Cosmetic Surgery Tips

3 Months Post Op Tummy Tuck Still Swollen

After having a tummy tuck, swelling is very common. While some swelling may be gone by 3 months after the procedure, it is not unusual for swelling to last longer. It can take up to 18 months for all of the swelling to go away.

What happens during your surgery? It’s important to realize that a tummy tuck is more than just liposuction. During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision in your lower abdomen and remove excess fat and skin. They will also tighten the muscles in your abdominal wall. This creates a flatter stomach and a tighter waistline, but it also causes trauma to your body, which results in swelling.

In this guide, we review the aspects of 3 months post op tummy tuck still swollen, swelling after tummy tuck 6 months, how to reduce pubic swelling after tummy tuck, and Why is my stomach still hard 3 months after tummy tuck?

Take the time to visit our catalog for prompt information on pictures swelling after tummy tuck, stages of swelling after tummy tuck, and so much more. You don’t want to miss this!

3 months post op tummy tuck still swollen

How long does it take for swelling to go away after a tummy tuck? The amount of time it takes for swelling to go away varies from patient to patient. You may notice that you’re still swollen 3 months after surgery, but every person heals at their own rate. Typically, patients see that their stomachs are much flatter 3 months after surgery, even if they are still swollen.

What can I do about my stomach being swollen? You should always talk to your doctor before changing your diet or exercise routine after surgery. In general.

When it comes to looking your very best, there is plenty that you can do on your own. For instance, exercising regularly, staying well hydrated, and eating right can keep you looking quite fit. There are some things that you can’t do on your own, however, such as tightening your skin after major weight loss. In such cases, drooping, sagging, and stretch marks are unavoidable. Thankfully, a skilled plastic surgeon can help you achieve a trimmer, slimmer frame, addressing those issues with skin laxity that diet and exercise cannot. One of the most common options for these kinds of issues is the tummy tuck, which you may know better as an abdominoplasty.

About Tummy Tuck Surgery

Tummy tuck surgery can tighten the abdominnal skin and eliminate stretch marks, which is ideal for people who have lost a considerable amount of weight and are dealing with loose skin and other body contouring issues. During the tummy tuck, a series of incisions is made along the lower abdominal region. Through these incisions, underlying structures are adjusted and excess skin is removed.

Following surgery, there are a number of side effects that patients may face. One of which is swelling.

Is swelling common after tummy tuck surgery?

Side effects following surgery are normal and a sign that your body is healing. As such, swelling after tummy tuck surgery is a common issue that all patients face and it is perfectly normal.

How long will the swelling after tummy tuck surgery last?

Swelling after tummy tuck surgery can last for quite some time since the surgery is rather extensive. The most noticeable swelling experienced after tummy tuck will subside after about two to three months, though mild swelling or puffiness in the abdominal region will still be common. Gradually over the course of a year to a year and a half, patients will notice the post-surgical swelling diminish.

What is the best way to deal with the swelling after tummy tuck surgery?

In general, the best option for dealing with post-surgical swelling is to follow your surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care to the letter. Be sure to wear your compression garments as directed, as this will help you experience a better recovery and will also help ease the swelling and puffiness after surgery.

Remember to be patient after you undergo tummy tuck surgery since swelling will naturally resolve itself with time as part of the natural healing process.

Keep In Touch with Your Surgeon for Additional Guidance

It’s important that patients stay in touch with their surgeon as they recover, which means more than just showing up to follow-up visits. Any questions or concerns should be addressed to the surgeon so that various matters can be addressed in a timely manner. This is crucial not just for ensuring total wellness but peace of mind as well.

Swelling 4 Months After Tummy Tuck

Swelling after a tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is quite typical for a surgery this extensive. How long swelling lasts after a tummy tuck depends on many different factors. Understanding why swelling occurs may help you to better prepare mentally and have more realistic expectations for your recovery and results.

Swelling after a Tummy Tuck Is Normal

Swelling in the abdominal area is perfectly normal and expected after a tummy tuck. In this area of the body, the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels work as a drainage system for fluids. During a tummy tuck, these vessels are cut. Because of this, the body removes fluid in the area a lot slower, resulting in fluid buildup known as edema or swelling.

Swelling is typically at its worst for the first 2 months following a tummy tuck, though everyone is a little bit different. As the body repairs blood and lymphatic vessels, the swelling should continue to resolve. This healing process can take up to a year or longer to complete, so it is common to see minor swelling in that time.

