Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Bloating after tummy tuck

So you’ve had your tummy tuck, and now your belly is flat. The results are amazing! But… there’s a downside: bloating. And it can be really frustrating. After all, the whole point of having this procedure was to get rid of your excess skin and fat—and now you’re left with even more swelling than before?

Well, don’t worry! There are ways to reduce this swelling and get back to feeling like yourself again. Keep reading for some tips on how to deal with post-surgery bloating so that you can be back to feeling like yourself in no time at all! In this guide, we review the aspects of Bloating after tummy tuck, swelling after tummy tuck 6 months, how to reduce pubic swelling after tummy tuck, and lower abdominal swelling after tummy tuck.

Bloating after tummy tuck

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Immediately after tummy tuck surgery, patients are likely to see a difference in the look and projection of their abdomen. However, it may not resemble the flat tummy they expected. Over the following few days, they may grow concerned when the tummy does not flatten and maybe even appears more protruded than after surgery. Reassuring patients that the tummy takes time to heal can help, but also frustrate them because there is nothing to do but wait. When does the tummy become flat after tummy tuck?

The amount of time it takes for the abdomen to heal and the final results come in varies from patient to patient. Typically, within three to four months, patients should have little visible swelling left. Yet, it can take a full year for their final results to totally come in. Swelling is often the main culprit of why the tummy may not look flat during recovery. As this resolves, the tummy will begin to show it’s new shape.

Additionally, the skin, muscles, and fat of the abdomen were all repaired or altered during the procedure. These structures need time to heal and settle into their new positions. This causes inflammation, swelling, and other temporary side effects that can contribute to the look of the stomach. Ultrasound massages can help resolve swelling and fluid build up. Generally, patients should see their flat tummy emerge within three to six months, though it may take as long as a year.

Pictures swelling after tummy tuck

  • An extended tummy tuck is similar to a abdominoplasty, but the procedure also targets fat on the flanks and lower back.
  • The incision wraps from the low pelvis to the lower back.

Safety

  • Extended tummy tucks are generally considered safe. As with all surgeries, there are risks involved.
  • Risks include swelling, fluid accumulation, reaction to anesthesia, and numbness after surgery.

Convenience

  • Tummy tucks are an in-hospital procedure where patients are put under anesthesia.
  • If the procedure is elective, as most are, it will not be covered by insurance.
  • It’s important to find a trained, board-certified plastic surgeon whose work you trust.

Cost

  • The cost for a tummy tuck varies widely based on where you live, the procedure itself, and the size of the area.
  • It will usually fall between $4,000 and $18,000.

Effectiveness

  • Extended tummy tucks are very effective with studies reporting that the majority of those who elect to have this procedure are satisfied by the results.

What is an extended tummy tuck?

An extended tummy tuck is very similar to a regular tummy tuck — sometimes called an abdominoplasty — but instead of just reducing excess skin and fat on the stomach, it also targets the flank area, or love handles, between the waist and hips. In some cases, an extended tummy tuck will also target excess skin on the lateral thigh.

The ideal candidates for an extended tummy tuck include people who have lost a lot of weight and have excess skin, and those who want to slim the appearance of their stomach and flanks.

How much does an extended tummy tuck cost?

The cost of an extended tummy will vary depending on the surgeon, the volume of fat, and the size of the area. The price range for a tummy tuck generally falls between $4,000 and $18,000.

In 2019, the average cost of a tummy tuck (not extended) was $6,092 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Because there is more involved in an extended tummy tuck, the cost will likely be more. In addition, this cost is only for the procedure and does not take into account anesthesia, operating room facilities, or other related expenses.

Because tummy tucks are usually done for aesthetic reasons only, the procedure will not be covered by insurance. In some cases, a tummy tuck may relieve back pain and incontinence. You will also likely have to take several days off from work for recovery.

How does an extended tummy tuck work?

Extended tummy tucks work by removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen and repairing any muscles that have become loosened or torn. Through an incision above the pubic hairline that wraps around to the lower back, skin and fat are removed from the stomach and flank area. The skin is laid flat, and the belly button is reattached, giving the skin a smoother, flatter appearance.

In a 2012 studyTrusted Source of 25 individuals who underwent extended tummy tuck surgery, all 25 were “extremely satisfied” with the results.

