Is This Swelling After my Tummy Tuck Normal? (photo)

I am now 12 days post op a full TT, my drains was removed on day 5 after having only minimal drainage ( combined 35 mls per 24 h). I have however developed a large ridge across my abdomen which is more pronounced on my dominate side. it's not red or bruised but feel very tight and firm and tender to touch it's not particularly fluidy just like a firm swelling. I know I'm very early post op so I'm hoping this will resolve it's self with time but I don't want to delay if it requires any interventions.

Doctor Answers 5

Is This Swelling After my Tummy Tuck Normal?

Please seek immediate medical care from hopefully your surgeon. Appears as a seroma has formed that needs attention. 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Swelling after abdominoplasty

If you have been reasonable active and not wearing compression on the abdomen the skin flap above the incision may swell.  There can be two reasons for swelling of the abdomen after abdominoplasty.  If the drain was removed early and you remain active then more serous fluid will develop in the abdominal skin flap space.  Also with abdominoplasty the lymphatic drainage is temporarily disrupted so lymphatic fluid can develop in the skin flap above the incision.  I recommend the use of an abdominal binder or corset for many months after surgery to control this edema. 

Benjamin Chu, MD, FACS
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Seroma or Swelling

Thanks for the photo.  An exam would determine the issue.  I am a bit more conservative and tend to leave my drain in for a little longer period of time. 

Dr. ES

Fluid collections after abdominoplasty should be drained.

Is difficult to say what might be the problem but more than likely it is a seroma. If this is your case your plastic surgeon can drains in the office.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Is This Swelling After my Tummy Tuck Normal?

Without seeing the entire abdomen and trunk, and without seeing preop photos, there is not enough info for a useful guess. The picture is suggestive enough of a fluid collection, that a visit to your surgeon seems appropriate at this time.

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.