TT/MR/Lipo Swelling 28 Days Post-op? (photo)

I have lumpiness in my upper ab area that is soft (not rippling) and above my incision. It does not move or change areas. It's not going down and is the same week to week. I know swelling is normal and will take time for it to completely resolve but can I expect my tummy to eventually flatten out or will I remain with this puffiness in the upper ab/middle section. I've seen others with tighter, firmer results (with bodies similar to mine) and I'm feeling like I look bad (better but bad).

Doctor Answers 10

Post-Op Swelling Following TT/MR/Lipo

Thank you for posting your abdominal contour surgery photographs. Judging from your photographs and your history, it appears that you still have some post-op swelling. Over the next few months, as your body heals, the swelling and your abdominal contour will improve. You can follow up with your plastic surgeon for additional reassurance. 

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

TT/MR/Lipo Swelling 28 Days Post-op?

Very long time to be swollen I might consider that the operation was limited and you will need weight loss or additional surgery after 6 months. Sorry. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Results following an abdominoplasty

Your abdominoplasty seems to have gotten rid of the overhaning skin and fat of your abdomen.   There still seems to be some degree of fullness of the upper abdomen.  It is possible that you need additional liposuction of the upper abdomen if this area does not resolve over the next 4 - 6 months.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Lumpiness in upper abdomen

More than likely you are still swollen at 4 weeks after an abdominoplasty. You probably need to give it more time. If concerned follow with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Swelling and Lumpiness 1 month after tummy tuck

You still have a lot of swelling 4 weeks post-op and are definitely not at your final result.  That being said if you have specific pockets of swelling, you should have your doctor examine you to make sure that things are healing well and that you don't have a fluid collection or some other problem that needs to be treated.

Sacha Obaid, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

Cyclical Postop Swelling Common After Tummy Tuck & Trunk Liposuction

Thank you for your photos and question. Swelling of the abdomen 28 days aftera tummy tuck with lipo is very normal.  This can be very disconcerting for patients because in the early postop period the improvement is obvious, but new swelling seems like a setback.  Fortunately, this is a temporary phenomenon and your results will continue to improve over the next 2-3 months.  The lymphatic channels that drain swelling from the tissues of the lower trunk and abdomen have been disrupted by surgery.  Additionally, as you begin to feel better your activity level increases resulting in more swelling than you had previously.  As the body heals itself, the lymphatics regain their ability to handle the extra fluid and the cyclical swelling resolves and stops occurring.  In the interim, lymphatic drainage massage can be helpful.  Lighter Compression garments such as Spanx can also be helpful, supportive and comfortable.  Best wishes on a speedy recovery!

Robert F. Centeno, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Swelling after Tummy Tuck

Based on your before picture and your current picture, the result seems good for 1 month after surgery. After all swelling is resolved in 3 to 6 months, perhaps some liposuction could be done, if needed. You may discuss this with your plastic surgeon.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Tummy Tuck/Lipo Recovery

You can not gauge your recover based on other patient's recovery.  I would recommend that you wear your compressive garment religiously.  This will help control your swelling.  You are still early in your recovery. Time will help improve your outcome.


Upper Abdominal Wall Still Full after Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question and pictures. It is helpful that you posted pre- operative pictures as well.

 Although I cannot provide you with specific advice, my best guess is that the fullness in your upper abdominal area is related to residual adipose tissue.  I say this based on viewing your preoperative picture and evaluating the same area ( preoperatively and postoperatively). Given that you are 28 days out of your surgery, some improvement can be expected but I would expect that you would still have some “fullness” along the upper abdominal wall long-term. If this area remains a concern long-term, additional surgery ( for example liposuction surgery) may be necessary to improve the results.

 Patients who are undergoing tummy tuck surgery should be aware that this type of secondary surgery may be necessary;  sometimes, too much liposuctioning done at the time of tummy tuck surgery can result in serious complications ( related to blood flow).

 I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,504 reviews

TT/MR/Lipo Swelling 28 Days Post-op

I do see a lot of improvement when compared with the preop photo. I don't see much of the scar but what I do see looks pretty good. Without a side view I can't really guess as to what might be going on. You will probably continue to get some flattening but the limitation is the volume inside your abdomen about which your surgeon has no control.

Stay in contact with your surgeon, consider reposting your question with some side views. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.