revisit your results and take post-op photographs.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Swelling Gradually Goes Away

I tell my patients that the swelling gets to mthe size you were before the surgery at about 10 days aftyer the surgery then rapidly decreases over the next 3 months. Be aware that with a tummy tuck the waist location usually changes so your clothes will fit differently. The new waist will also take 3-6 months to settle in. Just be patient and you will see results.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Swelling after mini tummy tuck and liposuction

Patients should anticipate a significant recovery process after a mini tummy tuck with liposuction. In the early stages of wound healing, patients should expect significant swelling throughout this area. Over time, the swelling will dissipate. Here are several things that you can do. Be sure that you wear your compression garment at all times during this procedure. In our practice we provide to our patients a very tight compression garment that applies pressure from the chest down beyond the hips. We also recommend our patients initiate an exercise regimen and start a balanced low-fat diet to help them maintain their new parents.


Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 108 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.