Will "Roll" Above Mini-tummy Tuck Scar Flatten Out?

I had a mini tummy tuck about 2 1/2 weeks ago. Just above the scar, there seems to be a "roll" the length of the scar. Is this normal? If so, how long before it flattens out?

Doctor Answers 7

Lower abdominal swelling after tummy tuck

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This is not at all uncommon. The scar can act as a dam that retains fluid and keeps it from draining into the lymph nodes of the groin. You may want to check with your surgeon to make sure this is not a hematoma or seroma first.

Compression garments and manual lymphatic drainage may be useful in keeping this fluid collection to a minimum. Expect that it will be worse at the end of the day when the fluid has a greater tendency to collect due to gravity and you standing upright promoting drainage in a downward driection rather than to the sides when you are asleep at night and horizontal. As the scar softens, the fluid will pass through the tissues to the lymph nodes and diminish. This typically takes at least 2-3 months.

One thing that can make this worse is a tight dressing that acts like a tourniquet if it compresses the skin between your umbilicus and incision.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Roll above mini tummy tuck scar must be treated aggressively

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The roll above a mini tummy tuck scar is usually caused by the contraction of the scar in an upwards direction, called a 'trap door" effect. Occasionally a smaller roll can be caused by fat left behind or a failure to bevel the incision-if this is the case the roill is very soft and pliable.

The trap door effect produces a firm rigid palpable ridge above the scar.

If this occurs, vigorous massage of the roll should be started as soon as you are healed.

Consult your doctor who did your surgery. If the bilge is simply fat then minor liposuction may solve the problem.

I have also had good luck treating this scar problem with non-ablative 1540 Erbium fractional laser therapy.

See your doctor soon--the earlier you take action, the better.

The Roll Above my Tummy tuck Scar

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It is not uncommon to have a roll above your tummy tuck scar for several weeks after a tummy tuck.

Water runs down hill, and so, this swelling that is a normal part of the healing process.

First, because swelling a expected following any surgery.

Secondly, lymphatic drainage system has been disrupted by the lower abdominal incision, impairing your drainage until the wound heals fully and the lymphatic channels are restored.

Sometimes the swelling in fluid under the flap which will be absorbed by your body over several weeks.

Fredrick A. Valauri, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Roll above scar 21/2 wks post-op

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More than likely the "roll" you are complaining about it swelling secondary to the surgery. The upper flap closure usually has more swelling because of the change in lymphatics after surgery. Give it some tiem to heal.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Swelling after a mini tummy tuck or tummy tuck procedure

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Patients should anticipate swelling after a mini-tummy tuck procedure. The swelling may last one to two months and will improve with gentle massage and in my practice, oral intake of a Bruise-Pak supplement.  

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Slowing after mini tummy tuck

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After a mini tummy tuck, patients should expect a healing process that will last several months. The early stage of the healing process will consist of bruising, swelling, and minimal drainage. You are currently in the early stage of the healing process. The swelling that you are seeing above your incision should subside in time. The most important thing you can do to help the process is to wear a compression garment at all times. This will help resolve the swelling and will help prevent the accumulation of fluid in this area.

Lower abdominal swelling following a tummy tuck

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Thanks for the question. Lower abdominal swelling following a tummy tuck or mini-tummy tuck is very common, especially in the early post-operative period. The swelling may persist up to 4 months in some instances. Compression garments may be useful in help expediting the regression of swelling. Our patients generally are instructed to wear them for a period of no less than 6 week. I would recommend following up with your plastic surgeon to assure that your swelling isn't attributed to a fluid collection such as a seroma or hematoma which may require drainage.

Best of luck !

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 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.