Swelling? (photo)

I'm early in the healing stage and swelling is a normal progression, but I'm a bit worried. Is this just normal swelling or is this like redistribution of fat? I look significantly fuller allover since having my TT 2 wks and 2 days ago. There is no definition in my av muscles whatsoever and before I had a bit, it seems that the mommy pooch I had near my BB is now lower and sitting right above my Pubic area which is very frustrating! Again I'm hoping this is just swelling, but its discouraging!

Doctor Answers 5

Healing and Recovery Following a Mommy Makeover

The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction.    

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks.  Also some severe scars can be treated with re-excision, laser, kenalog/5-FU injections, creams, silicone strips and other methods to reduce and improve healing. Additionally, scar therapy with scar maturation products (e.g. BioCorneum or Embrace) are suggested for managing scars. However, we recommend you wait to use scar improving products until a few weeks following your surgery. 
As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain. 
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.

As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews


Swelling is not uncommon after a tummy tuck and typically lasts quite a while. 80% has resolved by 3 months and the rest takes up to a year to resolve. You have to be patient with the healing process.Enjoy your new look!Sheila Nazarian

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Concerns after Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Although your concern and “discouragement” is understandable,  it is much too early to evaluate the end results of the procedure performed.Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year  (or greater) for complete skin redraping  to occur.

I hope this helps.


Normally swelling peaks at three days and resolves by ten days.  In a TT the interruption of vessels and lymphatics at the suture line create a delay in drainage of the wound just above the incision.  Fixation of the immobile scar also causes the skin to pile up over the incision. 6 to 12 months after surgery when the scars have matured, the suture line will become mobile and slide, releasing the pile up and smoothing out the area.  Minor revisions can be made safely at that time. Best wishes. Knowledge is power.  Luis F. Villar MD FACS

Luis Villar, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Abdominal swelling after TT and BA

2 weeks after surgery and you look great!  Swelling from the BA and TT responds to gravity and will descend right to the area that is currently swollen.  This is totally normal at this point.  Remember that the blood vessels and lymphatics have been cut during the surgery above the pubic area and have diminished the outflow of fluid in the abdominal wall.  Until these vessels re-establish communication with the surrounding tissues, swelling can persist a bit. 
Sometimes, fluid can collect called a "seroma" and may need to be evaluated for aspiration, so talk to your plastic surgeon about that possibility. If not, then patience will allow you to see your final result.! 

Ronald A. Lohner, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 19 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.