Swelling or not tight enough??

Now I m 3 weeks post FULL TT. And my tummy is nowhere near flat! Do u think it could be swelling or is it fat/not tight ? I m posting before and after pics for reference. Does my belly button look normal at this stage? Thanks a million!

Doctor Answers 5

Dr. Kimberly Henry

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Hello, and thank you for your question! You still have swelling from your surgery, so your abdomen will become flatter with time. And your belly button looks great. Just be patient and give it time, residual swelling can take months to go down. Best of luck!

Greenbrae Plastic Surgeon

Still swollen?

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You are definitely still swollen after your tummy tuck. It takes a couple of months for this swelling to get better. That being said, good to have a conversation with your plastic surgeon re expected resulkts.

3 Weeks After Tummy Tuck You Will Be Swollen

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Thank you for your question. 3 weeks after your tummy tuck you are still quite swollen from your surgery and your result should continue to improve. It can take 6-8 weeks for most of the swelling to resolve.

Be sure to meet with your plastic surgeon and express your concerns. I am sure that your plastic surgeon who did the operation can give you insight as to what to expect for your final result.

I do note that in addition to the loose skin in your preop photos there was also some fat beneath the skin. Your surgeon also perform liposuction to remove any excess fat? Be sure to ask your surgeon.

I encouraged you to be patient and give time for your body to heal and the swelling to go down.

Swelling after Tummy Tuck Surgery?

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Thank you for the question.

As always, it is best to be seen in person ( by your plastic surgeon) for precise diagnosis and treatment.

Generally speaking, abdominal wall "swelling" after tummy tuck may be related to:

1. Swelling in the soft tissues. This may take several months to resolve and may worsen with increased activity or at the end of the day. Patience is required to allow for resolution of the swelling. The swelling occurs because of the interruption of venous and lymphatic channels that occurs during the tummy tuck operation.

2. Fluid accumulation in the space between the skin and the abdominal wall muscle. this may consist of blood ( hematoma) or serum (seroma). This fluid accumulation can generally be diagnosed by physical examination ( occasionally ultrasound may be helpful). Treatment consists of aspiration; several episodes of aspiration may be necessary.

3. Separation of the abdominal wall muscle repair may lead to a swelling/bulge appearance. This may be diagnosed on physical examination with your surgeon examining you in different bodily positions. One of the steps of a tummy tuck procedure involves reapproximation (plication) of the rectus muscles. These muscles have spread apart during pregnancy and/or weight gain. Bringing them together again in the midline helps to “tighten” the abdominal wall as well as to narrow the waistline.

4. Residual adipose tissue may be confused for swelling. Again this is most easily diagnosed by physical examination. Additional liposuction surgery maybe necessary to improve the results of surgery.

Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year (or greater) a complete skin redraping to occur.

I hope this helps.

Tummy tucks do not make you completely flat...

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but should make a huge improvement over where you started from. Swelling is an issue right now and patience is required. And as said by others, keep your surgeon updated about your concerns so that it can be addressed when you are completely healed. Your surgeon does want you to have the best results possible, as happy patients bring us more patients.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 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.