Tummy tuck and liver cyst, could fluid build up have caused this?

I had a tummy tuck just over a year ago. I had persistent problems with fluid build up and had fluid aspirated twice a week for weeks. The fluid appeared to dissipate although the feeling of bloat was never gone away. I recently had an ultrasound that showed a large 12cm cyst on my liver. Could the fluid from the surgery have caused this? The cyst must not have been there a year ago as nothing showed on the ultrasounds performed after the surgery?

Doctor Answers 4


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The fluid from the tummy tuck is a seroma that occurs under the skin but above the abdominal muscles and not in any way communicating with the liver.  The ultrasound probably did not focus on the liver since it was done to diagnose the seroma.  

Tummy tuck - can it cause a liver cyst

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Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck.

  • Yours is a very interesting question and no one is likely to have the answer.
  • Liver cysts can be present at birth and later enlarge -
  • Or they can appear later - their cause is not known (assuming it is not from parasites.)
  • Statistically the tummy tuck and liver cyst would be unrelated but strange things can happen.
  • I can theoretically imagine a small liver cyst enlarging from the stress of abdominal surgery.
  • I can also imagine a seroma forming a track into the liver - very very unlikely.
  • The best approach might be to have your surgeon contact the radiologist to re-read both ultrasounds to be sure the liver cyst truly was not present a year ago.
  • After that, they may recommend a CT scan to be sure there is no seroma-cyst fistula.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

A seroma post tummy tuck cannot travel to your liver one year later

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Thank you Virgo for your question.  I understand your concerns.  Seromas (clear yellowish fluid accumulation) can occur post tummy tuck despites quilting the abdominal flap down to the muscle's fascia and/or the use of drains.  That being said, that fluid would not travel into your liver to cause a liver cyst.  I believe those 2 are separate and independent processes and their timing purely coincidental.

I would nevertheless consult with a liver specialist as the cyst might need further investigation.

Kind regards,

Dr. Marc DuPere, Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon

Marc DuPéré, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Liver cyst after tummy tuck

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In a tummy tuck the surgery takes place above the layer of muscle and fascia that contains the organs like  the liver.  Fluid from a tummy tuck is located between the skin and that layer not below that layer.  Therefore a liver cyst would not be related to the tummy tuck surgery or the post operative fluid issues.  Ask your family doctor or GI specialist about the cyst, they can guide you best.  

William Koenig, MD
Rochester Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

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