The amount of swelling experienced after your tummy tuck surgery can also vary depending on the treatment plan you choose. A mini tummy tuck or a drainless tummy tuck typically results in less recovery time and swelling than a traditional tummy tuck. Alternatively, adding liposuction to a tummy tuck can produce swelling in other areas of the body as well.

Swelling Can Fluctuate throughout the Day

After the initial swelling subsides, minor swelling persists and is susceptible to your daily activities. This is because gravity is not your friend. For instance, long hours standing up can increase swelling in the abdomen, but this usually goes down after a good night of sleep. Once you start exercising, you may also notice increased swelling following workouts.

Tips to Help Reduce Swelling

Although swelling is a natural part of the healing process, there are some things you can do to help reduce the level of severity.

swelling after tummy tuck 6 months

Recovery after a tummy tuck takes time. Dr. Bell will explain what to expect after the procedure. The recovery period typically lasts for at least two weeks, but you should wait another four weeks before exercising. You should not engage in physical activity without Dr. Bell’s approval, and he will recommend using a light compression belt to help reduce swelling and other possible complications. It should be worn day and night for up to six weeks.

How Long Is Tummy Tuck Recovery?

The area around the tummy tuck scars is where swelling persists for longer, and minor swelling continues to exist in the area for around two months. So long as you maintain your aftercare routine and don’t exert your body to unguided extents, you will have a successful recovery. Recovery time can vary on several factors, including the patient’s overall health or whether or not other procedures were performed during the surgery. In general, tummy tuck patients should take two weeks off of work (depending on the physical demands of their job) and can resume light activity after 1-2 weeks. More strenuous activity can resume after 8 weeks, or when Dr. Bell says it is okay to partake. The results will improve as your body heals and the swelling reduces.

Why Does Swelling Occur After a Tummy Tuck?

After surgery, your body sends white blood cells and healing compounds to the area where surgery was performed in order to jumpstart the recovery process. Tummy tuck surgery causes changes to the patient’s lymphatic drainage system. Increased fluids in the area will cause it to grow larger during initial healing. Swelling is a normal response to an injury, so most of the swelling will be located near the incision. A compression garment will help with swelling and yield better results.

The extent of swelling may also depend on the type of surgery you receive. A mini tummy tuck results in less swelling and recovery time versus a traditional tummy tuck. Combining a tummy tuck with another surgery will also increase the swelling and recovery time. Pain medication can also cause constipation, bloating, and increased swelling.

Stages of Swelling After a Tummy Tuck

– Immediate swelling post-surgery due to trauma and fluid accumulation
– Peak swelling around 2-3 days after surgery as the body responds to the trauma
– Subsiding swelling in the following weeks as the body heals and reabsorbs excess fluid
– Potential for prolonged swelling in some cases, requiring medical intervention
– Importance of following post-operative care instructions to manage swelling effectively

Following Dr. Bell’s aftercare instructions is the key to effectively resolving swelling and puffiness after a tummy tuck, along with practicing patience. Patients with a strong immune system who follow post-operative care instructions heal fully and fast.

How Long Does the Swelling Last?

Swelling after a tummy tuck can last for a long time since the surgery is quite extensive. The most noticeable swelling will subside after 2-3 months, but mild swelling in the abdominal region may still be common. Over the course of 1-2 years, patients will notice all swelling diminish. However, the majority of swelling resolves after 2 months.

Because pain, swelling, and bruising are common after a tummy tuck, patients will receive medication to reduce discomfort while they are in recovery. The pain will decrease a few days after the procedure, but in some cases it can take up to 2 weeks for pain to subside.

Do’s and Don’t’s After a Tummy Tuck Surgery

Being patient and following Dr. Bell’s after-care instructions are the key to resolving swelling. Rushing the healing process or exerting yourself against instructions can cause swelling to persist. Do not touch your stitches/the incision as your hands can introduce bacteria and cause infection. Your muscles need time to heal before being exerted, so avoid extensive physical activity until you are told it is alright to go ahead with your regular exercise routine.

9 Tips For Reducing Swelling After a Tummy Tuck

While swelling after a tummy tuck is inevitable, there are some steps you can take to reduce swelling and encourage your body to heal quickly without any complications.

Take the Time to Rest

After your abdominoplasty, it’s important to give your body time to heal and recover. Not only does this mean avoiding strenuous activity, such as intense cardiovascular exercise or weight training following your surgery, but it’s also important to make sure you get enough sleep. Allowing your body to rest will keep your immune system strong, and allow it to focus on healing your midsection from your tummy tuck procedure.

