I Had a Tummy Tuck 10 Wks Ago and Have a Bulge Above my Belly Button, Why? (photo)

My upper stomach sticks out further than my lower and i have no clue why. What could it be ? And an area where my stretch marks are have an indention why is that ?

Doctor Answers 14

I Had a Tummy Tuck 10 Wks Ago and Have a Bulge Above my Belly Button, Why? (photo)Answer:

Persistent fat in the upper abdomen, broken sutures, or a slightly loose repair are all good reasons to have what you are having…However…When I look at your pictures you have a very distinct tilt forward to your pelvis. Your hips and back are NOT straight and I have found that no amount of tightening during TT can overcome a severe tilt to the hips so while we like to think our tummies should be totally flat, posture does have a very larger role!!

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Abdominal Bulge After Tummy Tuck

There are several possible options for the upper abdominal bulge in the abdomen after your surgery, but none of these can be addressed without an in-person evaluation. However, it may be that the reason is for the fullness is the fact that there is some excess fatty tissue (it cannot be safely liposuctioned at the same time as a TT), you didn't appreciate how much fat present since most of your concern was at the lower abdomen and finally, this area is impacted by your rib cage and will not ever "tighten" as dramatically as the lower abdomen. Time will also improve this a bit, and it is possible you will need some lipo in the future.

Best of luck,

Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Upper bulge after tummy tuck

Thanks for sharing your photos.  Given your photos, your bulge may be due to 1) thickness of fatty tissue or 2) loosening of the sutures that were used to tighten your muscles.  Your plastic surgeon will be able to differentiate between the two based on examination.  If the bulge is due to fat, then liposuction of the area will correct the bulging.  If it is due to loosening of the sutures, you may need re-operation.


Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Epigastric (upper) fullness post TT

There is two reason why you still have that upper abdomen fullness after abdominoplasty.

1. insuffecient muscluar tightening of the recti muscle which usually got weakend and splitted after multiple pregnancies and needs strong and tight suturing to avoid this types of bulges post op.

2. Fat dystrphy ( fat accumaltion) and that usually treated with liposuction during the same procedure.

If both two important steps have been done during the TT, you werenot suppose to hve this bulge. 

In your situation now, which a pretty common, if it is fat only, which can be assessed with examination can be corrected with liposuction with through opening from your belly button. Good luck

Fatema S. Alsubhi, MD
UAE Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Possible causes of abdominal bulge after a TT

It is possible that you may eventually need some touch up liposuction but overall your result looks good.  You are still early in the healing period given more time these features may resolve.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

3 reasons

There are three possible situations: 1. residual fat (meaning fat you already had in the area, and now that the lower abdomen is flat it seems to you that you have a buldge); 2. seperation of the abdominal muscles in the area either because it was not tightend enough during surgery or if it was it then seperated; 3. Seroma/fluid collection.  You need an examination to tell which one is the cause.

Andre Aboolian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Bulge in abdomen after tummy tuck

A bulge in the upper abdomen can occur for a number of reasons including seroma, excess intra-abdominal fat, insufficient muscle plication, or residual excess fat as well as numerous other causes. The discrepency you are describing where your lower abdomen is tighter/flatter than your upper abdomen usually means the muscle plication may not be as tight in the upper abdomen as the lower abdomen or it may have come undone. A common cause of this is too much intra-abdominal fat where you just can't get the upper abdomen any tighter. Without examing you it is hard to tell so discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon and hopefully you can get it resolved.

Navinderdeep S. Nijher, MD
Ocala Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Possibly incomplete muscle repair

Looking at your picture, is it possible that your surgeon only repaired the muscle below the belly button like a mini-tummy tuck?  If muscle repair was performed above your belly button it might not have been started high enough, came apart, or was placed much looser than the bottom of your belly.  You need to discuss with your surgeon about your concerns.

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 201 reviews

Abdominoplasty, bulging abdomen

Upper abdominal fullness can result from a collection of fluid under the skin following surgery( seroma or hematoma), excess fat that was unable to be suctioned at the time of surgery, or this could represent a normal bulge of the muscles with some additional intraabdominal fat evident.  In all cases a proper exam by your Plastic Surgeon will be very helpful.  Good luck.

Upper bulge after tummy tuck

It is difficult to say why you still have an upper bulge 10 weeks after your tummy tuck, though a common cause is incomplete muscle repair in the upper abdomen. See your surgeon and perhaps he can sort things out for you.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.