Causes of Prolonged Soreness After Tummy Tuck?

I had a tummy tuck 1 1/2 years ago, I still have soreness on the right side of my abdomen along with an area that protrudes out. The left side is beautifully flat.

The area on the right is tender and does feel somewhat lumpy in areas. I had a problem with drainage but eventually stopped. The doctor did a scar revision and at the time said he didn't feel anything.

I am going back in 2 weeks to see if the area needs additional surgery. Another doctor said it might just be my abdominal wall but I find that hard to believe. Any ideas what could cause this prolonged soreness and protrusion?

Doctor Answers 5

Asymmetric one-sided fullness of abdomen after tummy tuck

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This sounds unusual and occasionally I have seen this in an area where a patient has previously undergone an appendectomy or cholecstectomy and may have fascial weakness (or possible incisional hernia). You may require an ultrasound or CT scan to evaluate this fullness. 

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Prolonged soreness after a tummy tuck

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Tummy tucks are a very popular and effective way to contour the abdomen. During a tummy tuck, we routinely reposition the muscles and deep structures of your abdomen. If you continue to have soreness after a tummy tuck, you may be experiencing the effects of the muscle tightening techniques. If this continues to be an issue, make a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience in abdominoplasty and tummy tuck revisions. They will assess your muscle layer and determined to benefit from a revision tummy tuck, reapplication of the tightening sutures, or another technique.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Soreness after a tummy tuck

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Soreness a year and half afte a tummy tuck is not very common but can occur. Sometimes a residual seroma may cause this other times it can be an injured sensory nerve. These are just a few of the more common causes.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

What can cause of prolonged soreness after tummy tuck?

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From what you have described: a previous fluid collection in the right abdomen area, a lumpy mass in this place, and long standing pain, I'm sure the cause of the pain is a nerve trapped in scar.

The way most people do a tummy tuck, the skin in the abdomen is lifted from above the pubic mound to the rib margins. The problem is that since a lot of nerves come from the muscle layer to the skin, some of these nerves are cut.

In your case the raw nerve ending got caught up in the scar that resulted from the fluid collection. That is why you have a lump (scar tissue) and pain (trapped nerve).

I try to avoid these situations by using the Lockwood technique, check the link below for more info on it and how it can help prevent seromas and why dissecting less tissue preserves more of the nerve supply.

You should try to get an ultrasound or ct scan to determine what this mass is ( could also be a muscle hernia). If it is scar tissue, a steroid injection might help by resolving the scar and freeing up the nerve.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Tummy Tuck soreness may be from nerve injury

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You may have had a nerve injury on the right side from your Tummy Tuck. That of course does not explain the bulging. It may also be that you had a seroma (collection of fluid) that produced some scar tissue, but if you already had a scar revision on that side, your surgeon would have seen that. 

David S. Rosenberg, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.