Why Does my Belly Feel Like It is Pumped with Air? It Seems Hollow? (photo)

I am 6 days post op from a full TT. When I take off my binder for a shower why does my belly feel like there's air pumped into it? It also sounds hollow? What in the heck is that??

Doctor Answers 5

Feeling Pumped with Air After Tummy Tuck

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  Your surgical procedure is very recent, and you are at the very first stages of healing right now. It's a normal thing to worry when you are walking on uncharted territory, I understand that. You have swelling, and possibly fluids that still need to drain post surgery. Soon, at your surgeons discretion, your drain(s) will be removed, and you will continue on your road to recovery. You are also experiencing internal swelling which takes several weeks to resolve. After a Tummy Tuck, you need up to 6 months for all internal swelling to resolve. Keep your surgeon informed as far as your concerns, and I'm sure he or she will guide you through this process step by step.

Best Wishes

Orland Park Plastic Surgeon


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Thank you for your question. Your hollowness is likely due to air in your intestinal tract from either constipation or bloating after surgery. This is quite common and tends to resolve with time. Everything else looks normal. Best wishes on your recovery.

Hollow tummy post op

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At this point in time, the most likely reason your tummy sounds like a drum (tympany) is due to gas in your intestines.  You may be constipated.  This is bad because it may put strain on the repair.  I would let your ps know.

Why Does my Belly Feel Like It is Pumped with Air? It Seems Hollow

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Everything looks fine in the photos.This finding will have to await your postop visit to figure out. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Full after Tummy Tuck

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There is typically a fair amount of swelling after a tummy tuck so it is normal to have unusually sensations and fullness. If there is a concern, notify your plastic surgeon. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 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.