Why do I Still Have the Little Bulge Right Above the Incision Line 6 Mos Post-op TT? (Photos)

I had a full TT in early April of this year but still have a little bulge right above the incision line in my lower tummy now that I am almost 6 months post of operation. One side looks more puffy than the other side. l am 5''5 and weigh 113 lbs. I have been wearing garments persistently except for taking it off at night in the past month. I am also about the same weight prior to my surgery. Is this a normal recovery process or I need a revision? If a revision is needed, how soon should I do it?

Doctor Answers 6

Tummy Tuck - Why do I Still Have the Little Bulge Right Above the Incision Line 6 Mos Post-op TT?

This can happen for a lot of reasons; not the least of which is that it is not safe to try to remove every bit of fat from the remaining tissue in the "flap," which is what the skin and fat of the stomach/abdomen are called.  In fact, as much as I try to do this, I expect there to be a little bit of fullness there and discuss with the patient ahead of time that we may want to do some lipo as a secondary procedure in order to achieve the maximum results.  Most people have such a dramatic improvement with the surgery that they're comfortable with that; but in the event that there is some remaining fullness and they want to flatten it out even more, that can be done, usually with minimal downtime and discomfort.  You should, of course, speak with your own plastic surgeon about this and all matters related to your surgery.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Fullness above incision

The fullness you are referring to usually is from a little extra fat under the skin on that side as opposed to the other side.  More unlikely would be a seroma or fluid collection that needs to be drained.  These small irregularities can sometimes be treated in the office with some local liposuction to even the contour.  Keep  in touch with your plastic surgeon to resolve.  Best wishes!

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Asymmetry after Tummy Tuck

Thank you for the question and pictures.

Some asymmetry and/or contour irregularity is very common after tummy tuck surgery. At this point in time, I would suggest waiting an additional 6 months before contemplating revisionary surgery. Also continue to maintain a healthy life style (with appropriate diet and exercise). It may be at the one-year postop mark you will be very pleased with the results of the surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews


Contour irregularities are very common after abdominal contouring procedures.  The majority will resolve on their own without any intervention.  Post op rolling treatments with Endermologie or Vela Shape will smooth out the deformities, ask your PS if he/she offers this service.  If not, you may want to check and see if this service is offered by any other doctor in your area.  I routinely give my post op TT patients between 5-10 Endermologie treatments and I rarely need to perform any revision surgery.  If the deformity persists after 12 months, than a minor office liposuction can be performed to smooth out this area.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Post-tummy tuck bulges can be treated, but be patient

It is not uncommon to have some bulges persist after a tummy tuck and many of them will go down over time. They are usually due to swelling which takes longer to go down after a tummy tuck than it does with other cosmetic surgeries.  Bulges which may require surgical treatment include residual excess fat that could not be treated with liposuction at the time of a tummy tuck, inadequate muscle repair or loss of the integrity of the muscle sutures.  It is very important to avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for a solid six weeks after surgery to avoid tearing out the muscle sutures.

It is generally best to wait at least 8-9 months after a tummy tuck to have a revision procedure so that enough time has passed for all of the swelling to go down and to allow the scars tissue to settle down.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Swelling after a tummy tuck

what you are seeing is quite common after a tummy tuck due to the swelling or edema settling above the tummy tuck scar. I usually suggest that the patient wait a full year and if it persists, a small amount of liposuction is usually all that is needed to thin that skin out and give a better contour.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 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.