Is normal to have pain on your abdominal muscles when you sneeze after 5 months of a tummy tuck?

I had my tummy tuck almost 5 months ago and I can't do any seat ups even to get out of the bed I roll side ways a d still hurts when I sneeze, not horrible pain like at the beginning but painful. Also my upper belly started to look more round and I'm afraid that soon it will look like before! I lost about 13 pounds following the surgery and I have gained about 4 back. My current weight is 138lb

Doctor Answers 5

Possibility of Pain 5 months Post-Op

Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area and the scrotal and penis area for men can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

If you find yourself worried or concerned at all with your continued abdominal pain it would be a good idea to visit your surgeon to have the area evaluated for proper healing. Good luck!

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Abdominal pain 5 months after tummy tuck

Dear Sofia,

    Front and side view pictures would have been very helpful. The symptoms that you describe are extremely unusual after tummy tuck and I would recommend that you schedule a visit with your surgeon  and discuss your issues of pain and the rounding of your upper abdomen.

    It is possible that your muscles repair loosened up and the pressure from the internal organs in the abdominal cavity causes the pain and the bulge. Your surgeon should be able to assess the situation and offer a remedy.

    If you are not satisfied with your surgeon's answers, consult with other experienced board certified plastic surgeons and consider a redo of your tummy tuck , once all the other possible reasons for your symptoms and belly appearance were ruled out,

                        Best of luck,

                                                 Dr Widder


Abdominal discomfort

This could be normal but it is a bit unusual for you to have pain at 5 months. It is worth getting checked out in person

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Pain after a Tummy Tuck

This could be normal healing but you should have it checked out by your plastic surgeon just to be sure. Your nerves are growing back and you will notice some pulling from everything stretching. 

Leo Lapuerta, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Late pain after TT

You might have than more than 1 reason for your problem. Pain this late is abnormal. Sometimes nerves can get injured when the muscle is sewn and there are some ways to manage this that your surgeon might recommend. Looking at the swollen area with an ultrasound can help diagnose if you have a fluid collection outside your muscle, we call this a seroma. Contact your doctors office for advice.

David Janssen, MD, FACS
Oshkosh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 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.