I'm 9wks and still have quite of bit of swelling or so I think. How can I tell if it's swelling or fat? Will I did a revision?

I still hve a lot of swelling or fat in my lowr abs. In the morning, my stomach is still not flat. My stomach seems to be protruding has time goes on. The flattest I've seen my stomach is rght after the surgery and I find myself holding my stomach in to get the flat effect. My BL and scars healed very nicely. My rt side (left side your view) seems to be protruding more than the lft side. I'm almost at my 3mos mark and I'm hoping that this is not the final result. I thnk I have skin too! Thnks!

Doctor Answers 11

I'm 9wks and still have quite of bit of swelling or so I think. How can I tell if it's swelling or fat? Will I did a revision?

Thank you for the question!  From the side profile, I would say you have an excellent result.  It is not uncommon to gain a little weight from the necessary non-exercise recovery time after a major surgery like this.  As you mentioned, you were "board flat" after the surgery.  This will come right back when you resume your exercise after approved by your surgeon.  The good news is that your muscles are now tight under the skin.  This could never be accomplished before the surgery!  Congratulations on a great result.

-- Dr. Mussman

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Swelling after mommy makeover

After a tummy tuck it takes a minimum of 4 months for the swelling to resolve.  You have answered your own question by the fact that right after surgery (before you had a chance to swell) things were much flatter.  I know it is hard to do, bipbtp be patient and try not to stress.  It won't do you any good, no one gets rid of all their swelling before 4-6 months.  

Melinda Haws, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

At nine weeks after mommy makeover there's lots of swelling.

It's way too early to be concerned about any kind a revision. Give lots of swelling and there will be substantial improvement as the weeks pass.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Post Mommy Makeover

It is common for your to have swelling and fluid retention this early in the healing process. It can easily take 3-6 months to see results. Please keep any scheduled follow ups with your doctor for his advice and evaluation. Best wishes, Dean Vistnes.

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Give it a bit more time

Thank you for you pictures. I would judge the results at 3 months.  Your contour is good. Your abdomen will not be board flat but improved as yours is.  

I'm 9wks and still have quite a bit of swelling or so I think. How can I tell if it's swelling or fat?

At 9 weeks post tummy tuck most of the swelling should have subsided.  However, it is possible to have some residual fluid (seroma) that may be contributing to your situation.  Ask your surgeon if this might be the problem.  If it is, he/she may be able to remove the fluid with a needle and syringe.   If the problem is residual fat, a further liposuction can be considered, but I would give things at least three more months before having any surgical revision.  Best wishes, Dr Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Postoperative Swelling

By nine weeks most of the swelling should be gone. Maybe another 10-15% is left that will improve with compression garments and time. It always helpful to be patient and wait and see.

Fluid accumulation is possible, but this is easy to feel on examination. It is most likely swelling or residual fat. 

If it's residual fat, some extra liposuction can be done to improve your results. It sounds like a problem, but this often is easy and can make a big difference.

It doesn't look like you have extra skin. When you sit down, everyone has some looseness there. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to stand up.

See your doctor. Give it some more time. Overall I think you look like it was a big improvement and that you look wonderful. 

Good Luck! 
Dr Chris Saunders 

Christopher Saunders, MD
Wilmington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

I'm 9wks and still have quite of bit of swelling or so I think. How can I tell if it's swelling or fat? Will I did a revision?

Always best to be seen in person ( by your plastic surgeon) for precise diagnosis and treatment.   Generally speaking, abdominal wall "swelling" after tummy tuck may be related to:

1. Swelling in the soft tissues.  This may take several months to resolve and may worsen with increased activity  or at the end of the day.   Patience  is required to allow for resolution of the swelling. The swelling occurs because of the interruption of venous and lymphatic channels that occurs during the tummy tuck operation.

2. Fluid accumulation in the space between the skin and the abdominal wall muscle.  this may consist of blood ( hematoma)  or serum (seroma).  This fluid accumulation can generally be diagnosed by physical examination ( occasionally ultrasound  may be helpful).  Treatment consists of aspiration;  several episodes of aspiration may be necessary. 

3. Separation of the abdominal wall muscle repair may lead to a swelling/bulge appearance. This may be diagnosed on physical examination  with your surgeon examining you in different bodily positions. One of the steps of a tummy tuck procedure involves reapproximation (plication)  of the rectus muscles.  These muscles have spread apart during pregnancy and/or weight gain. Bringing them together again in the midline helps to “tighten” the abdominal wall as well as to narrow the waistline.

4. Residual adipose tissue may be confused for swelling. Again this is most easily diagnosed by physical examination. Additional liposuction surgery maybe necessary to improve the results of surgery.

Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year  (or greater)  for complete skin redraping  to occur.

Refer to your plastic surgeon for more precise information and advice. Best wishes.

Mommy makeover aftercare

After a mommy makeover, it takes time for the implants to settle (if you got implants) and it takes time for the swelling to resolve. This can take up to 6 months so I don't usually recommend any revisions for that time. Specific questions about problems with the surgery are usually best directed to the plastic surgeon who performed your surgery. Thanks for your question!

Swelling after tummy tuck

The swelling after a tummy tuck usually takes at least 6-12 weeks to resolve, but may take up to 3-6 months.  You may notice that your abdomen is flatter in the morning when you wake up and fuller by the end of the day.  This is due to swelling that still needs to resolve.  

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 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.