Is it normal to have 25 lbs removed and only 9 lbs. register on the scale post op?

Hi , I had a tummy tuck 9 days ago. They removed 13.6 lbs od stomach fat and approx 4.5 kg of fat from liposuction. All together he removed apprx 25 lbs. on my scale it shows only 9 pds lower. i am still swollen. but i would like to know if it will come off as the doctor said he removed 25 lbs approx.

Doctor Answers 8

Weight Loss After Surgery

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This is a common question.  After tummy tuck / abdominoplasty and liposuction the body replaces the missing tissue/fat with swelling.  It may take several weeks for the swelling to completely resolve.  So, if you weight yourself in the immediate post-op period you may not see as much of a weight change as you were expecting.  However, over time as the swelling resolves, you will see more of a change.


Good Luck.

Weight after body contouring surgery

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Yikes!  Put that scale away for at least a month!  Surgery causes a lot of fluid retention which can make the patient think that fat may have been added during surgery.  I tell my patients not to weight themselves until they are back in action with a normal diet and normal exercise.  

You can calculate your "net weight" by subtracting the weight of the tummy tissue removed and the amount of FAT removed.  There is always some fluid removed with the liposuction fat.  Your surgeon should be able to give you an idea of what percent was FAT.   Concentrate on taking good care of yourself, being as active as your physician allows and eating a healthy diet.  Forget about the scale for a while. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Weight Loss After A Tummy Tuck And Liposuction

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There are two reasons why you are not seeing the stated amount of weight reduction due to tissue removal after your tummy tuck and liposuction. First, you are experiencing fluid retention which is perfectly normal in the first few weeks after surgery. Most of this fluid will be mobilized and excreted by three weeks after surgery. That will give you a closer approximation to the intraoperative tissue weights removed. Secondly, the amount of weight that is the result of liposuction is never all just fat. Rather it is a mixture of fat, blood and fluids infused to do the procedure. Thus, liposuction 'weights' are always inflated over the weight of the fat that is removed. You can usually cut the liposuction aspirate weight in half to give a more accurate estimate of the true fat weight removed.

Weight Reduction after Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

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Weight loss in the postoperative period after body contouring surgery is variable.  Intravenous fluids and fluids infused at the time of liposuction may take some time to be mobilized.  This fluid retention early-on will contribute to overall body weight and it may take several weeks until body weight normalizes.  More importantly, however, these procedures are designed to improve overall shape and body contour and I would not put too much emphasis on amount of weight lost.    

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon

Weight gain after tummy tuck

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This is absolutely normal and common.  I tell my patients not to even look at their scale for a few weeks! You are given a lot of fluid during surgery and your body will hold on to that for some time.  It will help to keep a low salt diet and drink water, move around, etc.  In the next couple of weeks you will start to diurese quite a bit so be patient, I'm sure your results will be amazing!

Weight after tummy tuck

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It's normal to gain a little weight right after surgery. This is because of all the salt and water you receive during the surgery. Also, your body's "response" to the stress of surgery is to hold on to water and salt. It usually takes a good 3-4 weeks to get rid of it. So be patient. You should see the improvement soon.

Why Doesn't My Scale Match What They Said They Took Off?

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Dear Icollette,  Thanks for your question; it is one we often hear after a tummy tuck/liposuction procedure.  

Immediately after surgery, your body begins to swell and store fluid in its "soft tissues".  This is called "third spacing" by doctors and is probably a survival response by our bodies to store as much fluid as possible after an injury.  This fluid adds quite a bit of weight right after surgery.  Once your body reaches a certain stage in its recovery, your body will rapidly begin to reabsorb this fluid and if you are healthy, you will flush this out through your kidneys.  Many of our patients at this stage joke that they cannot pass a bathroom without having to stop.

You are only nine days after your surgery, so it is likely that you are still carrying a lot of this water weight and there is no need to panic at this stage.

Lastly, with liposuction, most plastic surgeons will pump fluid with medication into the fatty tissue before removing the fat.  This decreases the bleeding and pain post-op.  Some of this fluid is also sucked out with the fat and is often added to the final totals giving an elevated volume removal.  That is, the final volume includes not just the removed fat but also some of the injected fluid. 

I suggest you give your body some more time to heal and recovery before paying too much attention to the scale.  Hope this helps.

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Weight after Tummy Tuck surgery?

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Thank you for the question. Congratulations on your recent  tummy tuck surgery.

It is normal for patients to “retain” fluid after surgery. This will throw off your weight calculations until the fluid is mobilized ( and excreted).

Best wishes for the remainder of your recovery.

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.