Follow a Healthy Diet

You can help encourage your immune system to heal following your surgery by fuelling your body with healthy, nourishing foods. Opt for healthy foods that are high in protein, which will help your body repair its tissues following the surgery, as well as foods that are high in vitamins C and A. Try to eat meals that feature mainly lean proteins, whole grains, and vegetables, and limit your intake of simple carbohydrates as these types of foods can cause bloating and discomfort. It’s also important to ensure you’re getting adequate fiber in order to maintain good digestion.

Additionally, it’s best to avoid eating foods that may cause gastrointestinal distress or discomfort, such as foods that are high in fat and sugar, dairy products (if you are lactose intolerant), or foods that naturally cause gassiness, such as beans and foods that are high in starch.

Reduce Your Sodium Intake

Too much salt can cause bloating, which can cause discomfort and impede your body’s healing process. Try to eat foods that are low in sodium, and adjust the amount of salt you use to season your food when preparing meals at home.

Drink Lots of Water

Staying hydrated is key to encouraging your body to heal. Try to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which can dehydrate you.

Lightly Exercise

While strenuous exercise may interfere with your body’s natural healing process, it’s important to keep moving: light exercise stimulates blood flow and good circulation throughout your body, including to your abdomen, which encourages speedy healing. Try walking around the block or on a treadmill, or participating in gentle yoga classes (though, if you do this, be careful to avoid or modify any poses that may put a strain on your midsection as it heals).

Use a Compression Garment

A compression garment can help reduce swelling around your midsection, as it will limit the amount of fluid that can accumulate in the area. Your surgeon will advise on the best length of time for you to wear a compression garment following your surgery, but generally one should be worn for around two weeks.

Take Prescribed Medication

After your tummy tuck procedure, your surgeon may recommend or prescribe medication that will help ease any swelling – or discomfort resulting from swelling – after your surgery. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions. Anti-inflammatories that are available over the counter, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, may be ideal. Some anti-inflammatory medication carries with it the risk of blood thinning, so it’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions, or contact the clinic if you have any questions or concerns about the medication you wish to take.

Maintain Your Drainage Tubes

Drain tubes are medical devices that prevent fluids from accumulating. Your surgeon may recommend that you use drainage tubes for several days immediately following your abdominoplasty.

Show up to all Scheduled Appointments

After your tummy tuck, your surgeon will set follow-up appointments with you, to ensure your body is healing properly and without any adverse side effects. It’s important to keep these appointments, as your surgeon will be able to detect any issues with your healing and recommend steps that can be taken to minimize complications and keep you on the right track.

Close up of woman's hand placed on her stomach.

how to reduce pubic swelling after tummy tuck

After having plastic surgery, particularly with a procedure as transformative as the tummy tuck, it is completely normal to feel anxious and excited about seeing your newly enhanced look as soon as possible. While there may be a noticeable difference immediately after some procedures, the final results of most cosmetic surgeries – including tummy tuck – typically take weeks, months, or even longer to fully develop, as postoperative swelling subsides and incisions fade. It is important for men and women who are considering a tummy tuck to have realistic expectations about their recovery period and be patient throughout the healing process.

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Khorsandi, Chief of Plastic Surgery at VIP Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, NV, takes great care to ensure that patients not only undergo a safe and successful procedure with stunning results, but also that tummy tuck recovery is as comfortable, quick, and convenient as possible. If you are considering a tummy tuck, use this helpful information to prepare yourself appropriately for your surgery, recovery, and beyond.

What Does Tummy Tuck Do?

Also known as abdominoplasty, tummy tuck surgery is a substantial cosmetic procedure designed to help patients achieve or restore a slimmer, smoother, tighter abdominal contour through skin removal, muscle reinforcement, and other techniques. A tummy tuck is ideal for women who have had children, patients who have experienced significant weight loss, or those who simply have loose, hanging skin and stubborn pockets of fat due to the aging process.

During tummy tuck surgery in Las Vegas, NV, Dr. Khorsandi will make an incision on the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area. The length of the incision needed will vary based on how much skin needs to be removed and if any additional procedures are being performed. Dr. Khorsandi fully understands the importance of keeping cosmetic surgery discreet and shares in his patients’ desires to have the least amount of visible scarring possible, taking great care to place his incisions where they can be concealed with underwear or swimsuits, and keeping them as small and thin as they can be to allow for an ideal result.

