Why Do I Weigh 8 Pounds Heavier One Week Post Op?

One week ago I had a full abdominalplasty, muscle repair, and lipo on the upper and lower abdomen and flanks. I feel fine and can walk up right with little pain. But the swelling! I drink water constantly but I'm still 8 pounds heavier than I was when he did the surgery! When am I going to be able to fit into my clothes again? The swelling is especially bad in the upper abdomen.

Doctor Answers 18

Why do I weigh more after lipo/ tummy tuck/surgery?

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My girlfriend's advice after any big surgery like this is DO NOT WEIGH yourself after surgery for awhile. 


You will weigh more.  There are multiple reasons for this: fluid shifts from surgery, tumnescent (the stuff we inject before we do liposuction which is in your tissues), swelling, bruise, etc.  You start to mobilize what we call "third spaced fluids" on post operative day 3-4, but it isn't magically gone at a week.

When will you see what you really weigh?

I tell patients to be about 80% of the way to their weight loss at 6 weeks, and all the way there at 3 months.  You should lose some weight after surgery.  Your surgeon can tell you how much skin and fat they removed (I weigh it in surgery.)

Be careful during the post operative time that you don't gain weight (don't starve yourself- you need energy to heal, but don't eat bon bons).  It is really common to gain weight when you can't work out and are hanging out at home all day.

Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon

Swelling one week post tummy tuck

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One week post tummy tuck and liposuction surgery, it is normal for you to have significant swelling. It is important that you follow your surgeon’s post-op care instructions to ensure the best results possible. I provide my patients with an abdominal binder to wear for 4 weeks to help minimize swelling and aid in the healing process. It could take up to 4-6 months for the swelling to subside depending on your activity level. Follow-up with your plastic surgeon to rule out a seroma (fluid accumulation below the skin/subcutaneous flap).

Postop weight gain

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Water retention after general anesthesia is very common. Also, some of that retention is mobilized by the body as swelling in the abdomen. You should begin to eliminate the fluid within the next few weeks. However, if the swelling is excessive, painful, or accompanied by any fever or localized problems, then you need to follow up with your plastic surgeon to rule out hematoma or seroma formation.

Increased weight in post operative period

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It is very normal to be up several pounds after having surgery.  The body's response to trauma is to hold onto water.  This should continue to go down as you move around more, (a few weeks).  Everyone is different, and will heal at different rates.  Good to stay in touch with your plastic surgeon, as sometimes patients will have a focal collection of fluid, (seroma), that might need to be addressed.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Weight gain due to fluid retention after a tummy tuck

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Immediately after a tummy tuck your body weight may be higher due to the IV fluids you received during the surgery as well as the infiltrate that was administered during the liposuction. Your body will eliminate the majority of  this fluid (and weight) as time goes on. Don't be too concerned with your weight as much as your contour; your weight will come down eventually.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 410 reviews

Swelling Following Tummy Tuck is Very Common

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                   It’s not unusual for patients to have significant swelling following abdominoplasty.  This occurs for a variety of reasons.  Patients are typically given significant amounts of I.V. fluids during their surgical procedure.  In addition, the body responds to trauma or surgery by retaining fluid as a protective mechanism. 

                 Under these circumstances. Patients can see significant weight gain from fluid retention following abdominoplasty.  This weight gain typically peaks 5 to 7 days following surgery and in most cases resolves spontaneously.

                   In your case an eight pound weight gain would not be unanticipated following this type of procedure.  If you’re anxious about this phenomena, discussion with your surgeon is appropriate.  Your surgeon should be able to reassure you and make your post operative experience more comfortable.

I weigh more after a tummy tuck!

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It is normal, water retention and other factors play a part in weight gain after any surgery. Wait and see it come off. Hydrate, use a laxative, and begin tread mill walking...once your plastic surgeon clears you. It'll come off.

Ayman Hakki, MD
Waldorf Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Weight in the imediate postoperative period

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It is not unreasonable to assume that your present weight most probably does not accurately reflect neither the weight of the tissue that was removed during your surgeries (skin and fat removed during your abdominoplasty and additional fat removed during your liposuction) nor the eventual reduction in weight that you most probably will ultimately see within the next few weeks.

Any increase in body weight that you find one week after surgery is most likely due to the intravenous fluid ostensibly given to you during your surgery in addition to the tumescent fluid typically placed into the tissues to be liposuctioned prior to the removal of fat.

Swelling with attendant decreased sensation over the tummy area ("it feels like someonelse's stomach when I touch my tummy") is typical for the first few weeks following either a tummy tuck or liposuction of the abdomen, individually or in combination. I will tell my patients to expect clothes feeling tight for at least 3-6 weeks or longer after their surgery.

I find that swelling in the upper abdominal region typically resolves sooner than swelling in the lower abdominal region after a tummy tuck, primarily due to hydrostatic pressure/gravitational forces. However,  the addition of liposuction to the area may indeed potentially change the dynamic of this occurrence

Discuss the pronounced swelling in your upper abdomen with your surgeon as he/she would most probably want to be alerted to this finding and then determine if there may be a collection of fluid in the area or if there has been inadequate compression of your post surgical garment specifically to this area that may then need to modified.

Good Luck!!

GMB of Barrington, IL

Fluid Retention After A Tummy Tuck And Liposuction

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What you are experiencing in terms of weight gain is absolutely normal. Every body contouring patient, particularly procedures that incorporate liposuction, is going to weightmore the first week after surgery than they did before. Often even the same clothes around the waistline will feel tighter as well...and maybe even unable to button or snap them together. This is due to swelling and fluid retention. Over the next few weeks the body will get rid of this excess fluid and you will be closer to or in the 'benefits' phase of the procedure. As a general rule, I tell liposuction patients it will be three weeks after surgery before they will notice that they weigh less than before and for many tummy tuck patients it is going to be closer to a month after surgery.

Post Tummy Tuck Weight Gain

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Hi KylieB, You are only 1 week after surgery! It is completely normal to have swelling and fluid retention at this very early healing stage after a tummy tuck.It can take up to 4-6 months for the swelling to completely subside. Your surgeon should be able to answer all of your concerns at your follow up visits, that should be happening pretty frequently at this point. It is very important that you talk with them about any issues you are experiencing and follow their instructions explicitly. 

William Aiello, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 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.