Upper Abdomen Swelling. Any suggestions?

I am 8 weeks post op and the upper part of my belly still looks like it does before surgery. (maybe a little exaggeration) however it is big! I was seen by doctor and he pressed on tummy really firmly and didn't diagnose seromas. What can this be caused by?

Doctor Answers 4

Upper Abdomen Swelling. Any suggestions?

Thank you for your question and I am sorry that your results have not been what you anticipated. It is difficult without an in-person examination or full series of photographs to determine what may be taking place. Most commonly this is residual swelling from surgery which will spontaneously resolve but it would be important to voice your concerns to your surgeon to ensure that other issues are not taking place - discrete fluid collection, muscle laxity, or residual adipose tissue. Hope this helps.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews


It would be helpful to post before and after pics.  The bulge could be swelling, fat, or muscles that were not repaired.  Discuss with your PS again or get a second opinion.

Anh Lee, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Abdominoplasty Concerns

Would love to see your before and after photos.  Did you have a full or mini tummy tuck?  If you had a mini tummy tuck, the surgery did not address the upper abdomen.  Discuss your result with your plastic surgeon.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Upper Abdominal Swelling After Tummy Tuck

Assuming a diastasis repair was performed up to the xyphoid, there are a few cause of early postoperative swelling of the upper abdomen.

1). The diastasis repair up near the xyphoid can be difficult in a patient with a long torso.  It's possible that the repair of the upper abdomen was not as tight as the lower abdomen.
2) I routinely incorporate some liposuction of the abdomen with a tummy tuck.  The fat in the upper abdomen is harder to remove and may not have been flattened as much.
3) An isolated seroma can form in the upper abdomen.  An ultrasound should be able to detect this.
4) The most common reason for swelling of the upper abdomen in the first few months is just swelling.  Over the next few months it usually gets better on its own.

Samuel Beran, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 6 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.