6 Weeks Post Tummy Tuck: Bulge on my Right Side

My stomach is uneven If you start from the left side and slide your hand over the right side bulge out more. Im scared dont know if this is normal. Do both sides heal differently. My ps says to wait until my 3 wk visit. He repaird a hernia also on that side how do I know it didnt rupture. I have no pain just an uneven side please help me ease my thoughts.

Doctor Answers 5

Questions for your surgeon

As your doctor knows you "inside and out" these are questions only they can answer.  You probably just have some swelling or maybe some fluid under the skin.  Call and go back for a check.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Bulge after tummy tuck

The short answer is yes, the two sides do heal differently particularly if you had different surgeries on them as it seems you had a hernia repaired on that side but not the other one. I would expect more swelling on the side with more surgery. But only your plastic surgeon knows exactly what was done and so could evaluate your healing to date. But I always tell my patients that there will be differences between the two sides--even if I try to do exactly the same surgery. So talk with your surgeon about your concerns.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

6 Weeks Post Tummy Tuck: Bulge on my Right Side

My thoughts, need to post different views of your abdomen. But my guess is either residual fat or a failed repair of the hernia. Possibility a hematoma in the tissues on that side should also be considered. 

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

6 Weeks Post Tummy Tuck: Bulge on my Right Side

Dear jzuniga209,

I would contact your plastic surgeon and discuss your concerns with him or her.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD

Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

"Bulge" after Tummy Tuck

Thank you for the question.
As always, it is best to be seen in person ( by your plastic surgeon) for precise diagnosis and treatment.
Abdominal wall "swelling" after tummy tuck may be related to:
1. Swelling in the soft tissues.  This may take several months to resolve and may worsen with increased activity  or at the end of the day.   Patience  is required to allow for resolution of the swelling. The swelling occurs because of the interruption of venous and lymphatic channels that occurs during the tummy tuck operation.
2. Fluid accumulation in the space between the skin and the abdominal wall muscle.  this may consist of blood ( hematoma)  or serum (seroma).  This fluid accumulation can generally be diagnosed by physical examination ( occasionally ultrasound  may be helpful).  Treatment consists of aspiration;  several episodes of aspiration may be necessary. 
3. Separation of the abdominal wall muscle repair may lead to a swelling/bulge appearance. This may be diagnosed on physical examination  with your surgeon examining you in different bodily positions. One of the steps of a tummy tuck procedure involves reapproximation (plication)  of the rectus muscles.  These muscles have spread apart during pregnancy and/or weight gain. Bringing them together again in the midline helps to “tighten” the abdominal wall as well as to narrow the waistline.
4. Residual adipose tissue may be confused for swelling. Again this is most easily diagnosed by physical examination. Additional liposuction surgery maybe necessary to improve the results of surgery.
Generally, it takes many months for swelling to resolve after tummy tuck surgery and it may take up to one year  (or greater)  a complete skin redraping  to occur.
I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,503 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.