Why Severe Bloating and Pain 11/2 Years After Abdominal Surgery?

I had a tummy tuck 11/2 years ago and now am having severe bloating. The mornning feels fine but by the evening it is so bloated that it hurts to touch! I am going to the bathroom regularly and don't feel gassy. It seems to be getting worse. It is so uncomfortable by evening that even sweat pants hurt around it and leave a mark. What can be causing this. Never had a problem like this until after the tummy tuck l surgery???

Doctor Answers 2

Why Severe Bloating and Pain 11/2 Years After Abdominal Surgery?

I hear a few patients report the same thing you are and honestly, I don't think we have a good answer. We don't know if the increased tightness of the skin and abdominal wall have something to do with it, being upright or eating since it is better in the morning , or if patients really did have bloating before surgery but wasn't noticed because the skin and tummy wall were more loose...it is rare but for patients like yourself, it is a real bother and still a mystery...

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Tummy Tucks and Bloating

After a tummy tuck I  have seen some mild bloating and irregularity due to anesthesia and narcotic medications. Usually walking, fluids, a mild laxative and time allow for a quick resolution - normally in days.

Severe bloating, years after a tummy tuck is not normal. A tummy tuck can make you more aware of bloating if you had the rectus muscle sheath tightened. This decreases the volume of the abdominal cavity by flattening the stomach. Extra room may have allowed you to have bloating without symptoms, and after the tummy tuck you are more aware. But this is conjecture, and again, this is not normal. The alternative is that this is a new problem that started about the time of your tummy tuck.

I cannot give you medical advice without performing an examination. If you haven't already, I would recommend letting your plastic surgeon know what is going on. Additionally you should see your primary doctor, or better a gastroenterologist (a gi specialist), and get this checked out. There are many reasons why bloating occurs. Since a tummy tuck only changes the abdominal wall and not the guts, at this late date my first guess would not be the tummy tuck.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 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.