3 Weeks Post Abdominoplasty with Flank Lipo; Does This Look Normal? (photo)

I am three weeks post-op. The swelling (if this is even swelling) is to an extreme amount and the scar is like a cliff. Does this look normal? Also, my PS did not have me wear a compression garment of any kind. I have felt nervous about that, but took his word for it.

Doctor Answers 1

Post Op Abdominoplasty

Thank you for your question and photos.

Significant swelling at 3 weeks post op is very common but I would suggest that you keep your follow up appointments with your surgeon so that you can be examined and post op complications can be ruled out.

There seems to be excess skin/adipose tissue of the flank area and whether this is "normal" or not would depend on what was discussed with your surgeon prior to your surgery. Treatment of the stubborn muffin top involves excision (lipectomy) of excess skin and adipose tissue. Liposuction  surgery alone  will potentially leave you with loose skin and an  unsatisfactory result.

Although not relevant in your case, patients who are undergoing a standard tummy tuck procedure  should be aware however that often an “extended” tummy tuck is necessary to treat the muffin top area. This extended tummy tuck procedure involves flank and back skin and adipose tissue excision as well as liposuction surgery. If liposuction alone is done the patient may still end up with the muffin top and require further surgery to improve the waistline in the future.

I would suggest that you allow your body to heal. If you are not happy with the results of surgery and the appearance of the flank areas discuss additional surgery with your surgeon (possible lipectomy).

Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
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