Why Do my Upper Abs Protrude After Having a Tummy Tuck a Year Ago?

There is also a strain in the upper abdominals with slight pain and it is increased with using bathroom and lifting. I do not think this is a hernia. What else could cause this?

Doctor Answers 4

Upper abdominal looseness after a tummy tuck

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There is some more information needed to properly assess your condition, especially without being able to examine you.  If your upper abdominal fullness was apparent almost from the start, your upper abdominal muscles most likely were not tightened adequately.  If on another hand this is a more recent phenomena, you could have either recurrent diastasis, or even a ventral hernia.

I'd advise starting with seeing your original surgeon, of course if his explanation dozen't make sense do not hesitate getting another opinion.

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Upper Abdominal Fullness 1 Year After Tummy Tuck

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It sounds like you may have a hernia. One year after surgery some patients still have some discomfort from their muscle tightening, but should not have a protruding abdomen. It's also possible that your surgeon either didn't tighten your muscles at all or possible only tightened the lower abdomen. This would also possible cause greater fullness of the upper abdomen.    Talk to your surgeon

Daniel P. Markmann, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

A ggod looking belly still requires proper muscle exercise after a tummy tuck

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In my opinion and experience,  one of the most common causes responsible for persistent fullness of the abdomen after tummy tuck is improper use of muscles despite surgical reapproximation. This explains the worsening with bowel movements (straining with valsalva maneuver). Consder undertaking supervised Pilates exerecise instruction.  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Muscle Plication

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It really depends if you had a full plication or not and if there was enough of the soft tissue release.  These are two reasons why some patients can have upper abdominal fullness after a tummy tuck.

Hope that helps.  Again it could also always b a hernia.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 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.