Is This Swelling Normal?

I am tummy tuck post op almost 6wks. I have a 3 inch wide band of swelling that developed right above and on my scar. It looks like a long raised rectangle of swelling. I have been using scar patches every day. It is not a seroma-it is firm-but stands out from the rest of my stomach. Is this a normal part of healing? Also-there is a deep line where my old belly button had been-will this fade better in time? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 7

Swelling 6 weeks after tummy tuck

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Swelling can persist for 6 weeks or more after a tummy tuck.  That being said, a circumscribed area that is lagging well behind the rest of the operation is concerning that a seroma or hematoma or other local inflammatory process is occurring.  I would recommend calling your surgeon and having them rule these problems out.

Normal swelling after an abdominoplasty

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This could be what is known as interstitial edema and it is not unusual after an abdominoplasty.  The incision acts almost like a dam and keeps this edema or fluid from draining dependently.  Lymphmorphatic type massage will help but in general it just takes more time.  

Swelling after Tummy Tuck

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Without seeing you in person or seeing pictures, it is difficult to give you specific advice.  If there is a localized fullness, you may have a fluid collection or seroma.  If there is a generalized area it may just be swelling.  The best advice is to have your plastic surgeon take a look and see what they think.


Good Luck.

Unusal swelling area after tt

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This local area of swelling may be due to seroma (you say it isn't however), local hematoma, swelling, and lymphedema.  Treatment requires proper diagnosis.

If you have a compression garment on, be sure it is on correctly.  Massage may be in order, or aspiration.  Your ps will instruct you.

The navel scar should fade over time, but scar cream may be helpful.


Swelling and Deep Line at Belly Button 6 Weeks after Tummy Tuck

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    Though this may be swelling, an exam would be necessary to rule anything else out.   The deep line at the belly button may be the result of the binder pushing the skin inward.  If this is the case, massaging the line apart may help to loosen the area.  Without pictures, these are guesses.  Best of Luck.  As always, see your surgeon.

Swelling after Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question.
As always, it is best to be seen in person ( by your plastic surgeon) for precise diagnosis and treatment.
Abdominal wall "swelling" after tummy tuck may be related to:
1. Swelling in the soft tissues.  This may take several months to resolve and may worsen with increased activity  or at the end of the day.   Patience  is required to allow for resolution of the swelling. The swelling occurs because of the interruption of venous and lymphatic channels that occurs during the tummy tuck operation.
2. Fluid accumulation in the space between the skin and the abdominal wall muscle.  this may consist of blood ( hematoma)  or serum (seroma).  This fluid accumulation can generally be diagnosed by physical examination ( occasionally ultrasound  may be helpful).  Treatment consists of aspiration;  several episodes of aspiration may be necessary. 
3. Separation of the abdominal wall muscle repair may lead to a swelling/bulge appearance. This may be diagnosed on physical examination  with your surgeon examining you in different bodily positions. One of the steps of a tummy tuck procedure involves reapproximation (plication)  of the rectus muscles.  These muscles have spread apart during pregnancy and/or weight gain. Bringing them together again in the midline helps to “tighten” the abdominal wall as well as to narrow the waistline.
4. Residual adipose tissue may be confused for swelling. Again this is most easily diagnosed by physical examination. Additional liposuction surgery maybe necessary to improve the results of surgery.
Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year  (or greater)  a complete skin redraping  to occur.
I hope this helps.

Is This Swelling Normal

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Unfortunately, without a photo I am not getting enough info to answer this one. At any rate, your own surgeon will be your best resource for this type of question. Consider reposting with photos. Best wishes. 


Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.