Tummy Tuck Swelling 3 Months PO Normal?

I had a breast reduction and tummy tuck on Dec. 19, 2011. I still have swelling under my new belly button. I've been told it will take months before all the swelling is gone. I was told like 6 months to a year. Is that about right? Also my left breast still leaks a little is that normal?

Doctor Answers 6

Swelling after tummy tuck is normal.

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Swelling after tummy tuck is normal especially in the dependent area such as pubic region.  Although most of swelling subsides by the third month, it can last up to 6 months.  If you are more active, it may last longer.  You do want to be followed up by your plastic surgeon to make sure that your swelling is normal.  The "swelling" may be due to 1) normal tissue swelling after surgery, 2) fluid collection,  or 3) thickness of fatty tissue. The first scenario is treated by time.  The second and third scenarios may need an intervention to improve the contour.

In regards to your breast, it should not be leaking at this time.  You should follow up with your plastic surgeon.

Swelling after Tummy Tuck

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Yes - Swelling does take time to resolve. Localized swelling could be normal with a small area demonstrating slightly more scarring than surrounding areas. It could be a small unrepaired hernia or a collection of fat that may not have been liposuctioned evenly. Only a surgeon examining you directly will be able to tell you with any reasonable amount of accuracy. Most likely it is just normal swelling and waiting it out at least 6 months makes perfect sense.  Best of Luck  Dr Harrell

How long can swelling last after a tummy tuck?

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This type of swelling is normal after a tummy tuck, especially in the lower abdomen and more active individuals.  It can be intermittent and last up to 6 months, but it will go away.  You'll be ready for summer!

Dustin L. Reid, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Swelling after Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question.

As always, it is best to be seen in person ( by your plastic surgeon) for precise diagnosis and treatment of the abdominal wall swelling and the breast drainage.

Generally, abdominal wall "swelling" after tummy tuck may be related to:
1. Swelling in the soft tissues.  This may take several months to resolve and may worsen with increased activity  or at the end of the day.   Patience  is required to allow for resolution of the swelling. The swelling occurs because of the interruption of venous and lymphatic channels that occurs during the tummy tuck operation.
2. Fluid accumulation in the space between the skin and the abdominal wall muscle.  this may consist of blood ( hematoma)  or serum (seroma).  This fluid accumulation can generally be diagnosed by physical examination ( occasionally ultrasound  may be helpful).  Treatment consists of aspiration;  several episodes of aspiration may be necessary. 
3. Separation of the abdominal wall muscle repair may lead to a swelling/bulge appearance. This may be diagnosed on physical examination  with your surgeon examining you in different bodily positions. One of the steps of a tummy tuck procedure involves reapproximation (plication)  of the rectus muscles.  These muscles have spread apart during pregnancy and/or weight gain. Bringing them together again in the midline helps to “tighten” the abdominal wall as well as to narrow the waistline.
4. Residual adipose tissue may be confused for swelling. Again this is most easily diagnosed by physical examination. Additional liposuction surgery maybe necessary to improve the results of surgery.

Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year  (or greater)  a complete skin redraping  to occur.

I hope this helps.

Swelling after surgery

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Good question! The answer to the question is yes it may take up to a whole year for swelling after surgery to resolve. That said it also depends on the type of surgery the location and the patient themselves. Regarding the drainage from your breast that is not normal and you should have your surgeon evaluate it and treat the cause.


Good luck!

TT swelling and breast leaking at 12 weeks

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At 12 weeks swelling should be decreasing. I would continue to follow closely with your plastic surgeon. Pl relay your concerns to him/her. More often than not, the solution is time but only a physical exam can accurately guide you. A leaking breast at this time is not normal and should be evaluated.

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.