Seroma After Full Tummy Tuck: Upper Abs Have Ridge and Odd Looking Skin

I had a full tummy tuck on May 4th.I am a small person to begin with, 106lbs, 5'4", but had 2 kids that left stretch marks, bb mishappen and wrinkled skin.I am now 9 weeks PO and my upper abs have me concerned.As you can see by the photos, the area really sticks out, has a ridge, and the skin is odd looking.The area is squishy, but sore when I push on it.Unfortunately, I have since moved to Saudi Arabia and do not live in Florida where I had the surgery.Is this normal?Will the skin improve?

Doctor Answers 7

Tummy Tuck Surgery

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Without an examination, I agree with the rest of the doctors that it is probably a seroma (although a physical examination should let you know for sure what is going on).  See if you can get some recommendations for a good doctor in that area to take care of you.

Seroma after tummy tuck

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Seromas are complications of tummy tuck and result from fluid collecting under the skin. Very small ones may resolve but larger ones may require aspiration for removal of the fluid. Since you are also having pain in the area you should consult a plastic surgeon near your home for evaluation. Sonograms may help in diagnosing the problem.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Possible seroma after a tummy tuck

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This sounds like it could be a collection of fluid under the skin (seroma) which may need to be drained. I would consult with a board certified plastic surgeon for a thorough evaluation. Your still in the early recovery period so there is some swelling expected but if there's a seroma there, it needs to be addressed now.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 411 reviews

You will need aspiration of the seroma

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I would recommend that you see a local plastic surgeon for the seroma aspiration. You may need to have more than one aspiration and also would recommend to wear girdle for external compression.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Probable Seroma

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It sounds as though you have a seroma. You need to see an MD there for an ultrasouns and or aspiration.

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Seroma after tummy tuck

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This does appear to be a seroma (particularly if it feels like a "waterbed" or fluid-filled bag), which is a collection of fluid beneath your abdominal flap. It should be drained so that it does not leave a chronically thickened scar tissue lined cavity that will cause fullness in that area.  If this scar tissue fullness forms, it may require surgical removal to restore a flat contour.  The first approach at this point should be attempts to aspirate the fluid, which may require several needle aspirations, either directly or under ultrasound guidance should the fluid be difficult to aspirate.  If the fluid continues to re-collect, placement of a small drain may be required.

Seroma after tummy tuck

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A seroma is a collection of fluid underneath the skin that can sometimes occur following a tummy tuck. Although usually in the lower abdomen, it usually feels like a water balloon and from your description it does look like a seroma. The treatment is to aspirate the fluid by drawing it off with a needle. It is likely this will need to be done several times to resolve the seroma. If it does not resolve this way, a drain may need to be inserted and left in for about a week. The irregularities of the skin should get better on their own but could take several months.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 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.