I Am 5 Wks Post Op from TT. They Took 4.4 Lbs Off. Why Do I Still Weigh More Than Before I Went In?

Shouldn't any swelling that caused weight gain be behind me now after 5 weeks? I was 140lbs when I went in, now 5 weeks later I'm 142. If they took off 4.4 lbs, shouldn't I be closer to the 136lb mark by now?

Doctor Answers 5

Fluid retention can lead to sizable temporary weight increase after abdominoplasty.

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The body tends to hang on to fluid after major surgery. Retention of fluid can cause substantial increase in weight for several weeks after abdominoplasty.

No weight change in the early post operative healing period after an abdominoplasty

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From your description you seem to be right on target.  I would not expect your weight to start decreasing until between the 6th week and the end of the 3rd month.  Your soft tissue was surgical traumatized and it responds by swelling.  As you heal this fluid will be mobilized and your weight will begin to go down. You should be showing improvement in shape at this point, the weight change will come over time.

Weight gain 1 month post-op after tummy tuck is common; almost expected

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You are very early in the healing process, and your tissues are still swollen with excess fluid. That fluid has a certain weight, and that shows up when you stand on the scale.  That will start to dissipate in the next few weeks, and by 2 to 3 months postop you will notice your weight normalizing and declining.  Prior to that, I would just walk by the scale and not even climb on.  There is nothing useful coming from it.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Concerned about Weight after Tummy Tuck Surgery?

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I would suggest that you not worry about your weight at this point. Fluid retention around the time of surgery is quite normal. Swelling may persist for many months after the procedure was performed. Furthermore, it is likely that you  have burned fewer calories post operatively as you have been relatively sedentary.

 In the longer term, you will  likely be happier with your weight;  no need for concern at this point.

Why Do I Still Weigh More Than Before I Went In?

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Swelling takes several months to resolve, not weeks, in most patients. Chances are you may also have gained a bit of non-water weight during the period of inactivity after your surgery. 

Put the scale away and then weigh yourself at three months after surgery.
All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.