Is the Swelling and Feeling Normal After 3 Weeks Post Op Tummy Tuck/lipo/hyst? (photo)

On December 14 I had a full TT ,Lipo & Hysterectomy. I had 2 drains one removed on Dec 27 second on Jan 2. I have swelling and can tap on my lower abdomial area / pubis area and see fluid move. Is this accumulation normal, will the body absord this or will it need to be aspirated? I wear the compression garment 24/7 and watch what I eat and drink protien shakes & take vitimans as well. 141 lbs pre / 137 post... I look 3 time bigger all the way around? Is this just swelling?

Doctor Answers 9

Fluid and swelling after tummy tuck

Thank you for your question and pictures.  If you are able to see fluid move under your skin when tapping on the area, you likely have a seroma that will need to be drained by your surgeon.  Make sure you contact your surgeon as soon as possible.  Having swelling 3 weeks after a tummy tuck/lipo/hyst is very common.  Good luck!

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Swelling and Fluid Wave after Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

   Any time you can see a fluid wave by tapping on your abdomen, you must get that fluid collection drained to assure the best possible postoperative contour.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Still With Swelling

Typically, edema associated withe abdominoplasty can last several weeks (4-8).  Some type of abdominal support (binder or garment) is used to manage post op contour and minimize edema.  This should continue to improve.


Dr. ES

Tummy tuck swelling

If you have an area of swelling that sloshes like a water balloon, you may have a sermon, or a collection of fluid under the skin. This happens in about 10 percent of TTs. Your surgeon will be able to tell and the treatment is needle aspiration. If you do not have a sermon, it is not unusual to have some swelling of the lower abdomen post op which will gradually resolve.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Fluid after tummy tuck

Thanks for your inquiry. If you have a seroma, a fluid collection, it should be easily identified by your plastic surgeon.  Please see your surgeon to evaluate.

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 197 reviews

Fluid under Skin after Tummy Tuck

What you are describing sounds like a seroma (fluid collection) under the skin. Call your plastic surgeon so that it can be drained and treated properly. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Fluid after Abdominoplasty

If you see a fluid wave beneath the skin, it could mean that you have a seroma. You should be seen by your surgeon to evaluate whether this fluid needs to be aspirated or drained. Over time, some of this fluid may be absorbed. Wearing your binder can help resorb this fluid more rapidly. I hope this helps. Good luck!

Scott Farber, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Swelling after Tummy Tuck

Overall it looks like you're off to a good start. If you see movement of fluid beneath the skin, it could mean that you have a seroma. It would be best to contact your surgeon who can remove it in the office.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Fluid wave after drains are out

If you can note a fluid wave, you should be seen by your surgeon who can evaluate whether or not this should be aspirated or drained. Depending on the amount of fluid, this could add further to the normally expected swelling.

Thanks for your question, and for the posted photos. Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.