I Have Had a T-tuck 2 Years Ago & I Still Have Swelling Above my Scar. Is This Normal?

My stomach is hard as a rock & when I try to exercise my back is in excruciating pain. Do you have any idea what may be the cause of this?

Doctor Answers 7

Persistent swelling two years after a tummy tuck

A tummy tuck is a safe and effective procedure to contour the abdomen, create a tight waist, and remove extra skin, fat, and stretch marks.

Patients who undergo a tummy tuck should anticipate a significant recovery process. This can consist of swelling, some bruising, and discomfort. This process will vary in patients but should be completed by your stage. It is not common for a patient to have significant firmness and the amount of swelling that you described two years after their surgery. At this time, your best bet is to work with the board-certified plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience in tummy tucks, liposuction, and body contouring. They will assess your abdomen and the quality of your scar. Such a surgeon will be able to determine what modalities can help correct this firmness.

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Two years after tummy tuck

By two years after surgery you should be all healed. If you feel alot of firmness and numbness, you should review this with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Fullbness and firmness above tummy tuck scar 2 years later

This is unusual and you should disuss with your surgeon, Most likley it is some fibrosis or fat necrosis.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Swelling 2 years after a tummy tuck? ......Not likely.

Swelling is probably about 90% gone by the end of the first 3 months. It is not likely that the fullness you are referring to is swelling. If it is soft it is most likely residual fat. If it is hard it is most likely scar tissue. The scar tissue can be from an old seroma (fluid collection), hematoma (blood collection) or reaction to sutures. The best thing to do is be evaluated by your surgeon. Each of these problems can be corrected with a fairly minor surgery if needed.

Daniel P. Markmann, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Post-abdominoplasty problems

"Swelling" above the scar may be fat. Firmness could be scar or foreign body reaction to sutures, and back pain when exercising could be arthritis, a disc problem, pain radiating from a nerve injured or repositioned by the tummy tuck, or another problem.  You should see the doctor who performed the surgery about these problems.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Persistent swelling and discomfort after 2 years

It is difficult to address what may be going on based on the information you provided.  But that is not a normal course after tummy tuck.  Please seek medical attention to evaluate your abdomen. 

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

Tummy tuck

It is difficult to say, but you have had a seroma (a collection of fluid) which never resolved.  If this is the case, it needs to be removed surgically.

Shahin Javaheri, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 6 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.