Why is my abdomen so distended?

I am 6 weeks post tummy tuck with muscle repair, liposuction of flanks with fat transfer to "dent" in left buttocks post traumatic fall. Why have I have been distended and swollen since the surgery?

Doctor Answers 3

Why is my abdomen so distended?

Thank you for sharing your question and photographs.  In most cases of a procedure of this magnitude postoperative swelling can be signficant and may persist for 6-12 months.  There may be other explanations that can only be determined through an in-person examination - muscle laxity, remaining adipose tissue, failed muscle repair, constipation, bloating - so discuss your concerns with your surgeon.  They are in the best position to assist you based on the details of your procedure.  Hope this helps. 

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Post op Swelling

You are still very early in the recovery process.  This is a major surgery and due to the process of surgery it is very common to have swelling following a tummy tuck.  It is very normal to have still have some swelling in the abdomen 6 weeks after surgery.  While the majority of the swelling resolves within the first two months, but it is not uncommon for someone to have some swelling for up to a year following a tummy tuck.  Your swelling may take slightly longer than most since you did not appear to have any drains put in.  Swelling can sometimes extend into the hip region as well. In order to aid in reducing the swelling faster, wearing a compression garment on your lower half can help. If you notice an increase in swelling or pain over time be sure to follow up with your plastic surgeon.

Michael L. Workman, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Tummy Tuck - Post Op Swelling?

Thank you for your question and photo. You are still early in the post-operative period and should expect to have swelling for three to six months following your tummy tuck surgery, Use of a properly fitted compression garment will help decrease the length and severity of the post-operative swelling. As the swelling decreases, the contour of your abdomen, flanks, and hips will dramatically improve. Please follow your plastic surgeons specific advice regarding your level of physical activity. Hope this helps and good luck with your recovery.

Steven J. Rottman, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 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.