I'm 17 days po mommy makeover; is my swelling "normal"?? Advice please (photo)

I have an appointment tomorrow but I'd like feedback from others. My compression garment fits at the top (torso) but is extremely tight on my thighs, so much that the garment had to be cut somewhat to fit around them after surgery. Now that my drains are out, I'm experiencing swelling (maybe a small seroma) at the bottom of my stomach above scar. With the garment so tight down there, it pushes the fluid to my pubic area (I assume) and its HUGE, and so are my upper thighs. It's so uncomfortable.

Doctor Answers 7

Early result

Thanks for your inquiry and you are right that the swelling in a tummy tuck remains around the pubic area for MUCH longer than higher up.  Without an exam it is hard to comment on a seroma, but your doctor should be able to tell you.  Small seromas can be treated with observation, compression.  You seem to be getting a nice result and best of luck.  

2 weeks after mommy makeover

Yes, swelling is normal and not the exception after a TT/lipo. I advise my patients to wear their compression garment consistently in the post op period (if it's too uncomfortable, you may need a larger size. You will then be able to wear the smaller one as the swelling goes down). Your plastic surgeon will evaluate you to see if you have a seroma that needs to be drained. Otherwise, just give it time and the swelling will resolve but it can take a good 6 months for you to see your final results. Good luck!

Healing and Recovery after a Mommy Makeover

Pain varies per person and medication to control #discomfort will be provided. Healing will continue for 2-3 months for the early period. This includes some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation in the breasts may also be abnormal and scars will be evolve. Tingling, burning or shooting pains in the breasts will disappear with time and should not alarm you. It is simply a result of the regeneration of your sensory nerves. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self-massage per your surgeon's permission may help.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. #MummyTummy is a term given to modified tummy tucks which can use liposuction and skin tightening with radiofrequency such Vanquish, Vela3, thermage, thermiRF and others.  The actual fat contouring can be done non-surgically as well with #UltraShape or Cool-Sculpting.
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

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Swelling after tummy tuck

Thanks for your question and photo.
Swelling (especially in dependent area such as pubic area) is common after tummy tuck.  Swelling can last for couple months.
However, please follow up with your plastic surgeon to make sure that you are wearing an appropriate compression garment and that you have not developed a seroma.
Good luck with your recovery.

Swelling 2 week post op

I can understand your concern and its great that you saw your plastic surgeon to discuss your concerns. The only way to determine whether a seroma is present is by performing a physical exam. However, in regard to the swelling, that is usually pretty normal after surgery.

The swelling of the pubic area is also normal and can be more significant if liposuction was performed of the pubic area. Just think of it as being gravity dependent. The most dependent parts of the body where your operation was performed will swell the most and that is probably why your pubic area looks so swollen.

Hopefully you were able to discuss the "tightness" of your garment with your plastic surgeon. You want the garment to be snug but sometimes if it is too tight it can be uncomfortable. Typically I start my patients on a garment that is relatively snug but I let them know that as the swelling comes down they will probably have to down size to a smaller, tighter garment.

After any type of surgery, that part of the body that is operated on will swell. The amount of swelling and the rate at which it decreases really varies from patient to patient and also depends on the surgical procedure performed. Typically, I tell patients that they will continue to see their contours improve after tummy tuck for the first 3-6 months after surgery. The first 3 months one will see the biggest difference in the reduction in swelling. From 3-6 months it is still possible to see reductions in swelling but the difference will not be as noticeable as it was in the first 3 months. Swelling can even decrease from the 6 month to 1 year mark after surgery but typically this reduction is minimal. The amount of swelling will be different if you have a tummy tuck alone vs if you have a tummy tuck and liposuction performed at the same time. With tummy tuck and lipo at the same time, the surgery is more involved and therefore you will see more swelling. I hope this helps and i wish you the best of luck in your recovery period.

Ankur Mehta MD

Ankur Mehta, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Post op swelling

Without seeing you in person, impossible to say if your swelling is a seroma. Glad you have a post op appointment coming up. It is common to have more swelling lower in the pelvic area. Based on your photos, your recovery looks pretty normal. 
My best,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian
@drsheilanazarian on Instagram

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Swelling after mommy makeover

Thank you for  your question and photos. It is still quite normal to have a fair amount of swelling at your point in recovery. As a general rule of thumb, I tell my patients that approximately 75% of the swelling will be gone by 6 weeks and it will be pretty much all gone by 3 months. Be patient and I'm sure you will ultimately be very happy with your outcome. Best, Dr. Kludt

Nathan Kludt, MD
Stockton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 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.