I'm 8 days post op from tummy tuck. Everything I eat makes me feel like I'm going to burst open, so tight, it's hard to breathe.

Is this normal ?

Doctor Answers 4

1 week post op, some advices:

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.
At this point (1 week post-po) the swelling have to be minimal.
To reduce it, I recommend you perform daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the abdomen and wear a postoperative girdle from thigh to the breasts.
Kind regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-


Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Post op tummy

Tightening of the abdomen can make it more difficult to eat larger meals. Consider smaller more frequent meals. This will generally resolve as the tummy relaxes.

Tightness making it hard to breath is common to for the same reason and will resolve, but please check in with your PS promptly to be sure there is no other cause of your difficulty breathing.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Tummy tuck tightness

Some patients have feelings of tightness that can last for a while. This is often due to the plication of the muscles.  Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Tightness and Scars after Tummy Tuck

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

Since this tightness may be normal, there may be nothing worth worrying about. However, if you are extremely uncomfortable it would be good it visit your surgeon to make sure that healing is progressing well. Good luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 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.