41 Days PO After Tummy Tuck, Stomach Not Flat, Normal? (photo)

I had a tummy tuck 41 days ago and my stomach is not flat my doctor said it takes time but I think you should be flattered at the bottom nowI'm wondering would it ever goes flatter or what should I do I my garment all the time I started out in a medium now I'm in a small

Doctor Answers 9

Swelling after a Tummy Tuck

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It takes several months for all swelling to subside. I recommend being patient and following up with your plastic surgeon. It is also best to wear compression as long as you have swelling. 

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

41 Days PO After Tummy Tuck, Stomach Not Flat, Normal?

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A preop photo would be helpful in offering anything more specific in the way of advice. At six weeks there is still swelling, but how much is hard to tell without a before photo. If you look to the right of the screen you will (probably) see TT photos in the poses that were most useful. 

There are some limitations to how flat the abdomen can be. The intra-abdominal contents can't be overly compressed without health- or life-threatening risks. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

41 Days PO After Tummy Tuck, Stomach Not Flat, Normal?

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Thank you for the question. You will find that, without viewing good quality before and after photographs, that online consultants will not be of much help to you. 

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

 Generally speaking, 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.

 Also, patients considering tummy tuck surgery should develop a sense of realistic expectations  preoperatively;  depending on the “starting point” achieving a “flat” abdomen may not be realistic.

I hope this,  and the attached link, helps.

41 Days PO After Tummy Tuck, Stomach Not Flat, Normal?

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Dear Sidney,

Thank you for your post.  In general, it takes months to have all the swelling go away.  You should be assessed to see if the area is swelling or fluid collection.  If this is a fluid collection, it should be drained.  If this is swelling, it will go away with time.  If this is fat, then it will not go away, but some liposution may be of benefit if you are unhappy with the flatness of the belly.

Best wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Swelling after a tummy tuck take several months to completely resolve

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You undoubtedly still have some swelling, and whether your abdomen will ever be as flat as you would like cannot be known until 4-6 months post-op.  If liposuction of the abdomen was done at the same time as the tummy tuck, you certainly have less fat there than you had pre-operatively.  However, for a safe procedure,  liposuction of the abdomen must be done much more conservatively, (removing less fat) when done at the same time as a tummy tuck, compared to an isolated liposuction procedure.  After 6 months, you may be a candidate for additional liposuction of the lower abdomen.

Roger J. Oldham, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon

41 Days PO After Tummy Tuck, Stomach Not Flat, Normal?

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A posted before photo is helpful. But you must understand you might haste intestinal fat or visceral fat besides subcutaneous fat. Best to discuss with your surgeon. 

Complete resolution of swelling after abdominoplasty takes months.

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The appearance of the skin bespeaks a sizable amount of persistent swelling. This will continue to improve for many months. Remain patient and stay in touch with your surgeon.

Abdominoplasty revision - too soon to tell

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Difficult to fully evaluate your problem but at 5 - 6 weeks out you are only 50% of the way there toward your final result.  Give it another 6 - 8 weeks before you consider the need for a revision. 

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

Tummy Tuck healing takes 12 months

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Healing is slow and methodical and you cannot speed it along.  By 4 months you are 65%, by 6 months 80% and by 12 months 100%.  The little lymphatics take their own time to reconnect. Do not gain weight because that will result in a degree of failure.  Take care of yourself, be calm, and be patient.   My Best,  Dr C

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.