Is swelling 8 months post op tummy tuck normal? (photos)

I haven't gained any weight, but I have a lot of buldge over my inscision line. I would describe it as swelling, but to my right side I feel somewhat of a mass. Should I be worried? I have no feeling in my stomach so I couldn't tell you if it was causing pain or not

Doctor Answers 5

Is swelling 8 months post op tummy tuck normal?

I'm sorry to hear about the concerns you have after tummy tuck surgery.  As you likely know, your plastic surgeon will be your best resource for precise diagnosis and advice...


Generally speaking, abdominal wall "swelling" after tummy tuck may be related to:


1. Swelling in the soft tissues. This may take several months (or longer) 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.  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.


Again, 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.

   

Best wishes. 

Welling after Tummy Tuck

Your final shape will depend on what was done, how things heal and on what your shape was to begin with.  You should return to see your Plastic Surgeon so he can examine you to ensure all is healing as it should be.

Atul Kesarwani, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Swelling at 8 Months Post-Op

Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area and the scrotal and penis area for men can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

While there can be several months of swelling after your surgery is complete, you should not worry at all about contacting your surgeon for another follow-up to make sure that the area is healing as it should. Several follow-up appointments are included with the price of your surgery and you have every right to have all of your questions answered. Good luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Is swelling 8 months post op tummy tuck normal?

An examination will be necessary to help determine if there is a residual fluid collection.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Tummy tuck issue

It is hard to say what is going on. You would need to be examined in person to determine if this is part of your anatomy or a fluid collection.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 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.