Why Do I Now Have a Muffin Top 3 Weeks Post TT Surgery?

I had TT 3 weeks ago, in office under light sedation. My PS does NOT use compression garments. My normal weight is 105. My post-op weight was 113. I am now 100. Even my big jeans (time of the month clothes) don't fit. I have minimal swelling with most of it below incision line. My stomach looks amazing, but I can't begin to put jeans on that are 2 sizes too big even though I weigh only 100 pounds. Why is it now that I'm 5 pounds less I can't fit into even my biggest clothes?

Doctor Answers 2

Tummy Tuck Results?

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Thank you for the question.

In-person examination by your plastic surgeon will be best for accurate answers/advice. Some parts of your question makes me wonder if your surgery was done by a board-certified plastic surgeon.

At your stage in recovery,  it is much too early to evaluate the end results of tummy tuck surgery. The “muffin top” that you ask about is either related to swelling or an untreated area of skin/adipose tissue. If the latter is the case, then additional surgery ( liposuction and/or lipectomy) may be necessary in the future.

If abdominal wall "swelling"  is the culprit this may be caused by:

1. Swelling in the soft tissues.  This may take several months to resolve and may worsen with increased activity  or at the end of the day.   Patience  is required to allow for resolution of the swelling. The swelling occurs because of the interruption of venous and lymphatic channels that occurs during the tummy tuck operation.
2. Fluid accumulation in the space between the skin and the abdominal wall muscle.  this may consist of blood ( hematoma)  or serum (seroma).  This fluid accumulation can generally be diagnosed by physical examination ( occasionally ultrasound  may be helpful).  Treatment consists of aspiration;  several episodes of aspiration may be necessary. 
3. Separation of the abdominal wall muscle repair may lead to a swelling/bulge appearance. This may be diagnosed on physical examination  with your surgeon examining you in different bodily positions. One of the steps of a tummy tuck procedure involves reapproximation (plication)  of the rectus muscles.  These muscles have spread apart during pregnancy and/or weight gain. Bringing them together again in the midline helps to “tighten” the abdominal wall as well as to narrow the waistline.
4. Residual adipose tissue may be confused for swelling. Again this is most easily diagnosed by physical examination. Additional liposuction surgery maybe necessary to improve the results of surgery.
Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year  (or greater)  a complete skin redraping  to occur.

I hope this helps.

Swelling after tummy tuck

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It is very unusual to have a tummy tuck under local anesthesia and also not have a binder. Are you sure your surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery and not another specialty?   It's definitely too early to tell but the swelling will go down over time. I would wait 1-2 months bonfire making and judgements. For now follow your surgeons post op directions and notify him/her of any changes.

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.