24/7 swelling normal? I'm 18 days post-op extended TT w/ muscle repair. (photos)

Drain was removed at 10 days for draining less than 25cc's. I know swelling is normal but I thought it would decrease overnight? Pictures are first thing in the morning (left) and end of day (right). Fluid doesn't "wave" if pressed on one side. Is this normal swelling? My PS is in another state so I can't visit for in-person exam at this time.

Doctor Answers 7

Tummy Tuck Post Op

Thank you for your photos. It is a pleasure to answer your question. You are very early on your recovery process. At 18 days post op of a tummy tuck it is quite normal to be very swollen. It will diminish with time.  The recovery process of this surgical procedure is one of the longest, it could take up to 6 months to heal completely. I recommend patience and follow up with your surgeon. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Cali Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

24/7 swelling normal? I'm 18 days post-op extended TT w/ muscle repair

Thank you for your question and photo, you will need time and patience to for healing you are still at an early stage.

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

3 weeks post op, some advices:

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.
At this point (3 weeks post-po) the swelling have to be minimal.
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 255 reviews

Dr derby

From what i can see in the photos , this is very normal swelling for 18 days post op. It looks like a very normal post operative process at the moment. Best of luck

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Swelling after tummy tuck surgery…

Congratulations on having undergone the tummy tuck procedure.  Longer-term swelling after tummy tuck surgery is quite common; swelling may persist for many months and even up to one year after the procedure is performed. Often, patients will report that the swelling increases as their activity level increases and gets worse later on in the day. Sometimes, the use of compressive garments may be helpful to control the edema.
I would suggest that you continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon, who will be in the best position to assess your situation and provide you with specific recommendations. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be pleased with long-term care.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Tummy tuck - why isn't swelling going down?

Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck.

  • Your photos suggest you have normal post-tummy tuck swelling.
  • It is much less at the end of the day when you have been up - which allows swelling to move out and down.
  • Swelling takes months to subside - so you probably just need more time.
  • Send your photos to your own surgeon to be sure he agrees.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

24/7 swelling normal? I'm 18 days post-op extended TT w/ muscle repair.

Thank you for your question and photographs. It is difficult without an in-person examination to determine what may be taking place, but at 18 days after surgery this is most commonly swelling that will resolve spontaneously given enough time.  Swelling is often present for several weeks to months after a tummy tuck and is best managed with compression garment use as you are doing.  Hang in there and maintain close follow up with your surgeon, they can provide you with reassurance and ensure you go on to heal without incident. Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 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.