Swelling over Tummy Tuck Incision

Over my Tummy Tuck incision line, my belly sticks out about an inch. I think it is swelling, but I am not sure! How can I tell, and how long is this normal for? I am 7 weeks post op.

Doctor Answers 2

Lower abdominal swelling following an abdominoplasty

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Thanks for the question. Swelling in the lower abdomen following a tummy tuck is a normal finding and may persist, in my experience, for up to 4 months. Having said that, you want to rule out any underlying causes of swelling, such as a seroma( fluid collection), which require drain management by your surgeon. Another factor that can contribute to lower abdominal swelling is the fat distribution which your abdomen had prior to the surgery.

If you happen to carry more fat around the umbilical region than in the lower abdomen, it is conceivable that, as a result of the surgery, the "fattier" area in the upper abdomen will be transposed to a lower position, thus contributing to a "fuller" lower abdomen. This scenario is not entirely uncommon, and in my hands is managed by secondary lipoplasty approximately 6 months following the initial surgery. To be sure of the cause of swelling in your case, follow-up with your surgeon for a definitive assessment. Best of luck.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Likely swelling

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This may be swelling and a 7 weeks there is a significant chance that it will improve with time. You want to be sure there is not a seroma (fluid accumulation) that needs to be drained. Ask your plastic surgeon what he thinks. An indication that this would benefit from drainage would be if there were shifting of the swelling when turning from side to side.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 189 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.