I am 24 days post op and have a very large swelling at the base of my tummy right above my incision (Photo)

I am very concerned as this has gotten larger over the last 7 days and after reading up on sites i beleve a have a seroma. Calling my doctor in the am.... but im very scared i have waited to long. Should i be scared?nervous? Does draining hurt?

Doctor Answers 8

I am 24 days post op and have a very large swelling at the base of my tummy right above my incision

It is always best to ask these questions of your chosen surgeon as recommendations may be different.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Questions about post operative swelling #tummytuck #plasticsurgery

Thank you for sharing your photos and questions about post operative abdominoplasty swelling.  I am sorry you're experiencing the swelling and recommend you speak with he or she directly and have an in person examination.  It could be only swelling or it could be a seroma, an in person exam should give you the answers. I hope this is helpful and wish you all the very best.  -Brian S. Coan, MD, FACS

CARE Plastic Surgery 

Brian Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

24 days postop and I have a very large swelling at the base of my tummy right above my incision?

Thank you for sharing your question and photographs. Unfortunately without an in-person examination it is difficult to offer definite advice as this is most likely routine swelling from surgery.  It may be a discrete fluid collection but I would see your surgeon to obtain a diagnosis and treatment plan. 

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

Still early post op, some advices

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.
At this point (24 days post-po) the swelling can still be present.
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.
If after six months post-op, I recommend you send us your photos again, to give you more information about how we can solve this problem.
Kind regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 256 reviews

Swelling vs fluid

Most of the time this is just swelling, but you need to be evaluated in person to make sure that a seroma has not developed.

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

Swelling after surgery

Congratulations on making the decision and having a surgery that you have wanted.  You will ultimately be very happy.  Recovery is difficult regardless and any disruption can be alarming, but do not panic.  You either have surface swelling in the tissue just above the incision, but more likely you have a seroma (defined fluid collection in the space that was opened to perform the tummy tuck).  The two surfaces that were separated need to find a way to adhere back together.  Removal of the fluid is straightforward and usually does not hurt.  Once the fluid is removed there is relief of any pressure or discomfort that you may have been feeling.  Seromas may require 3-5 aspirations spaced a few days apart to resolve.  Continuing compression during this time and limiting activity need to be discussed with your surgeon, 

Paul G. Ruff IV, MD, FACS
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Swelling after tummy tuck

First thing, don't panic.  It appears as if it may be a seroma, or collection of fluid, which can appear in the pocket of the surgery.  When this occurs, your surgeon will assess.  If the fluid amount seems to be increasing, he/she may choose to aspirate the fluid.  This procedure in mildly uncomfortable but not bad.  after the aspiration, i have my patients wear a compressive binder to help the space close.  Your surgeon will probably advise limiting any activity.  Aspiration may need to be done additional times if needed.

Samuel Shatkin, Jr., MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Swelling After Tummy Tuck

Hello and thank you for your question. I agree, what you are describing does sound like a seroma. This is one of the most common complications after a tummy tuck and it is fairly easy to deal with. I'm glad you already have made an appointment to see your surgeon as this would have been my first recommendation. Draining a seroma is usually tolerated very well by my patients because the skin usually has not regained full sensation yet.  Many patients have temporary numbness in the lower abdomen after a tummy tuck. I hope this helps and good luck. 

Kenneth A. Godwin, DO
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 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.