Should my Stomach Look Bulgy at the Bottom 7 Days After Tummy Tuck? (photo)

hello im really concerned with how my stomach looks, i had bandages on after surgery until today when i seen my ps. so today is my first day seeing my stomach. the bottom looks the same as before i had the tummy tuck. its big and looks like excess skin and very wrinkely...and he told me not to wear a compression garment its to early. is that right? mostly everyone else came out with 1 on.. the top part looks very funny im guessing because its still swollen but it has two dents on the right side

Doctor Answers 5

Tummy Tuck bulges post op

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1 week after surgery there is still a fair amount of bulges and irregularities that are the result of trying to keep the scar of a tummy tuck short and confined to the parameters of your underwear.  As you heal and you stand a little straighter, the irregularities tend to smooth out. 

Should my Stomach Look Bulgy at the Bottom 7 Days After Tummy Tuck? (photo)

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I must report the posted photos appear quite unusual. You need second opinion in person and you might have a seroma/hematoma. Seek medical care. 


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Thank you for the picture; sorry to say it’s hard to really determine what is going on without an exam. In our practice our patients always wear a compression garment right after surgery. You are still very swollen it takes 9-12 months for swelling to completely subside.



Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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7 Days After Tummy Tuck Is The Maximum Point of Swelling

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Dear Ashley, Many plastic surgeons do not liposuction the upper part of the abdomen at the time of an abdominoplasty.  Because of this, if your abdomen has a lot of fat above the belly button, then it is not unusual to have both fat and swelling on your abdomen 7 days after a tummy tuck.  You didn't mention if you had drains, and if you had them, at what point were they removed.  Drains very often keep swelling down, and without them, early post operative swelling at times can be excessive.  The lower part of your abdomen may be swollen because of fluid in the tissue.  You may have a fluid buildup outside the tissue (seroma).  There is always a bulge in the lower part of the abdomen at this stage due to the incision preventing any drainage in an inferior direction, and the swelling piles up there due to gravity.  

All that being said, it's time to talk to your plastic surgeon and find out why he does not want you to wear a pressure garment.  Your swelling will definitely improve from this point on.  In my practice, DMSO is a very inexpensive and safe way to decrease swelling. 


I cannot imagine why a compression garment would not be beneficial

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Thank you for the question and photos.  Every plastic surgeon does things a little different.  I suspect your plastic surgeon may have used quilting sutures which is an attempt to prevent seroma formation.  It is still a possibility that you can form a seroma and your plastic surgeon should take a look to make sure that isn't the case.  Swelling at 7 days is also very common.  A compression garment can help reduce this but I am uncertain why your plastic surgeons has recommended that you not wear one at this time.  I would make sure that you are not miscommunicating as a compression garment is very useful in my opinion after a tummy tuck procedure.

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

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