It has been over 6 months after my tummy tuck and I am still very swollen, especially around my belly button area. Sticks way out when this happens. I asked my plastic surgeon if I could have a hernia, and she said no it is swelling. I haven't read that anyone has swelling like this after so many months. Can someone please help? Thanks.
Post Tummy Tuck Swelling - How Long Should It Last?
Doctor Answers 15
Swelling around belly button 6 months after tummy tuck may be fat, hernia, or lax muscles
Your doctor needs to examine you and give a good explanation-otherwise a second opinion may be necessary.
If in fact you have a significant protrusion around your belly button there are many possible causes.
A hernia is a possibility but I would have expected that a hernia would have been discovered during your ecxam prior to the tummy tuck surgery.
Localized fat deposits are a possibility.
Most common in my experience is failure (suture break) of or incomplete muscle repair if in fact a muscle repair was done during your abdominoplasty.
Your doctor can address these concerns with you.
Proper surgical contouring of the abdominal wall
While it's not unusual to still experience some swelling six months after an adominoplasty, chronic or long-term focal swelling or exaggerated protuberance of the umbilicus should introduce questions to your surgeon as to possible causes.
Patients can expect that while much of the swelling associated with either liposuction or tummy tuck procedures usually resolves within three to six months, total resolution and softening of the surgical scar can often require up to one year.
During the abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) procedure, your surgeon usually performs a plication (abdominal wall tightening), and trimming of the excess fat around the umbilical stalk. If the plication sutures become loose, if the rectus facias around the umbilicus is not plicated, or the stalk is not adequately trimmed, then you can expect a postoperative bulge around the umbilicus.
My suggestion is continued periodic evaluation by your surgeon for several more months. If, at that point, your swelling is solely confined to the belly button area, I think it's reasonable to have a discussion regarding possible surgical management.
As stated there are many possible causes for the abdominal fullnes of the umbilical region. However, following tummy tuck the most likely explanation is relaxation of the diastasis repair sutures. Massage may help in resolution of the swelling. Diagnostic imaging may be useful. A second opinion is always a reasonable option.
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Swelling at 6 months after a tummy tuck should be significantly reduced
Thank you for the question. The majority of the swelling following a tummy tuck should be gone at 6 months. Fullness at 6 months should be considered either excess fat, pseudobursa, or lax abdominal wall. An examination should help determine which of these are the likely source of your abdominal fullness. A CT scan, although not necessary, may also shed additinal light on the subject.
All the best,
Dr. Remus Repta
Swelling after tummy tuck
Chronic swelling after a tummy tuck can be a lot of different things. It could be untreated local fat deposits, it could still be residual swelling, it could be a seroma, it could be excess skin. You would have to be examined.
Chronic swelling after Tummy Tuck
It is still early, but you should not be seeing localized swelling around any one particular area. Without a picture or exam, it's impossible to say the cause, however, a hernia is not out of the question, nor is seroma, fatty deposition, or inadequate plication. Or it could be completely normal, and resolve over time. You need to ask your surgeon to clarify the other possiblities other than normal post-operative swelling.
Swelling after abdominoplasty
The first 2-3 days after surgery there is a good amount of pressure and tightness from repairing the stretched rectus muscles. The feeling is similar to a hard workout. We usually prescribe pain pills such as Norco (Vicodin) or Percocet and a muscle relaxant such as Soma or Flexeril. You will need help from someone the first 2-3 days. A drain is placed which is removed at approximately 1 to 1.5 weeks. Most people usually go on with light normal activities at that time. No heavy lifting or exercising for 6 weeks. The results will be visible right after the procedure. It takes several months for the swelling to subside. Generally, patients wear the compression garment 6 weeks and longer if there continues to be swelling. Most swelling subsides at 3 months, however, a small residual can take up to 6 months to a year.
Best of luck, Dr. Michael Omidi
An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.