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Procedure for extended tummy tuck

  • During an extended tummy tuck, the surgeon will typically make an incision between your hip bones, low in the pubic area. If you’re having a tummy tuck after a C-section, they may reopen the same scar.
  • Any muscles that have been separated, such as from pregnancy, will be sewn together so they appear taut. Full tummy tucks can fix diastasis recti, which is a splitting of the abdominal muscles.
  • The belly button will be cut away, and liposuction may be performed if there is extra fat.
  • Excess skin is removed from the tummy and flank area, and the skin will be pulled taut.
  • Finally, the belly button is sutured in its original place, unless you and your surgeon decide to change its shape.

Targeted areas for extended tummy tuck

Extended tummy tucks target the upper and lower stomach, waist, flanks, and sometimes the uppermost lateral portion of the thigh.

Are there any risks or side effects?

As with all surgery, there are some risks and side effects associated with extended tummy tucks. One study found that 8.5 percentTrusted Source of people who underwent tummy tuck surgery were re-administered into the hospital because of some kind of complication. These complications and side effects may include:

  • numbness after surgery, which is typically temporary
  • excess fluid or blood pooling in the belly
  • swelling and redness
  • internal organ puncture — while rare, could be caused by cannula (a tube that removes excess fluids from the body) penetrating too deeply and potentially puncturing an organ

What to expect after an extended tummy tuck

Your surgeon or nurse should brief you on what to expect after surgery including:

  • what activities to avoid and how long
  • if and when you can consume alcohol and certain medications or supplements
  • how long to wear your compression garment
  • how to manage your drainage tubes, if your surgeon uses them
  • when to schedule a follow-up appointment

You will be able to see some results immediately, though your abdominal area will be swollen and bandaged. For the first few weeks, you will likely be advised to rest at an angle and avoid strenuous activity or lifting heavy things.

Around the 2- to 3-month mark, most of the swelling will likely have gone down, though you may still see some scarring, which should lighten over time. After 6 months to a year, you will see the full results, which should be permanent unless you gain weight quickly or have a pregnancy.

Before and after pictures

It’s helpful to see photos from people who have had extended tummy tucks when deciding if the procedure is right for you. Check out before and after photos below:VIEW GALLERY5

Preparing for an extended tummy tuck

Before your extended tummy tuck, you’ll likely need to get a blood panel to make sure you’re in good health. You will also want to meet with your surgeon to discuss what to expect. Also, you will need to arrange a ride home.

You may also be told to:

  • stop smoking
  • limit alcohol
  • stop taking anti-inflammatory drugs (like aspirin) and certain herbal supplements, which could potentially worsen bleeding or prevent proper clotting

Extended tummy tuck vs. traditional tummy tuck

An extended tummy tuck and a traditional tummy tuck are very similar procedures. The main difference is that an extended tummy tuck addresses the flanks, also known as love handles, between the waist and hip. Because of the additional procedure, an extended tummy tuck is often more expensive, takes longer to complete, and may require a longer recovery time post-surgery.

How to find a provider

An extended tummy tuck should only be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. You can use the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Find a Surgeon Tool tool to find a list of board-certified plastic surgeons near you.

Bloating 1 year after tummy tuck

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

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 your initial swelling goes down, minor swelling continues and can be affected by your daily activity. 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.

The best thing you can do to help minimize swelling is to follow your post-op instructions for tummy tuck recovery. You’ll be instructed to wear a compression garment for the first few weeks. Other tips to help reduce swelling include:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Staying hydrated
  • Eating a healthy diet low in sodium
  • Elevating your lower legs

swelling after tummy tuck 6 months

Swelling is a normal side effect after a tummy tuck, no matter which incision type you have. Just like many other side effects, swelling will vary based on your individual immune system and healing process.

Swelling is temporary and will go away with time. Adhering to Dr. Small’s aftercare instructions following your tummy tuck in Long Island will help swelling go down. Infection or other complications can cause swelling to persist and prolong the recovery period. Controlling swelling will promote healing and help you see results faster.

Why Do Our Bodies Swell After A Tummy Tuck?

