Swelling and bloating 2 months post full Tummy Tuck


I have swelling and bloating after 2 months of my full TT, my doctor suggested that it is all caused by gastrointestinal issues and has nothing to do with the surgery. Is it too early to worry about final results? My PS has not provided any exercise routine for the 3 months post-op (apparently he does not have any), he just advised me to start crunches (after swelling) which I find too demanding for the abdominal muscles at this stage, what is your opinion and what are alternative safe exercises for the time being.

I had my operation in another country and the last time I had physical examination was 3 weeks post-op

Thank you so much!


F, Qatar

A swollen abdomen after a tummy tuck is quite common. The tissues surrounding the scar on the lower abdomen may become swollen by the downward migration of fluid.

As the healing process continues and the scar tissue matures, lymphatic channels should slowly be restored. Fluids will begin to move without obstruction and the swelling should subside.

Aside from swelling due to drainage issues, the narcotics administered for pain relief after a tummy tuck may have side effects which include a slowing of the gastrointestinal tract and bloating.

If the issue is seroma, or a buildup of fluid between the skin layer and the muscle layer, this fluid may need to be drained with a needle in your doctor's office.

Under normal circumstances, most swelling should subside 3 to 4 months following surgery. As with all cosmetic surgery, the way your body heals will depend on your age, weight, physical fitness and multiple other factors.

Without a personal examination to determine the exact cause of the swelling, I’m unable to make any specific recommendations regarding physical activity.

Follow up examinations after cosmetic surgery are important. I advise you make contact with either your original plastic surgeon or a board-certified plastic surgeon near you if traveling to your original surgeon is not possible. Good luck with the rest of your recovery process.

Landon Pryor has 2 Liposuction, Tummytuck before & afters:

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I suggest you follow up with a plastic surgeon in your area ASAP to address your abdominal swelling.

While all physicians have slightly different follow up requirements, it's common to ask tummy tuck patients to return for a follow-up visit at somewhere around the 4-6 week mark following plastic surgery. The next visit is often around the 3 month mark. And the next one at around the 6 month mark. Ideally your follow up visits should be with the surgeon who performed the procedure but, as you indicated, that may not be feasible in your case.

While I can't offer you any diagnoses or treatment recommendations without a physical examination, it is not unusual to experience postoperative swelling and bloating in the lower abdomen during tummy tuck recovery. The painkillers prescribed by your plastic surgeon may slow the gastrointestinal tract which can lead to constipation and bloating during the recovery period.

It is normal for swelling to take 2-3 months to subside, after which your final results will begin to appear.

There is also the possibility that the swelling you described is due to drainage issues. Lymphatic drainage usually ceases within 2-3 weeks following the tummy tuck surgery, but in some cases the drainage period can last 4-6 weeks post op (or longer). In the event that your swelling is the result of continued lymphatic fluid collection in the lower abdomen, this excess fluid may need to be aspirated by a plastic surgeon over the course of several visits.

Always visit a board-certified plastic surgeon for best results.

Hello, and thank you for your questions,

I would recommend that you visit your doctor ( or a board certified plastic surgeon for a complete evaluation). That being said some patients retain fluid post surgery and you are still healing but again you should follow up with an MD to evaluate.


Andrew Rosenthal, M.D.



ANDREW ROSENTHAL has 1 Tummytuck before & after:

Tummytuck before image performed by Dr. ANDREW ROSENTHALTummytuck after image performed by Dr. ANDREW ROSENTHAL

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