Tummy Tuck 3 Weeks Post Op, Swelling Normal? (photo)

I am 3 weeks post op and I recovered real good I had a 7cc seroma on my left breast and recovered from it went away on its own Today I noticed that my stomach swelling is worst then the other days I feel heavy swelling on the bottom of my stomach I touched my stomach for fluids and my stomach is real hard even when I lay down is this normal for swelling to get worst??! And also if You see on one of my pictures I have back fat on one side my PS said it will go down I think he forgot to lipo it??

Doctor Answers 9

Swelling After Tummy Tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Post-surgery swelling is normal, especially just above the area where the incision was made. We can only give you a round about time frame as to when things should start to calm down, which is approximately 3 months. Try not to compare yourself to others who have had the same procedure, as everyone heals differently and in their own time. If you are concerned and need reassuring I would recommend scheduling a follow up with your surgeon so he can evaluate you in person. – Dr. Ortiz

Fayetteville Plastic Surgeon

Swelling post tummy

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Since you are only 3 weeks out it is not unusual to have soem swelling just above the incision.this is the mosdt dependant area and hence will swell more.Heat and massage should help.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Tummy Tuck 3 Weeks Post Op, Swelling Normal? (

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question and for the posted photos. Although tissue swelling is to be expected at 3 weeks (and longer), it is not the only possible cause of increased girth. Fluid accumulations of blood (hematoma) or serum (seroma) can occur. Huge such accumulations may be present on photos, but most are diagnosed on physical exam, occasionally by ultrasound, or by aspiration. 

Solving this will be done at your surgeon's office, not over the internet. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

You might also like...

Swelling 3 weeks post-op is normal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Nothing here can compare to a physical examination by your surgeon in person.  He will be able to tell if there is a seroma or not.  In any event, seroma aside, swelling that you are seeing is entirely normal at this very early stage following tummy tuck, and it is likely that it will persist for the next few months before it resolves.  At that point you and your surgeon can assess your results more realistically.  You may want to ask your surgeon if he thinks there is any place for lymphatic massage in your care; I often have my patients get 2 or 3 sessions when they have a lot of swelling, and it really helps it to resolve.  Good luck.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Increased Swelling is a Bit Unusal at 3 weeks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Usually the swelling will continue to subside over the ensuing weeks.  If your swelling is increasing then you should visit with your PS for an evaluation.

Dr. ES

Postoperative swelling especially just above the incision is common after abdominoplasty.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Having a cylinder of swelling just above the incision for several weeks after in abdominoplasty is fairly common. Small fluid collections can create the same problem should be aspirated by the surgeon.

Post operative swelling after a tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your plastic surgeon is in the best position to understand your anatomy and surgical procedure.  Without pre op photos can not assess the degree of liposuction performed on your hips.  In general some  post operative swelling it to be expected after an tummy tuck and will persist for up to 3 months.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tummy Tuck 3 Weeks Post Op, Swelling Normal?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I thought you looked familiar, and reviewing your previous postings we see you did out of country surgery> Best to fly back to DR to be examined IN PERSON with all you issues by the DR surgeon who did you. Otherwise see a local boarded PS and pay the post op care fees. Yes you are correct it appears as if there was NO lipo done as you stated. 

Swelling after Tummy Tuck?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the question and pictures.
As always, it is best to be seen in person ( by your plastic surgeon) for precise diagnosis and treatment.
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.

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.