4 Weeks Post-tummy Tuck and I Noticed That the Upper Mid Ab Bulges - Normal?

4 weeks post-tummy tuck with muscle repair. My belly button area is tight and flat, but the upper middle section of my abs are not, the definition is nice, but it protrudes outwards, it's about 4 inches above my belly button. It does not look right, but if it were flat it would be nice. Do you think it will be flat? It does not look that way to me. Also I wear a girdle daily to work and when I get home from work I wear the brace the Dr. provided.

Doctor Answers 14

Incomplete Muscle Repair Can Give You an Upper Abdominal Bulge

Most of the swelling is gone 4 weeks post-operatively.  The residual bulge could be either fat that did not get liposuctionned or more likely, failure to plicate the upper part of the rectus abdominis muscles.  This is a common problem with mini-tummy-tuck when the surgeon may not have repaired the top part of the dehisced (separated) muscles.  Wait another 2 months then review this with your surgeon.  Dr. Marc DuPéré, Plastic Surgeon Toronto, VISAGE Clinic

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Upper Abdominal bulge after Abdominoplasty

Most of the swelling from surgery would have subsided ( by 80%-90%) by now.

Did you have a "mini" abdominoplasty  or a full/standard abdominoplasty? Ask your plastic surgeon. Good luck!

Amie Malihan, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

I have bulging in my upper abdominal area 4 weeks after a tummy tuck. Normal?

You should be healed by now. There are few reasons for bulging. 1) placation is too loose or failed. 2) you have excess fat that could not be suctioned at the time but could be suctioned now. 3) you could have a fluid accumulation. All these thing can be taken care of. Talk to your surgeon about these possibilities. Good luck.

Farhad Rafizadeh, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Upper belly still budging after tummy tuck

This is difficult to assess without more specific details. However I can only guess that a muscle repair was not performed or failed. Discuss this with your surgeon to find out the details of the procedure.  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Flat tummy

After your surgery, the intention is to flatten your abdomen however if you have abundant fatty tissues in that area then yes, it can bulge.  Nobody can say it will be totally flat no matter what after a tummy tuck unless they've evaluated your preoperative status so don't panic.  Speak to your plastic surgeon, he may tell you that there's some fat that needs to be suctioned and wasn't comfortable removing it in your case for one reason or another.  It's possible that the muscles weren't repaired in the upper abdomen or there could be blood or fluid up there.  Again, don't panic, speak to your doctor and find out what is it that's causing the lack of flattness.  If it's not flat, you probably should've known prior to surgery that it wasn't going to be flat.  Best wishes,

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Is it improved or not?

Picture before and after are needed to determine what your condition is. The before shape of the ribs and the abdomen could make this area prominent. Intrabdominal fat can make this area difficult to flatten. Is liposuction was done the thickness of the tissue in this area will be less. If a plication of the muscle was done then the area should be less prominent than preop. It all depends on if it is better than it was before the surgery was done.  

Walter D. Gracia, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Bulge in upper abdominal area after a tummy tuck...

When a surgeon is done with an tummytuck procedure the upper abdominal area is FLAT if the repair was taken all the way to the xiphoid area.(the bottom of the breast bone area).


Post operatively sometimes patients cough or sneeze or do heavy lifting or engage in activites which might cause the repair to loosen or break in this area.  If this happens the repair needs to be repeated.  Usually though patients feel significant discomfort if this does happen. 

If you havent had any discomfort and there is fullness it could be becasue of retained fluid and or retained abdominal fatty tissue.  One way to check is to have your surgeon aspirate the area with a needle.  Immediately the fulllness should disappear if it is fluid.


Good Luck to you


Kimberly Henry M.D.

Other cause

Kimberly A. Henry, MD
Greenbrae Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Upper abdominal bulge 4 weeks out

The bulge in your upper abdomen acan be alot of things.  Most commonly it is the muscle plication, sometimes it is fluid from a seroma or blood.  These are the most common. It could also be swelling.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Upper abdominal bulge after tummy tuck

Four weeks after tummy tuck your abdomen should be flat with a good contour. The bulge in the upper abdomen may be a number to things and possibly a small amount of bleeding or a fluid collection is present in the area. It is also possible that the muscle repair was not carried high enough up to the chest. See your surgeon to check things out. Fluid or a seroma in the area is easily resolved.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

4 Weeks Post-tummy Tuck and I Noticed That the Upper Mid Ab Bulges - Normal?

Very hard to advise without photos or a scan of the area. Seek a second opinion in person. My guess is a hernia or failed muscle repair. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl J. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 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.