8 weeks post op, is this swelling normal? (photo)

I m 8 weeks post op and feel that i have a lot of swelling . My tummy feels very tight when i stand up and i have no loose skin . However there is a bulge right in the middle of my tummy and wonder if it will stay there , or is this swelling . I thank you in advance for taking the time to answer my question .

Doctor Answers 5

Revision Abdominoplasty

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

There are three components that need to be addressed in a primary abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). These are:

  1. Excess abdominal skin and stretch marks
  2. Unwanted abdominal fat, and
  3. Rectus diastasis and hernias

If any of these three components are missed or untreated, a tummy tuck revision may be required.

When the skin is tight and there is no excess fat, but there is a persistent "bulge" in the abdomen after abdominoplasty, there are only three explanations:

  • The rectus diastasis and/or hernia was not repaired properly at the time of the initial procedure
  • The rectus diastasis was properly repaired, but the sutures "popped" and the repair was lost, or
  • The rectus abdominis muscles were denervated (lost nerve supply) during the plication (repair) of the diastasis

This does not appear to be a fluid collection (seroma or hematoma) as others may have suggested). If the first two problems are encountered, they can be fixed with a revision abdominoplasty. The surgeon will use the same incision(s) and can re-tighten your muscles. If the latter problem has occurred (i.e. the muscles in your abdomen have lost innervation) the possible treatments are limited, but there is still the possibility to improve your appearance with a surgical revision. In order to determine the status of your muscles, a CT scan is required. This would provide a road map for your surgeon and help further define the problem. I would recommend obtaining a second (and third) opinion from board certified plastic surgeons in your area with experience in this procedure.

8 weeks post op tt. Is this swelling normal

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

It's difficult to say from the photos alone, but it can be swelling, fat, hematoma or a seroma. If you had muscle tightening, perhaps it was under corrected. The best advice I can give you is to see your surgeon for a follow up visit so each of these issues can be ruled out, options be discussed and determine a plan of action. ac

Angela Champion, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon

8 weeks post op, is this swelling normal? (photo)

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

The posted photos are poorly done but it appears as you had a Tummy Tuck. In my over the internet opinion you need to be seen for possible seroma and bilateral "dog ear" deformities. Was your surgeon a boarded PSs???

Still swollen?

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

The fullness noted in the photos is not likely due to swelling from surgery. This may be caused by slippage of the muscle tightening that may have been performed during your tummy tuck, fluid collection (blood or serum) aka hematoma or seroma, or just undercorrection of muscle laxity.

I would recommend you visit with your surgeon who performed the procedure. Remember, always best to be certain your plastic surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Speedy recovery...

8 weeks post op, is this swelling normal?

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

Without some before pictures with which to compare these 2 month postops, it is hard to guess what this might be. Possibilities include fluid collection (blood or serum), incompletely corrected or failed correction of muscles, swelling, excess fat in the abdominal skin, or large intra-abdominal volume.

A visit with your surgeon should narrow the possibilities and let you know what to expect. All the best.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.