Are my Love Handles Normal 2 Weeks Post a Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I am exactly 2 weeks post a tummy tuck and am extremely anxious about the way it looks. I have concerns about the flanks that are present, in particularly on my left side. Should I contact my surgeon to express my anxiety or give it some time? I appreciate any suggestions and feedback. Thank You!

Doctor Answers 6

Swelling after tummy tuck

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Tumme Tucks are designed to address the extra skin and fat on the front of the stomach.  The flanks or "love handles" are treated with liposuction which can be done at the same time.  I would wait until you are completely healed from this procedure and then discuss your options with the plastic surgeon. 

Kindest regards

Neil J. Zemmel 

Who Loves Love Handles

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Standard or classic tummy tucks generally do not address the love handles. At the time of tummy tuck, liposuction of the love handles can be done if the skin quality is good. Extending the skin and fat excision around the sides and back of the waist may be indicated if skin quality is poor. You are very early in the post-operative recovery phase and it will take time for swelling to subside before you can evaluate the final result. However you certainly should contact your surgeon and express your concerns. It is possible that you could have a fluid collection that needs to be drained. Only your surgeon can make the distinction between normal post-operative swelling and a fluid collection.

David S. Motoki, MD
Draper Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Love handles after Tummy Tuck

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Yes, it is normal to be swollen 2 weeks after a tummy tuck. It could be that there is just excess fluid there and that with time, it will resolve and become a better contoured region. If, however, you find that the flanks do not go down in size appropriately, additional liposuction in that area can help do the trick. Talk to your plastic surgeon and definitely keep the lines of communication open. This is a perfectly normal way to feel after surgery. Hopefully, it all works out for the best. Good luck.


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Just post op swelling.  It takes at least 6 weeks to start seeing  a result. 

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Flank bulging after tummy tuck

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The photographs aren't really helpful in showing the appearance of the flanks. Not all abdominoplasties include liposuction of the flanks and there is a limit to how much can be suctioned without risking the blood supply. You do need to wait for the swelling to go down but it would be helpful to know precisely what procedure was performed.

Flanks after tummy tuck

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The side view... is this really a post op view? There is such a large amount of lower tummy looseness it looks like a preop view. Also, with your pants up, it is harder to tell what the flanks look like.

Anyway, it is way too early to say if the flanks are just puffy due to being swollen. Give it some time, several months, to allow the swelling to subside.

Victor Au, MD (retired)
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon

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