1 week Post tummy tuck with muscle repair (no lipo) lower abdomen puffiness, is this normal? (photo)

I am 1 week post tummy tuck and my lower abdomen appears puffy. Most excess skin is gone from four pregnancies but I still have bulging above scar. What could this be caused by and will it go away or can it be fixed? I am 5' 1" and weighed 120 pounds prior to surgery and weigh 117lbs now. I exercised 4 days a week prior to surgery but am not built stick thin. I had four children including one set of multiples prior to surgery.

Doctor Answers 4

Recovery after tummy tuck

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Some puffiness/bulge/discomfort is quite common after a tummy tuck. It is a big procedure and expect your tissues to need a good few weeks for everything to settle. Meanwhile wearing some support will help.

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

Abdominal swelling is normal at this stage

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You are experiencing normal postoperative swelling. Some patients will feel a ridge of tissue along their incision line for several weeks (6-8 wks) after their abdominoplasty. Keep in close contact with your surgeon during your healing phase and follow their instructions to the tee. Remain in your support garment to keep compression and remain patient. Good luck.

Tummy Tuck: is the Puffiness Normal?

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It looks to me as all is normal for you. After a big operation like an abdominoplasty, we can expect swelling or puffiness for long periods. This means we have to wait much longer than one week. Often swelling is present for months!

Around the incision we can expect extra swelling. The scar itself can be elevated. This is called the "healing ridge." It is inflammatory cells and other products that are part of your body healing itself.

It is also important to be realistic about results. Some people will not be as flat as they hope after their surgery. But it is way to early to tell about this. 

Follow your doctor's advise. I expect you will have gradual improvement and be happy soon.

Hope this helps!
Dr Chris Saunders

Christopher Saunders, MD
Wilmington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Tummy tuck recovery

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Give it time you are in the early stages of healing.

Pain, pulling, and tugging along the incision quite common after tummy tuck surgery. The discomfort can get worse a few weeks after surgery as some of the nerves start to wake up and work again. Pain can also increase because at three weeks out patients start to get more active once again.

Sometimes the pain is caused by tugging of a stitch that will eventually dissolve, sometimes it can be caused by scar tissue. Generally these aches and pains and zings will come and go for a few months after surgery, but usually they resolve.

You may feel more comfortable if you speak to your plastic surgeon directly. He or she should be the one to recommend medication to you.

Marwan R. Khalifeh, MD
Chevy Chase Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 107 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.