Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Bloating One Year After Tummy Tuck

Hey, you! Have you been feeling bloated for the past year? We have an idea of what might be causing it. It’s not uncommon to feel bloated after a tummy tuck—it’s just that nobody talks about it. Because who wants to talk about bloating? It’s not like you can hide it when you’re wearing clothes, and it feels weirdly embarrassing to talk about. But we want to help you get past the embarrassment and into a better relationship with your body.

So first things first: what is bloating? Bloating is a feeling of fullness in your abdomen that may be due to gas or fluid buildup (1). It can make you feel uncomfortable and even uncomfortable in your own skin. In this guide, we review the aspects of Bloating one year after tummy tuck, how to get rid of upper belly bulge after tummy tuck, abdominal pain 2 years after tummy tuck, and stages of swelling after tummy tuck.

You may be wondering if bloating is normal after surgery. The truth is that everyone has different bodies and different metabolic processes—so there isn’t one “normal” for everyone. We don’t know exactly why some people experience bloating more than others, but we do know that it’s common after surgery like a tummy tuck (2). Why does bloating happen after surgery? Bloating happens because your body naturally releases excess water into your bloodstream after surgery.

Bloating one year after tummy tuck

I am two years post complete tummy tuck surgery. My question is that my upper abdomen is still sore and bulges out over the lower. Should I be concerned? My surgeon has liposuctioned that spot after a year but I am still bulging out. I’m wondering if there is another problem that I should be concerned about. Not only am I sensitive in this part, I am also very asymmetric. Which was so called “fixed” a year ago. I am ready to seek advice from another surgeon. Please help?

UPPER ABDOMEN BULGE AFTER TUMMY TUCK: It depends a bit on what your surgery involved and when you started noticing the bulge. Abdominal contour is dependent on: Skin envelope Abdominal fat (subcutaneous and intrabdominal) Muscles tightness Intrinsic Swelling Fluid collections Skin Envelope – People complaining of “abdominal bulge” after a tummy tuck typically do not have issues with too much skin, which points to issues underneath the skin. Abdominal fat – This can be an issue in people who may be a little bit over their ideal body weight at the time of abdominoplasty. Ways to fix this include the tried-and-true diet and exercise or liposuction.

Be sure to allow enough time between tummy tuck and liposuction to minimize complications. Muscle tightness: muscle plication (or tightening) is usually a part of abdominoplasty. Either failure of the sutures or some laxity can cause a bulge. If the change in your contour was sudden or if you felt a pop, think about the plication having ruptured. Swelling – This can be the most common cause of contour issues post-abdominoplasty. Patients typically have swelling for two reasons. First surgery causes trauma and the body’s response to trauma is to bring additional fluid into the area that has been traumatized.

In addition, abdominoplasty involves dividing lymphatic channels (very very small conduits that normally pull fluid out of tissue); until these channels grow back, the area will not be able to remove excess fluid. It is usually the most dependent (lowest) part of the surgery that stays swollen the longest. Fluid collections: seromas (serous fluid collections) or hematomas (collections of old blood) can cause distortions of contour. Normally, this will improve on its own but may require drainage. In your case, it sounds like the superior muscle plication may be a bit loose or have ruptured. That would account for the bulge and the asymmetry. This can be confirmed with a CT scan. Correction would require additional surgery. I hope this helps.

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.


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


  • Tummy tucks are an in-hospital procedure where patients are put under anesthesia.
  • Insurance won’t pay for the procedure if it is elective, which most are.
  • It’s important to find a trained, board-certified plastic surgeon whose work you trust.


  • 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.


  • 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, as well as 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 higher. 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 study of 25 individuals who underwent extended tummy tuck surgery, all 25 were “extremely satisfied” with the results.

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 percent of people who underwent tummy tuck surgery were re-admitted to 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

Bloating 1 Year After Tummy Tuck

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

Swelling after a tummy tuck is a common occurrence due to the extensive nature of the surgery. The duration of swelling post-surgery can vary depending on a variety of factors. It is important to understand why swelling occurs in order to mentally prepare and set realistic expectations for your recovery and results. By knowing that swelling is a normal part of the healing process, patients can better cope with the temporary changes in their appearance and focus on the long-term benefits of the procedure. Proper post-operative care and following your surgeon’s instructions can help minimize swelling and promote a smoother recovery.

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

How Do You Avoid a Bad Tummy Tuck?

There are two critical steps you can take to increase your chances of getting the desired outcome.

The first is to take your recovery process seriously. What we mean by this, is following your surgeon’s orders, getting adequate rest, and not trying to rush it.

Your body is amazing, but it needs time to heal. A good recovery process also means less risk of complications!

The second is to choose a qualified, reputable, and experienced surgeon, and that is what we will focus on today.

Know what you want to achieve

Do you understand the purpose of tummy tuck surgery, and do the desired outcomes align with your goals? Most importantly, you need to set the right expectations.

Here’s the thing: no surgeon can guarantee results, no matter how skilled they are or how many years they’ve been in the game. So if you’re speaking to one who is, we suggest marching out of that office and finding another.

Choose a certified and experienced surgeon

After you’ve done your research and prepared yourself, the next thing to do is look for the right plastic surgeon.

There are two things you need to look for that, in our option, are non-negotiables.

abdominal pain 2 years after tummy tuck

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure for removing extra skin and fat in the abdomen. It can be combined with liposuction for contouring the hips, waist, and upper abdomen. A tummy tuck also involves tightening the rectus (“six-pack”) muscles that are often stretched out and bulging in women who have been pregnant. Our surgeons have published scientific papers about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and liposuction and are well-versed in all the newest techniques and advances.

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.

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