Stomach Bulge After Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

I had Tummy Tuck with MR and Liposuction on the bra rolls, flanks, gluteal fold, and banana rolls on December 4th. When I stand, my stomach is flat, but when I sit, I have a roll. Is this because I have a short waist or is it from the Liposuction? My fear is that I will need a revision.

Doctor Answers 15

Be patient and give it more time as your results will steadily improve!

As you are aware the tummy tuck procedure involves tightening the muscle/fascial layer which flattens the anterior abdominal wall. Additionally, when the fat/skin layer of the abdomen is cut out (excised), it is removed in an oval shape. The middle portion of the excised fat/skin layer which is directly above the pubic area is very tight, whereas, in contrast, the ends of the incision near the flanks the skin is loose. The fact that in the standing position, you recognize that your abdomen is flat is a great sign. We all have loose skin when sitting and flexed. Be patient and give it more time as your results will steadily improve. But in the worse case scenario, a small touch-up procedure may be required.

More than likely your surgeon talked and informed you prior to your tummy tuck and liposuction procedure about the potential need to perform additional procedures and revisions. Your treating plastic surgeon knows you the best…knows your anatomy…and, knows the operation he performed on you. I would strongly advise you to go back to your plastic surgeon and discuss your issues with him/her. I am sure that with time your results will continue to improve.

Stephen A. Goldstein, MD

Englewood Plastic Surgeon

Too soon to tell

You have had a lot of surgery and are most likely extremely swollen. Do not judge your results until the swelling is gone! In addition, you should judge the results in the standing position. Everyone has a roll when they bend over!

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Too soon to be critical with results


It is much too soon following your surgery to be critical of your results. It may take a full 6 months for all of the swelling to subside and the tissues to contract to their new contour.  So, hang in there, be patient and follow up with your plastic surgeon. Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Give it a good six months for the swelling to resolve

It hasn’t quite been two months since your surgery. It’s premature to make predictions about future problems. Give it a good six months for the edema or swelling to resolve.

Sometimes minor fine tuning is required. This usually means a little skin excision on the lateral aspect of the incision or some minor liposuction to smooth out the transition between the two skin edges.

Keep in mind most of us have some skin redundancy in a seated position.

Arthur Foley, MD
Olympia Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

No problem

Hi there-

The situation you describe is quite common and is not necessarily indicative of a problem. If your abdomen is flat when you are standing, and you have a pleasing contour, but you see some fullness when you sit, this is more likely an indicator that your skin has simply lost some elasticity (which you already knew, and is no doubt one of the reasons you were having a tummy tuck).

When a young person, with excellent skin elasticity sits down, the skin contracts (because it is elastic), but if the skin has lost some of this quality through pregnancy or weight gain and weight loss cycles, it will not be capable of this contraction in the sitting position, and the skin will appear a bit redundant. It's really a skin QUALITY issue, not a skin quantity issue. I would visit with my plastic surgeon to make sure something else isn't going on, but it sounds like you have a very nice result. Congratulations on your new contour!

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

It is hard to be specific without pictures


It is hard to give you any specific advice without any pictures or timeline for the procedures that you had. Naturally, when you stand or lay flat, your abdomen is going to be stretch out and, thus, flatter. When you sit up it will be looser.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

I doubt you will need a revision

If your stomach is flat when you stand after a tummy tuck, there is not any room for more skin removal without compromising the blood supply. In other words, you need some remaining stretchability so you can stand tall, reach up into cupboards and reach up when you play sports.

If there is a roll when you sit, you may need liposuction in this area at a separate time. Even if our doctor had wanted to liposuction this area , doing it at the same at the same time as a tummy tuck is not advisable as it compromises blood flow and can lead to significant complications.

I would advise you to wait 6 months and then review the options with your doctor. Good luck!

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Discuss this issue with your Plastic Surgeon

You might have some remaining skin and fat that might need a revision. It is still early and I would discuss it with your surgeon to exclude other causes like fluid collection etc..

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Bulge after an abdominoplasty

It is possible that you may eventually need some touch up liposuction but overall your result looks good.  You are still early in the healing period given more time these features may resolve.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Stomach bulge after tummy tuck

A tummy tuck is a very popular and effective way to contour the abdomen. In our practice, we design each tummy tuck to fit the individual patient. Patients who receive this procedure should anticipate a significant recovery process that can include bruising and some swelling. For this reason, we provide all of our tummy tuck patients with two garments that will help them manage their swelling. If after your swelling has subsided and you continue to notice a stomach bulge above the belly button after your tummy tuck, you may have experienced a loosening of the muscle repair. You should return to your plastic surgeon with these concerns for an examination, they can determine whether this bulge is from a loosening of the muscle or a pocket of fat. Either way, a small revision tummy tuck can address these concerns are it

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 108 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.