I recently had a mini abdominplasty and Lipo of my flanks, I woke up on PO day 15 and had a bulging stomach. Is this normal?

Post op day one till two weeks in a I had a flat stomach even when I fully expanded my stomach in the relaxed position standing, and I woke up 2 days ago at post op day 15 and had a bulging stomach Is this normal? I'm 5'11 197 lbs physically fit, I have dropped 6 lbs since the day of my surgery and have been watching what I have been eating.

Doctor Answers 2

Bulging Abdomen 2 Weeks Post TT - Is This Normal?

I am very sorry you are going through this.  The good news is no matter what the cause of the bulge, it is correctable and the short answer to your question is, no this is not normal.


1.  You have developed a buildup of injury fluid known as a seroma.

2.  If muscle repair was done below the belly button, it may be too tight and you possibly have a separation of muscles above the belly button.

3.  If muscle repair was done, it may have broken down and the tightening of skin has caused an increased bulge in your abdomen.  

There are many other unusual possibilities, but the above three should at least give you some idea of what may be going on.  

I am sure your plastic surgeon will want to see and evaluate you for possible drainage or even a secondary surgery.  Don't worry, this is correctable. 

Sudden bulging at two weeks.

A visit to your surgeon will be the best way to get reassurance. There are a number of possibilities, including a seroma (fluid collection), and breakdown of muscle repair (if indeed one was done) among others. 

Otherwise, continue what you have been doing. All the best. 

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

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