After Tummy Tuck, is it normal to get swollen near the scar area ?

Is it normal to get swollen near the scar area where tummy tuck procedure was done. Its been 6 wks now sense I got my tummy tuck and if I drive, stand or just do regular everyday activities I get swollen near the tummy tuck scar. Is that normal? Another thing how long will I be numb and looks like that area is either retaining little fluid as well.

Doctor Answers 12

TT 6 weeks post op

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Hi, thank you for your question. You are still in the early stages of recovery. It will take about a year for everything to settle, swelling to decrease and scars to heal. Most patients will be placed in an abdominal binder, which they will wear the first week. There is usually a fair amount of swelling and the binder should be opened several times a day so that there are no pressure points. Within a few hours following surgery, abdominoplasty patients will walk in a slightly bent-over position. Strenuous activity and lifting of more than 10 pounds should be avoided for six weeks after surgery. Most patients are able to return to work and daily activities within two weeks of surgery.
After the first 7 to 10 days the patient is placed in an elastic garment for compression over the next six weeks.

Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area and the scrotal and penis area for men can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate. If you have concerns about your swelling, or the swollen area moves with a wave-like motion when tapped, please contact your PS. An evaluation may need to occur.

In my opinion, you can return to full activity without restrictions at 6 weeks.

Incisions and Scars

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. Best Wishes to you!

#swelling  #sixweekspostop  #contactPSwithconcerns

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Swelling near scar area

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Dear lita13,

Thank you for your question. Swelling and tenderness can still be common for some time after this procedure, especially as you begin to increase your activity. At our office we tell patients to not judge the final result until 6 to 12 months after surgery. Swelling can be very common underneath the incision as well, since swelling moves with gravity. If this issue continues to concern you, make sure you make an appointment to meet with your plastic surgeon. Good luck!

Tummy Tuck Recovery

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It is quite normal to have swelling after a tummy tuck.  Gravity will tend to pull the swelling downward toward the incision as you are describing.  You should check with your surgeon but typically patients will wear a compression garment to reduce the swelling.  Numbness is also to be expected following this procedure.  Some return of feeling will likely occur over a period of months to years but some amount of permanent numbness is not unusual.

Richard Kofkoff, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

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Post surgery swelling is entirely normal

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Hi Lita13. What you describe is totally normal! You are still in the early part of the healing process. It will take a full year before everything completely settles down and it will be several months before you see a complete end to the swelling. Everywhere there was an incision in your surgery needs to heal and every tiny blood vessel or lymph channel that was cut now needs to regenerate and find a new way to deliver the blood and lymph where it needs to go. That takes time. Plus, when you are active with normal everyday activities, the demand for blood and lymph to these areas increases, putting more pressure on the new channels, causing a temporary increase in swelling. Try to be patient. Massage your scar vigorously and often. Things will get back to normal soon! Best of luck.

John Curran, MCh FRCSI (Plast)
Ireland Plastic Surgeon

Swelling after Tummy tuck

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It is perfectly normal to have numbness or swelling after a tummy tuck which is expected to slowly have sensation return to normal after many months and even years following your surgery.

Although uncommon, permanent numbness and tingling can occur after tummy tuck surgery, especially in the lower mid line area between the scar and belly button. In most cases there is some sensation present, just not the normal pre-surgical amount. Please speak with your plastic surgeon about your concerns.

#tummytucknumbness #tummytuckpost-op

Swelling after an abdominoplasty

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Swelling in this area is not unusual and will get better over the next 3 to 6 months.  Give it time to settle down.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews


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Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well...It is normal to have not just one area, but the whole body swollen. Do not worry, keep using compression under your garment and you'll be fine in a couple of weeks.

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 441 reviews

6 weeks post op, some advices:

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Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.
At this point (6 weeks post op) the swelling is normal. 
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.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 368 reviews

Very normal

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The lower abdomen is usually the last area to resolve from swelling.  Numbness can persist for many months.  All of these symptoms are completely normal and will get better with time.  Best Wishes.

Jules Walters, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Swelling after Abdominoplasty

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Thank you for your question.

You are still quite early in the recovery phase for your procedure. Swelling can take a few months to completely resolve after a tummy tuck. Similar can be said for post-operative numbness. If you find that you have a focal area of swelling that feels a little firm you may have a seroma (fluid collection). I would advise you to notify your operative surgeon or their staff for evaluation.

Best of luck!

Ryan Mitchell, MD, FRCSC
Grand Rapids 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.