Once surgery is complete, your body sends white blood cells and other healing compounds to the surgery site to jumpstart the recovery process. Increased fluids will cause the area to grow larger during the initial stages of healing. Swelling is a completely normal response to an injury, which is why most swelling will be located near the incision site. A compression garment will be provided, which reduces swelling and yields better results.

Things To Avoid After Your Long Island Tummy Tuck

Being patient and letting your body heal will be the key to resolving swelling. Rushing your healing process or overexerting yourself can cause swelling to persist. Do not touch your stitches or the incision because your hands can introduce bacteria to the area and cause an infection.

Avoid activities that utilize your abdominal muscles in particular. Especially when your muscles are pulled tight during the procedure, the muscles need time to heal before being engaged.

Most importantly, listen carefully to all aftercare instructions. Dr. Small provides individualized instructions based on your medical history, current stage of healing, and other factors.

Ways To Decrease Swelling

Strenuous exercise and excessive movement will negatively impact your recovery. It is a good idea to go shopping before your surgery to ensure that you have everything you need during the initial stages of healing while your movement is limited. Buy food, water, and anything else you might want while you relax and heal at home.

Some tips for minimizing swelling include:

If you try reintroducing an activity and you experience pain or discomfort, stop and try again at another time. Listen to your body and don’t rush your recovery.

How Long Will I Need Compression Garments?

Patients typically wear a compression garment for about five to six weeks after their procedure. At first, the garment should be worn at all times, and Dr. Small will let you know when you can start taking it off or only wearing it for part of the day, and when you can stop wearing it altogether.

When Will My Swelling Go Down?

The majority of swelling resolves after approximately two months. About 80% of the swelling should subside, but many patients have minor swelling that can persist up to one year after surgery. At the two-month mark you will have a good idea of what your final results will look like and you will be able to resume most activities. Your follow-up visits will become less frequent, although Dr. Small is always willing to answer questions in between office visits.


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.

lower abdominal swelling after tummy tuck.

4 Ways To Reduce Swelling After a Tummy Tuck

Swelling is a normal part of tummy tuck recovery, and while most of it resolves within the first 2 months, some residual swelling can last for 6 months to a year. Taking the right steps in your initial recovery will help resolve swelling more quickly so you can enjoy your final result sooner.

In this blog, I’ll share my tips for minimizing post-tummy tuck swelling and speeding the natural healing process along.

Wear Your Compression Garment Faithfully

Compression garments reduce swelling, promote healing, create shapely results, and reduce the risk of fluid buildup known as a seroma, a possible tummy tuck complication.

You’ll typically wake up in your compression garment on the day of your surgery, and you’ll need to keep it on around the clock for the next few weeks. Do your best to wear it regularly and only remove it to bathe or unless instructed otherwise by your surgeon.

Compression garments are also common after liposuction, which your tummy tuck may include. (Are you trying to decide if you need a tummy tuck, liposuction, or both? Find out how to decide in this blog post.)

Eat Healthy & Stay Hydrated

Diet is a big potential contributor to swelling after surgery, but it can also have the opposite effect. To heal quickly and keep swelling to a minimum, eat plenty of lean protein, healthy fats, and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.

Lower your sodium intake and drink plenty of water to prevent your body from holding onto excess fluids.

As Verywell Health reports, you’ll also want to stay away from foods that cause constipation, as this is a common issue post-surgery. Make sure your diet is rich in fiber (and fluid) to combat this.

Work In Some Light Movement

You won’t want to jump back into your usual workout routine right after a tummy tuck, but starting light movement as early as possible will promote healthy circulation and minimize swelling. Take short walks around the house and gradually work your way up to more activity over the next few weeks. However, make sure you do not lift anything over 10 pounds (including children and pets) until cleared by your surgeon.

Get Plenty of Good Sleep

Sleep plays a huge role in your recovery, so try for 8 hours of good sleep every night—more if you need it. Early on, sleep in a recliner or propped up on pillows so you don’t stress your incisions and can easily get in and out of bed. Being reclined will also prevent fluid buildup.

If you find it difficult to sleep, make sure to move around during the day, limit screen time before bed, cut back on caffeine, and journal or spend time with loved ones to manage stress.

To see examples of what your results may look like once your tummy tuck recovery is complete, please visit my before-and-after photo gallery.

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