Had TT and lipo with BA April 17, 2013 how long will I continue to have tightness and swelling of abdomin?

I am a 52 year old grandmother of three.  I made a decision to make this year my year.  I had my surgery April 17th.  I seem to have a lot of discomfort still.  I get tightness and hardness in my stomach. It feels un-naturally hard at times.  It has been 4 months since my surgery. Anyone have experience with this and how long will it continue?

Doctor Answers 3

Pain, swelling and tenderness 4 months post op from an abdominoplasty

In general you would expect most of your pain, tightness and swelling to be over by 6 to 8 weeks.  This just an average and some patients take more time to settle back to normal.  If you are still having problems then you should check with your plastic surgeon. 

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tightness and Swelling after Tummy Tuck to be expected

A tummy tuck typically involves removing and tightening skin, as well as the abdominal wall.  The tightness you describe can continue for up to a year or so.  The skin as well as the abdominal wall typically "stretch back" a bit over that period of time.  So much of what you feel is constant because tummy tucks re-tighten the core.  Be sure to check in you you PS to see that everything is okay, but it sounds perfectly normal.  Good luck!

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Tightness and swelling 4 months after tummy tuck is not abnormal.

Scar tissue takes an average of 7 months (many studies) to fully soften, settle, and mature (as your pink scars attest to), so most plastic surgeons tell their patients that "complete" healing is not seen for 6-12 months. In rare cases, scar maturation can take a couple of years, especially in the cases where patients have (genetic) hypertrophic or keloid scar tendencies. Fortunately, this IS rare.

But you are still well within the norm, and you can expect continued improvement for many more months. It's slow, and in fact this process (healing and scar maturation) is even more slow than watching your grass grow. . . but go away for a week and it magically needs mowing. With surgery, you have to revisit the status of healing at longer intervals to appreciate change. Which is why we see patients every few weeks to months as things go along--so we can see the changes our patients cannot (because they are seeing progress on a much slower scale). Not quite glacial, but you get the idea.

Liposuction also adds to the swelling, making this even more gradual in its resolution.

Patience, dear lady; this sounds perfectly normal, and waxing and waning with hormonal changes and activities is equally normal as well. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 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.