In many cases, liposuction is used during tummy tuck to remove small pockets of fat from the abdomen and further elevate the patient’s final outcome. For patients suffering from diastasis recti, which is a common result of pregnancy or weight fluctuation, Dr. Khorsandi can reposition and reinforce the abdominal muscles and eliminate the telltale “mommy pooch” or pouch-like tummy. Once these corrections have been made, Dr. Khorsandi will carefully excise the loose, excess skin, pull the remaining skin tight, and secure it with sutures, resulting in a smooth, firm, sexy physique.

How Long Is Tummy Tuck Recovery?

The recovery time after tummy tuck can vary somewhat depending on several factors, including the patient’s overall health and whether or not any other procedures were performed during the surgery. For example, women who combine a tummy tuck with breast augmentation, thigh lift, and other treatments as part of a full mommy makeover transformation may require extended recovery time. In general, tummy tuck patients should expect to take about two weeks off of work, depending on the physical demands of their jobs. Light activity can usually be resumed after about 1 – 2 weeks, while more strenuous physical activity and exercise should be paused for at least 6 – 8 weeks, or until cleared by your surgeon. Though there will be a noticeable difference in your abdominal contour relatively quickly, the results will continue to improve as the body heals and the swelling reduces over time.

How Long Does Tummy Tuck Swelling Last?

Arguably the most notable aspect of recovery after tummy tuck is postoperative swelling. This is a completely normal and expected part of tummy tuck recovery, as well as nearly any surgical procedure, so don’t be alarmed. Swelling after tummy tuck can last for several weeks, but there are some things you can do to help keep it under control. Three helpful ways to reduce tummy tuck swelling time include:

1. Wear compression garments: As part of your postoperative routine, you will be required to wear medical compression garments, specifically to reduce swelling and promote proper, efficient healing. It is critical that you wear your compression garments as directed, which may be 24/7 for several weeks.

2. Stay mobile: While it is essential that patients get plenty of rest during tummy tuck recovery, it is also important to incorporate very light walking into your daily routine. This helps to reduce swelling, improve circulation, and minimize the risk of postoperative complications, such as blood clots. Simply walking around the room or to and from the bathroom several times a day is usually sufficient for the first several days after surgery. Too much activity, or activities that are too strenuous, can actually slow your healing and cause complications as well. Talk to your surgeon about finding the right balance.

3. Watch your diet: Whether you have had surgery or not, eating too much salt can exacerbate swelling, bloating, and water retention. A common misconception is that drinking more water will make the swelling worse, but the opposite is actually true. Make sure you stay adequately hydrated and minimize your sodium intake to reduce tummy tuck swelling.

At your preoperative appointments, as well as on the day of surgery, Dr. Khorsandi will provide you with both written and verbal instructions to ensure that your recovery is as smooth, comfortable, and speedy as it can be.

Why is my stomach still hard 3 months after tummy tuck

Tummy tuck surgery – also known as abdominoplasty – is a plastic surgery procedure that removes excess skin and fat and strengthens weakened abdominal muscles to create a firmer and smoother abdominal profile. Abdominoplasty is one of the more popular cosmetic surgeries. In 2019, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that there were more than 123,000 of these procedures in the US.

If you have had a tummy tuck – or are considering getting one, it is very important that you understand the side effects that are involved, risks of the procedure, as well as what outcome to expect. Your plastic surgeon will give you most of the information you need during the initial consultation visit, but it is your responsibility to learn as much as you can about what a tummy tuck entails. This article explores the tummy tuck recovery journey and explains the common complaint of having a hard stomach after a tummy tuck.

Overview of The Tummy Tuck Surgery

Abdominoplasty surgery is designed to tighten up loose skin, tissues, and muscles in the belly region, particularly for patients who are not getting the desired benefit from diet and exercise. Whether you are looking to alleviate a sagging belly pooch or have a plus size tummy tuck, Dr. LaBarbera has 3 different procedure types to suit the varying needs of his patients. These include:

The incision pattern used by your surgeon during surgery will depend on the type of procedure being performed. Plastic surgeons usually keep incisions to a minimum and make sure to conceal them along the natural folds of the skin. Once the incisions are created, the surgeon will lift up and tighten the skin and underlying tissue before suturing them into place. For patients who have excess fat in the belly area, the surgeon may also use liposuction in order to achieve the desired procedure outcome. Since tummy tuck is an outpatient plastic surgery procedure, patients are allowed to go home on the same day as the surgery.

Tummy Tuck Swelling Timeline

Immediately after the surgery, tummy tuck patients are taken into the surgeon’s recovery room for further monitoring before they are allowed to go home. It is important to have someone to drive you home and help out with basic chores while you recover from the surgery.

