Swell hell! I am currently 10 more pounds than I was before I went in! Is this normal? (photos)

hello and how are you today? I just have a quick question. I am currently 10 more pounds than I was before I went in! Is this normal? also I have a little puffiness above my incision is that normal as well? I see so many photos of women looking really flat and more curvy at my point of post. Just need to hear that everything's going to be okay or not! My doctors appointment isn't for another 2 weeks and I'm being very impatient lol! I have attached photos. Thank you

Doctor Answers 11

Swelling after tt

Talk to your plastic surgeon so that he/she can examine and advise you more appropropriately and rule out more serious causes of swelling. And just bc your appointment is in 2 weeks, doesn't mean your plastic surgeon expects you to wait if there are concern. Call your plastic surgeon and make an appointment to address your concerns earlier rather than later. He or she is there to guide you through this journey. And your concerns will be important to him/her.

However, you are still early in your recovery phase and swelling can take months to truly resolve. It is a common complaint for patients that undergo tummy tucks to feel swollen immediately after removing the garment. A few things that may help:
1. make sure your garment is still giving you the appropriate compression. If too loose, it's not helping. If its too tight, your legs will swell.
2. decrease yout salt intake. Drink plenty of water. That helps alot with the swelling. Many times patients drink less water thinking it will make the swelling resolve. The opposite is true.
3. Change positions frequently. If you are in a chair/desk position most of the time. Make sure you are getting up and walking around frequently to help with circulation.
4. Eat high fiber fruits and veggies to help with constipation and bloating which can also make you feel even more uncomfortable and "tight" in a compression garment.
I hope this helps.


Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Swelling after tummy tuck

Thank you for your question. It is very common to get swelling and gain weight in immediate post op tummy tuck secondary to fluid retention. Gaining  10 pounds sounds excessive. Please talk to your PS. Mean while cut down salt and continue to wear fit garment. Good luck

Swelling is normal...

It is absolutely normal to be swollen after a procedure like a tummy tuck, Your body has just gone through a major surgery and needs to recover. You can expect some swelling typically for about 4-6 months. Always follow your doctors instructions when it comes to the post op care.

Swelling after Tummy Tuck

Thanks for your question. I am sorry to hear about the excessive swelling after your tummy tuck. In our plastic surgery clinic, we outfit our patients with a customized surgical garment which is used to help prevent swelling, along with a post-tummy tuck diet. However, swelling is an annoying and inevitable part of plastic surgery. I would recommend moving your appointment up just for your own peace of mind. Best to you. -Dr. Coan.

Brian Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Weight Gain After Surgery

Yes, it is common to temporarily gain 5-10 pounds right after a tummy tuck. This is due to swelling and the retaining of fluids. That being said, 10 pounds is a little on the high side. It is hard to say if your swelling is normal or not because we do not know when your operation was. Considerable swelling is very common, and although the majority of it usually goes down within 6 months, it can take a year for swelling to disappear completely. I recommend following up with your surgeon throughout your recovery to ensure that everything is healing normally and there is no fluid collection that is contributing to the swelling. Best regards.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Swelling after liposuction

It takes 1 month for ~50% of the swelling to resolve and 3 months for ~80% to resolve. Swelling and water retention are common after liposuction. For more specific advice, please contact your surgeon. Best wishes

George C. Peck, Jr, MD
West Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Swelling and tummy tuck

Swelling is common after surgery and can cause some weight gain. 10 lbs sounds like a lot. You might want to see your doctor sooner to make sure you are ok.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Swell hell! I am currently 10 more pounds than I was before I went in! Is this normal?

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

  • After a tummy tuck it is expected that your abdomen will be swollen for many weeks, sometimes even months.
  • The last area that swelling tends to be noticeable, as you mention, is just above the incision.  Eventually, this swelling will resolve as well.
  • What we don't know is when your operation was!
  • But from the photos you've provided, everything appears to be healing up just fine. 
  • It is common to weigh more than you did prior to your tummy tuck, because your body holds on to fluid for awhile before returning to its normal state. 
  • Definitely discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon, but remember that time is your friend with regards to healing up after a tummy tuck, and in a few months, your weight will likely be back to normal, and you'll be very pleased with your results. 

Swelling of abdomen following surgery

Swelling and puffiness following procedures is very common.   I always tell my patients to avoid getting on the scales for at least a week after their procedures because of fluid retention.

With that being understood, 10 pounds seems excessive.  Would contact your surgeon and move-up your next appointment. 

Joseph Franklin, MD
Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.