Why do I have a hard bump on the upper part of my abdomen? (photo)

I had a mommy make over on 7/14/2016. I now have a hard bump on my upper abdomen and it will not go down/away. What could this be? My surgeon says it's very odd. I thought it was swelling, but the size hasn't changed.

Doctor Answers 6

Cause of hard abdominal bump.

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The cause of your bump could be several different things.  Your surgeon would be in he best position to know what was done in that area and therefore what the most likely cause is. Perhaps a ultrasound of the area would help.  Ask your surgeon to help you find the cause.

Bump in abdomen after tummy tuck

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There are a few different possible sources for a "bump" or fullness after a tummy tuck including:

  • seroma/pseudo-bursa
  • excess fat
  • loose abdominal wall
  • swelling

If the "bump" in question was not there after surgery but has appeared slowly over time it may be that you developed a seroma and/or pseudo-bursa.  Perhaps your plastic surgeon can check to see if there is fluid there or you can get an ultrasound of that area.  If a seroma or pseudo-bursa is present it can be corrected.  Swelling should be improving with time so that should correct itself.  Excess fat and lose abdominal muscles would require a revision to address such as liposuction or revision tummy tuck to tighten the muscles in that area.

Good luck on your recovery.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Bump on Upper Abdomen

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It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

If this tight bump remains very long and you cannot get assistance or advice from your surgeon it may be helpful to consult with another board certified plastic surgeon to make sure that healing is progressing properly. Good luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

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Hematoma or Seroma

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Thank you for posting a picture. This looks like a Seroma or Hematoma, a collection of fluid consisting of either blood or serum. Most likely your surgeon will order a test such as an ultrasound to determine if it should be drained. Best of Luck. Dr. K

Robert M. Kachenmeister, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Bump after surgery

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Thank you for your photo and question.  A hard bump after surgery may be a fluid collection (seroma or hematoma) or it could be a loosening of the muscle or even a hernia.  I recommend that you follow with your surgeon and get an ultrasound or CT to see what it is. I would not ignore it or wait longer for it to go away. 

Best wishes!

Jamie Moenster, DO
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Upper abdomen "bump"

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Thanks for your question, and yes that's not a routine finding this far out from surgery. Occasionally a localized fluid collection can have that appearance, a suture breaking might lead to the area above the belly button looking like that, or a rare inflammatory reaction to suture material, or a rare hernia can look a bit like that. Sometimes the physical exam can answer the question, but it may require some type of imaging such as an ultrasound to know for sure. If you are with a board certified Plastic surgeon they are familiar with all the options and will guide through this and let you know when the time is right to look harder for what is going on. Best wishes going forward.

Jeffrey Nelson, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
4.5 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.