Tummy Seems to Be Getting Bigger Instead of Smaller? (photo)

hi im 4 weeks post op from a full tummy tuck and flank lipo and is wanting to know why my stomach seems to be appearing bigger now then from my first week out.. shouldnt the swelling be going away by now?? my dr gave me the ok to get back on my elliptical and walking so will that make it even worse now?

Doctor Answers 6

Normal to get swelling of the lower abdomen at 4 weeks after tummy tuck

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At four weeks post abdominoplasty your swelling should be starting to subside.  It generally takes 3 to 6 months for it to completely resolve.  There is no specific time schedule for each individual.  Gentle massage and time is about all you can do at this point. If it seems unusual to you then it is time to consult with your plastic surgeon.  Massage can help, at least temporarily, remove some of the swelling. Think of your scar as a dam.  The fluid is trapped above the level of your scar.  It takes at least 3 months for the lymphatic channels to hook up across the scar and to drain to the lymph nodes in your groin.  If you have a seroma you would feel a water baggy type sensation when you move from side to side.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Swelling 4 weeks after surgery

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Everything looks to be healing normally from the photo. it's probably just swelling. Are you wearing any type of compression garment? Check with your surgeon. Be careful of your salt intake as this can make swelling worse.

Post Op healing Tummy Tuck

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It is too soon to judge the final result of the surgery as you are still healing and swelling will fluctuate during the healing process.  Since you trusted and communicated well enough with the surgeon prior to surgery, you should trust how he/she guides you now.  Continue to communicate your concerns to the surgeon and office, and they should be able to guide you properly. 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

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Tummy Seems to Be Getting Bigger Instead of Smaller?

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Thanks for trying to post photos, very hard to compare between these two posted. But if you feel you are increasing size see your chosen operative surgeon ASAP. Rule out a seroma than if you do not have any fluid collection discuss the healing times following your surgery in detail so you completely understand. I'm concerned that your result might not  be to your liking so you need more in person discussions. 

Unhappy Tummy

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Hard to know what happened without a preop photo.  I wouldn't say your tummy is bigger.  You healed well and the scar appears to be well positioned.  You do have a bit of fullness in the hip region which can be corrected with some additional lipo.  Maybe discuss this with your surgeon and have a second liposuction procedure.  You have the potential to have a great result you will be happy with.  

Swelling after Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

What you are experiencing is not unusual at all. Swelling will fluctuate during the first few months after tummy tuck surgery. Many patients will experience increased swelling after exercise.

I would suggest continued follow-up with your plastic surgeon to rule out fluid accumulation (seroma);  once this is ruled out patience will be indicated. It will take several months and even up to one year for swelling to resolve completely and for the skin to retrape.

I hope this helps.

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.