How to Reduce Swelling 2 Weeks Post MOM?

I had a mommy makeover approximately two weeks ago. I had a breast lift and reduction coupled with a tummy tuck and liposuction of the flanks. Although I seem to be recovering well the swelling is so uncomfortable. Since I have areas of my stomach that is still numb I know better than to ice it. But is there any other way to reduce the swelling? I wear my garment as instructed. What more can I do? And since I have feeing in my breasts is it ok to ice them?

Doctor Answers 8

Swelling after Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift/Reduction

Be patient, it may take many weeks for swelling to resolve after your procedures.  Continuing to wear your compression garment is very important.  Careful ice placement can still be helpful.  It is important to check with your Plastic Surgeon to make sure that you do not have any abnormal fluid collection (hematoma/seroma/infection) which may be contributing to your swelling.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Mommy Makeover - When Should the Swelling Go Down?

Normally after most cosmetic procedures, especially body procedures, the swelling increases for the first 5 - 7 days; then your body starts getting rid of extra fluid and your appearance improves and your swelling goes down over the next 3 months.  Several tricks to decrease swelling a little faster include: (1) The use of DMSO, a wood product that I have all my patients use post Mommy Makeover surgery.  DMSO is the world's best anti-inflammatory and it also decreases bruising at an amazing rate.  It must be prepared properly so as not to be irritating to human skin.  (2) Ultrasound, the kind the physical therapists use to get rid of sore muscles, will decrease swelling, especially in areas that have been liposuctioned.  It converts sound waves to heat which brings blood supply to the area.  (3) I often suggest a short course of corticosteroids to speed the resolution of swelling.

Your plastic surgeon will be the best person to ask about your swelling.  He or she has their own techniques to deal with post operative swelling, and he or she would be the best judge of what would be right for you.   

Swelling after Mommy Makeover?

Thank you for your question.

Some swelling at 2 weeks post op mommy makeover surgery is considered normal. Swelling that is described as “uncomfortable” should be evaluated  to rule out “abnormal” swelling. As always, it is best to be seen in person ( by your plastic surgeon) for precise diagnosis and treatment. Once the swelling you are experiencing has been determined to be a normal part of the healing process, patience will be required;  it may take several weeks to months for the swelling to subside.

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.

Ice and BA

I generally don't recommend ice for breast patients as the implant is so far from the skin surface it does little good nor is it helpful after the point of maximum swelling, after the first 3 days.

Discuss this with your surgeon and follow his directions!


Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Swelling can take time to resolve.

The wound healing process following Mommy Makeover surgery lasts for over a year.Most of the swelling resolves in six to eight weeks but small amounts of swelling may persist for up to a year.The procedure inevitably interrupts the abdominal lymphatic drainage and this takes time to re-establish itself.
Patients can minimize swelling with compression garments, massage, decreased salt intake and limitations on activity levels.It’s important to realize that swelling is a normal part of wound healing and should resolve over time.

Swelling after mommy makeover

Swelling after a tummy tuck, especially when combined with liposuction, can last several months. I advise my patients to wear a compression garment for at least the first 4 weeks. Then, I advise them to wear a "second stage" garment such as a Spanx type garment for at least a month after that. Massaging the areas can help as well, and of course you should keep all your follow up appointments and keep in touch with your plastic surgeon.

I hope this helps and wish you all the best!


Having swelling 2 weeks post surgery is very normal. Ice can help with the symptoms of swelling. Not much you can do to help sorry. Make sure you keep your post op appointments. swelling takes 12-18 months to subside.

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Swelling after Mommy Makeover

At two weeks, it is quite common to have swelling in the surgical sites.     I recommend close followup with your plastic surgeon to ruleout sources of infection or fluid collection.

Otherwise, I recommend cool compresses or wrapping ice in a towel.   Direct ice on skin can cause significant skin damage.   Regardless, these are comfort measures, as the swelling will improve day by day as you heal.


I wish you a safe and healthy recovery!!


Dr. GIll


Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 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.