My Lower Abdomen is Pouching out More After my Tummy Tuck, Is this Normal? (photo)

On day 4 po my lower abdomin was flat. Now Its day 12 po and its pouching out and very noticable. The first drain was taken out on day 4 and the second was taken out on day 10. And thats when I noticed that my lower abdomin is not flat anymore. I nervous and discourged right now. Is this normal or is it swelling or fluid build up which now I'm starting to suspect?

Doctor Answers 9

Is this swelling normal after tummy tuck? (photo)

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Looks like a decent tummy tuck.  You don't have visible asymmetry, hematoma, skin necrosis, infection, and doesn't sound like you had deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolus, all of which can happen after tummy tuck, so not sure why you are discouraged.

You're probably swollen or have a seroma.  These are best managed by your surgeon.  You had major surgery, and appear to be doing very well overall.  Believe your result will be spectacular!

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Swelling after surgery

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Few things can explain your swelling.  First you may be developing a seroma or a fluid collection and secondly could you be bloated or constipated?  Please see your plastic surgeon.

Post tummy tuck swelling

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Your photograph doesn't show swelling that would indicate an abnormality but you could be developing a seroma, or fluid collection. See your plastic surgeon in followup.

Could be fluid

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Don't worry.  Consult with your surgeon and he/she will easily be able to determine for you what the issue is and provide reassurance.

One possibility is seroma fluid which is quite common and may need to be removed with a needle.  Otherwise, there can be swelling in the tisuues that lasts several weeks to even a few months and will resolve.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

My Lower Abdomen is Pouching out More After my Tummy Tuck, Is this Normal?

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Posted photo does not demonstrate your issue. Best to seek immediate care from your surgeon. Fluid collection can cause issues. 

Seroma after tummy tuck

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It sounds like you may have a seroma.  You should go right back to see your doctor for evaluation and drainage if that is what you have.

Swelling after drain removal

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It is not uncommon to have a seroma or fluid collection after a drain removal.  Check with your plastic surgeon to see if you have a seroma.  If that is the case he/she will probably drain it on the spot and have you wear a spanx or flexees or binder.  This should help but make sure you see your doctor soon.

Abdomen bulging after tummy tuck

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Make sure to see your doctor who can check if fluid has formed in the lower abdomen that needs to be drained.

There are several other causes of this problem, such as continued use of narcotic pain medicines, but your doctor can sort that out.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Swelling 4 days out from tummy tuck.

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Thanks for your question and the photograph.

Your picture does not look abnormal but only a physical examination by your surgeon will tell for sure if there is anything going on.

Sometimes fluid can accumulate under the skin and a simple drainage will solve it. sometimes there is swelling within the tissues which will resolve over time.

Your plastic surgeon can evaluate your concerns and likely give you peace of mind.

Give him or her a call.

Best wishes.


Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 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.