Was it worth it? How soon before I start to see the swelling go down? (Photos)

I just had my mini tummy tuck with muscle tightening done yesterday. My question is how soon before I start to see the swelling go down and actually see what my stomach will look like. I'm wondering if it was worth it. And is there anything I can do to speed up the healing process?

Doctor Answers 7

Postop recovery

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Hello, usually the majority of the abdominal bruising will resolve within the first 1-2 weeks and the acute swelling will be gone within 4-6 weeks, but intermittent swelling can occur for several months after this procedure.  It's important to adhere to your surgeon's care regimen in order to heal properly.

Give things time, it's worth it

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Thank you for your question. All patients (and doctors) are in a rush to see results; but the honest truth is you need to give it time. In our practice, we tell all of our patients that it takes approximately six months to see your final result. Fortunately you will see drastic improvements at about two weeks, but the body is funny with swelling and will periodically swell following your procedure for about six months. Standing for a long time or not using compression will result in this swelling. Before you know it those six months will be done and you will be very happy. Good luck!  

Anthony J. Wilson, MD
Portsmouth Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tummy tuck swelling

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It is way to early to assess your result. Your swelling may actually worsen over then next day or two, and then will take up to six months to fully subside. Wearing a compression garment may reduce your swelling a bit faster, but you should discuss this with your surgeon first. 

Mark Sisco, MD
Northbrook Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Tummy Tuck - Post Op Swelling?

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Thank you for your question. You should expect to have swelling for three to six months following tummy tuck surgery. Use of a properly fitted compression garment will help decrease the length and severity of the post-operative swelling. As the swelling decreases, the contour of your abdomen, flanks, and hips will dramatically improve. Please follow your plastic surgeons specific advice regarding your level of physical activity. Hope this helps and good luck with your recovery.

Mini tummy tuck

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Dear VMH,

  Thanks for submitting your before and after pictures. The swelling of tummy tuck, in general, takes about 6-8 weeks to subside , however, in your situation, the bulging of the stomach might be permanent because of the limitation of mini tummy tuck surgery.

    I have been in practice for over 29 years and performed tummy tuck surgery on well over 1000 patients. Based on your before picture, I would have recommended to you a full tummy tuck. The indication for mini tummy tuck are very limited and in your case it will be, most likely,  an unhappy compromise.

   A full tummy tuck, would have given you a flat stomach, tight and youthful skin, nice belly button and low scar. That can still be done on you, but you will have to wait 6-12 months before getting it, in order for the scarring process to mature.

    Always, consult with experienced board certified plastic surgeons who operate in accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check the before and after pictures in the photo gallery, to make sure that they are numerous, consistent and attractive.

                       All the best,

                                          Dr Widder


Tummy tuck

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It takes months to see the final result. Based on your preop pictures, I think you will end up with a nice result. Follow your surgeon's instructions.

Tracy E. McCall, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Control swelling after mini tummy tuck

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Hi VMH110416. Swelling persists for several weeks and somewhere around 3 months, you'll have a good indication of your long-term result.  You definitely want to follow the instructions from your surgeon regarding limited activity, possibly wearing a compression garment etc.  Since there is a biological sequence to healing (cut ends of blood & lymph vessels, nerve endings, etc have to rejoin) there is a limit to how much you can do to "speed" up healing. Nonetheless, check with your surgeon about his/her feelings towards natural anti-inflammatories (arnica, bromelain, fish oil) or anti-oxidant (Vitamin C, vit E, resveratrol) supplements, lymphatic massage and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. You look good for day 1, so hang in there-I'm sure you will feel that this is worth it!

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.