Abdominoplasty patients often have drainage tubes that are used to relieve excess fluid from the treatment area. These need to be emptied, and the amount of fluid drained from the wound each day should be recorded. Your mobility will be limited during the first few days. Dr. LaBarbera recommends that you take a light walk as soon as you are able to in order to improve blood flow.

Many patients experience tightness around their belly and you will have to walk while hunched over for a week or two. Your incisions will likely feel sore over the first week. You may need to lie in bed at an angle, and you likely will have problems with standing, lifting things, and general movements.

Tuck tuck patients are able to resume work after about a month, particularly if they have a physically demanding job. However, you will be able to engage in routine daily activities within 1-2 weeks. Scarring is usually a major concern for patients who have just had a tummy tuck, but fades with time. Your surgeon may also recommend scar care ointments to help improve the appearance of your surgical scars.

What Causes a Pulling Feeling After a Tummy Tuck?

Abdominoplasty – just like any other surgical procedure – entails cutting into the body. This naturally leads to some nerve damage. Many abdominoplasty patients experience numbness over the lower abdominal area after tummy tuck due to the damaged nerves in the area. With time – as the nerves start to regenerate their proper pathways – the patient will start to experience gradual return of sensation.

Tummy tuck patients may also experience a tight feeling in their belly because the skin has been cut and put back together. More so, muscle tightening during the surgery can lead to a hardened tissue sensation during recovery.

Although you may feel worried about this tightness and pulling sensation, keep in mind that it is a normal part of the healing process. The majority of people who had an abdominoplasty can experience these side effects for up to 12 weeks post-op. In some cases, it takes up to 12 months for the nerves in the abdominal area to properly heal. Once the nerves regain their usual sensory function, it is highly unlikely that this kind of discomfort will return.

What Is the Treatment for Hardened Tissue After Tummy Tuck?

Nerve regeneration is a natural process that follows its own natural timeline. However, you may be able to quicken this process by taking part in the retraining process. Dr. LaBarbera recommends that you gently rub items of different textures across your abdomen. This may include such things as loofahs, washcloths, lotion, and cotton. The goal is to stimulate the nerves to find their proper pathways and heal much quicker. For patients with severe cases of nerve discomfort, the surgeon may recommend medications such as Neurontin. Make sure that you have explicit instructions and a prescription from your doctor before using medication to treat discomfort and a pulling sensation after abdominoplasty.

Tummy tuck recovery tips / FAQs

Now that you know what causes a hard stomach after a tummy tuck, below are some other commonly asked questions to improve your understanding of the recovery process:

When will I feel normal after abdominoplasty surgery?

Most patients feel groggy immediately after tummy tuck surgery, due to the anesthesia. There will also be post-op pain and bruising over the first 1-2 weeks. This pain can be alleviated using a medication, and the discomfort will improve each day. Over the first 2-3 weeks, you will be limited to light activities and may be able to return to a desk job. The average duration for people who have just had an abdominoplasty to feel normal again is 4-6 weeks. Keep in mind though that the precise healing duration will vary from one person to another depending on the type of tummy tuck they had, their age, the kind of post-op care they receive, and their general health.

How long will I be hunched over after tummy tuck?

You will be unable to stand up straight after a tummy tuck procedure. In fact, the surgeon will ask that you stay in a hunched over position in order to keep the treatment area intact. How long you need to stay in this position varies depending on whom you ask. Dr. LaBarbera recommends that his patients hunch over for 1-2 weeks (until they get a green light from him). Once you are allowed to straighten back up, this should be done gently and gradually until you regain your normal, upright posture.

How long will swelling last after a tummy tuck?

Swelling is a natural aspect of the body’s healing process as fluid collects around the treatment site in order to protect the healing tissues. Plastic surgeons often insert drains to drain away excess fluid and relieve pressure from your belly. These are typically removed after 10-14 days, depending on your progress. Once this is done, slight swelling may still persist for weeks or even months – obscuring the outcome of your tummy tuck. Following your surgeon’s instructions is important to ensure that post-op swelling resolves quickly and that you attain a favorable outcome from the surgery.

When will I see final results?

Following a tummy tuck surgery, the shape of your abdomen will improve gradually with recovery. Most patients are able to see a final impression of their new belly in 6 months. It takes about this long for the pink linear scar resulting from the procedure to fade. Dr. LaBarbera advises his patients to use high-quality scar care products to help quicken the fading of scars. These products should, however, only be used after the incision areas have fully healed (which can take up to a few months).


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