I had my stomach and flanks done. Am I healing appropriately? (Photo)

Thoughts needed on healing process. I had swelling and fluid build up. I had it drained daily for the first five weeks. There is no longer fluid build up. Swelling is still present as is hardness, random itchiness (mostly on flanks). I have been asked if my breast are bigger so I know clothes are fitting better overall. However, I was wondering if these pictures are any indication on how I am healing. Will my stomach ever go down?

Doctor Answers 6

Swelling Lasts Several Months

Thank you for including the series of photos with your question. First of all, having fluid drained daily for 5 weeks is unusual. As others have said, that is most likely the reason for your delayed recovery. The swelling you're seeing more than 2 months after the procedure is probably concealing the final results. Swelling can last several months, so there's no reason to be concerned yet, but if it does persist beyond the 2-month mark, it may be time to get in touch with your plastic surgeon. Good luck!

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

Post Liposuction Irregularities, Swelling -- Try Massage, Velashape or Venus Legacy With Your Compression

It takes months to heal from aggressive liposuction. I suggest massage and radiofrequency treatements like venus legacy or velashape at this time. Vanquish and cellutone really help the body mold to its new shape and further decrease fat. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Healing after liposuction

What you describe is fairly normal.

It is not typical to develop fluid builds up that needs to be drained but it can happen. If there's no more fluid to be drained and you're doing fine.

Based on your pictures my guess is you have muscle separation from previous pregnancies and carry  excessive amounts of intra-abdominal fat.

If this is true then your results May not improve much with time.

Patients with muscle separation from previous pregnancies need an abdominoplasty to have a flat abdomen.

People with excessive amounts of intra-abdominal fat need to lose weight.


Mats Hagstrom M.D.

Mats Hagstrom, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tummy tuck healing after a seroma

Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck healing.
  • Your seroma (fluid collection) has delayed your healing -
  • It will also make things feel harder now.
  • Yes, your stomach will go down a lot - but it will take time.
  • Your surgeon has taken good care of you - now that the seroma is gone, your body will do the rest but it may take another 6 months to finish the process.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

I had my stomach and flanks done. Am I healing appropriately?

It looks like your healing was delayed by the fluid buildup requiring daily drainage so just be patient and allow ALL of the swelling to resolve. I advise my patients to wait a good 6 months to see their results. Continue wearing your compression garment and give your body time to heal. Good luck!

Regression of welling takes time

You will lose much of the swelling in your stomach as time goes on.   It takes one year to totall lose all of your swelling.  The you will  be fine.   KEEP UP THE GOOD PROGRESS.  MY BEST,DR COMMONS

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.