Can't stand straight after 1 month. Is this normal? (Photo)

I had a tummy tuck with lipo one month ago (4 weeks). I had a seroma that my ps drained (60 cc) 2 weeks ago. I'm still hunched over. My tummy is still so swollen & tight, I feel like I'll never walk straight. I've been wearing my compression garment faithfully & he prescribed me a muscle relaxer to help. I get muscle spasms in the middle of the night & wake up stiff with my arms & legs asleep. Is this normal? Have you ever had a patient that still couldn't stand up straight after a month?

Doctor Answers 12

1 month after tummy tuck, some advices:

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Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.
At this point (1 month post-po) 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.
I usually recommend to my patients to start walking straight after the third week slowly without causing tension to avoid unnecessary risks.
Kind regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 335 reviews

Stilll stiff post tummy

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This is somewhat unusual.Usually my patients are standing upright in a day or two.I would follow up carefully with your plastic surgeon.It sounds as if your problem is muscle spasms.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Can't stand up straight one month after TT

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It is unusual not to be able to stand up straight one month after an abdominoplasty. Two or three weeks is typical. Your seroma may have recurred. If you tap on one side of your abdomen and see a wave (not a jiggle) across your abdomen that is a seroma. It would be better if you returned to you surgeon and have him examine you. Seromas often need to be drained more than once. He/she needs to know what is going on and he is in the best position to help you. Your results otherwise look good in the photo, but that doesn't replace an in person exam.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Post tummy tuck standing straight

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usually the inability to stand upright lasts only a week or two. One month out is uncommon, but I've never heard of this being permanent. The tissues always stretch out, it's just a matter of time. See your surgeon so he/she can evaluate you in person and determine if the seroma is back and needing drainage. Keep massaging, slowly stretch more each day, and it will get there. good luck!
Dr. Subbio

Christian Subbio, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Can't stand straight after 1 month. Is this normal?

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Does sound unusual but more photos or in person examinations are needed to rule out serums. Was a drain used initially? Maybe a scan might shed some light if there is an issue....

Abdominoplasty results after one month

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It is unusual to be unable to stand straight after one month.  It is not unusual to be unable to stand straight for 2 weeks.  I generally advise my patients that the first 3 days following surgery are, by far, the worst.  After 2 weeks, pain, discomfort, and posture improve.  A seroma is the most common complication following abdominoplasty.
Seromas are sometimes drained, but will often resolve on their own.  I would follow up with your physician and discuss your results.  Most committed physicians are also committed to their results. 
Good luck!!

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Can't stand up straight

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It looks like your seroma may have returned and it would be best to return to your PS to see if any more fluid can be pulled out.  Most patients are able to walk straight at this point however you have had a setback with the seroma so it may be awhile before everything is settle down.

Anh Lee, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Returning to straight position after a TT.

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You have several reasons for you not being able to stand up straight yet.  1)  The TT itself, especially if your muscles were placed back together,  can restrict your ability to stand up as doing so can stretch the muscle repair and the skin of the abdomen.  It will be uncomfortable for a time.   Both will eventually relax.  2)  Your seroma may not be fully resolved so follow up with your surgeon to be sure it is fully treated.  An Ultrasound may help to see if any is left.   If not resolved, the seroma itself can cause discomfort and inhibit straight posture.  Once it is fully resolved, the tissue where it was will be firm and stiff for 1-2 months as it heals.  Again, this will also resolve.  Follow up with your surgeon so both issues are fully resolved and if some muscle relaxants may help and a gentle stretching and masaging regiment may also be beneficial.  Good luck.

Tummy tuck complicated by seroma - still can't stand up

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Thank you for your question about your tummy tuck.
  • Your photo suggests that your seroma has returned -
  • Usually a single aspiration is not enough.
  • Ask your surgeon to order an ultrasound to see if the seroma returned and where it is.
  • It usually should be aspirated until there is less than 10 cc of fluid.
  • Depending on what one was done, some patients still feel stiff and sore at 4 weeks.
  • Your description suggests a LOT of muscle spasm.
  • Ask your surgeon if perhaps you need massage - at times this is needed for muscles to relax.
  • Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.


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You may still have a seroma accumulating and possibly a pseudocyst or a layer of scar tissue around the seroma.  This can cause tightness that affects your posture.  Repeated seroma aspirations may resolve the fluid but if you still have the scar tissue, the tightness may persists.  Sometimes removing this scar tissue surgically needs to be performed.  

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.