Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Bulge in Lower Abdomen After Tummy Tuck

If you have recently undergone a tummy tuck, you may be wondering why your lower abdomen is bulging. This is a common side effect of the procedure, and it can be remedied with a few simple measures. In this blog post, we’ll explore three ways to reduce the effects of swelling after a tummy tuck.

First, let’s talk about what causes swelling after a tummy tuck. The abdomen is composed of many organs and muscle groups that are held together by a sheet of connective tissue called fascia. This layer keeps everything in place and helps to distribute pressure evenly across all organs and muscles within the abdominal cavity.

During surgery, this layer can become damaged or torn away from surrounding tissue—this is called fascial separation. This separation causes fluid buildup around organs and muscles in the area where fascial separation occurred; this causes them to swell and protrude outside of normal boundaries as they attempt to find new places within our bodies where they belong!

Bulge in Lower Abdomen After Tummy Tuck

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My lower abdomen looks round and fat 5 weeks after Tummy Tuck surgery! How can you tell if it is swelling or the final result of the tummy tuck procedure? Any tips? I look pregnant in the lower area. I’m 10 lbs overweight and I’m not sure if I need a revision or more Lipo.

TUMMY TUCK BULGEThanks for your question – 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 tummy tuck typically do not have issues with too much skin – that 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 – Muscles 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. I hope this helps.

Tummy Tuck and Breast Reduction Together

Woman with a toned tummy and shapely breastsPlastic surgery has allowed many patients to achieve their aesthetic goals so that they feel more attractive and confident. Dr. Tracy McCall offers a wide range of cosmetic treatments at her plastic surgery practice, including body contouring treatments to enhance the figure, facial plastic surgery procedures to erase signs of aging, and breast surgery to improve the bust line.

While each individual plastic surgery procedure can greatly enhance a patient’s appearance, results are even more remarkable when treatments are combined. Dr. McCall is frequently asked about combining breast reduction and tummy tuck for her Milwaukee, WI patients. Dr. McCall is happy to perform these procedures in conjunction so her patients can optimize the results of surgery. Together, breast reduction and tummy tuck can give the physique a slender and more toned appearance, while improving overall body contours.

Patient Candidacy

Prior to performing any plastic surgery procedure, Dr. McCall is extremely careful in determining whether a patient is an ideal candidate for treatment. Safety is our number one priority when considering suitable plastic surgery candidates. When plastic surgery procedures are being combined, the candidacy guidelines are even stricter.

Combo procedures, such as breast reduction and tummy tuck, require the patient to be on the operating table for a longer period of time. The amount of bleeding also increases when multiple procedures are performed at once. Both of these factors increase the risk of surgery and make it imperative that a patient is health enough to undergo a surgical procedure. Ideal candidates should be free of any conditions that could increase the risk of surgical complications, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Benefits of Combining Breast Reduction and Tummy Tuck

Combination plastic surgery procedures do carry a slightly higher risk of complications. However, with Dr. McCall’s skill and experience, along with the advanced surgical techniques she employs, a combined breast reduction and tummy tuck is still a safe procedure with a high rate of success. Many patients consider combining breast surgery and tummy tuck (commonly known as a “mommy makeover”) because of the many benefits it provides.

Some of the greatest advantages of combining breast reduction and tummy tuck include the following:

  • More cost efficient: Combining a breast reduction with a tummy tuck can minimize the cost of surgical treatment. By undergoing two procedures at once, patients can save the cost of a second surgeon’s fee, second hospital fee, and other costs that would be associated with performing the surgeries as two separate procedures.
  • One recovery: Plastic surgery recovery can be difficult. And while it is true that recovering from a combo procedure can take slightly longer than recovering from a single plastic surgery treatment, most patients still feel that this slightly longer recovery is better than going through plastic surgery recovery twice.
  • Enhanced results: The results of breast reduction or tummy tuck should be overwhelmingly positive, but when patients undergo a single procedure, it often draws attention to other areas of concern. For instance, a patient who improves the size and shape of their breasts through breast reduction may focus even more on unwanted fat and skin around the midsection. By combining a breast reduction and tummy tuck, Dr. McCall can optimize the results of surgery and provide patients with firmer, tighter breasts and a flatter, more toned tummy at the same time.

Schedule an Appointment

Fluctuations in weight, pregnancy, nursing, and aging are all factors that can alter the shape and size of the breasts and abdomen. If you’re interested in improving body contours and restoring a more toned appearance to your figure, you may be an ideal candidate for a combined breast reduction and tummy tuck. To learn more about this combo procedure, schedule an appointment with Dr. Tracy McCall at your earliest convenience.

Recovery time for breast reduction and tummy tuck

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While recovery from abdominoplasty is different for every individual, there is a general tummy tuck recovery timeline that is applicable in most cases. While it may be six to eight weeks before you can resume all normal activities following tummy tuck surgery, you should be able to:

  • Resume working a non-strenuous job within five to seven days
  • Resume most household and work duties within four weeks
  • Adopt an exercise routine within four to six weeks

It is recommended that you wear a compression garment for at least six weeks post abdominoplasty. However, it should not interfere with general comfort or abilities.

Stages of Swelling After Tummy Tuck

The First Few Weeks 

It is important that you get plenty of rest in the days following tummy tuck surgery. Having a family member or friend help with household duties during this time is ideal. It can also be helpful to set up a rest area prior to your procedure to make sure you have a comfortable place to just relax. Think about books, magazines, and other things you may want to pass the time and allow yourself the opportunity to relax and recover during this period. This can have a profound impact on your long-term results.

Some swelling and mild discomfort may be present for the first few weeks. Our doctors will provide you with medications to deal with discomfort. Swelling can be reduced by wearing your compression garment and taking several walks throughout the day. These walks can be started the day after your procedure and you are free to take as many as you like – so long as you don’t exhaust yourself.

Week Six and Beyond

By weeks six, you may be able to resume a majority of your normal activities, though it could be one or two more weeks before you are completely healed. During your recovery, you will return to our office for follow-up visits to make sure you are progressing appropriately. These visits also give us an opportunity to answer any questions you might have and address any concerns.

You can help reduce risks and improve your experience by keeping these appointments and following all of our pre and postoperative directions. These will include not smoking, getting plenty of rest, and only resuming activities after we give you the okay. Simply following these instructions can have a big impact on your comfort and results. We will cover these things in greater detail during your tummy tuck consultation and review as needed while you are in our care.

Warning Signs After Tummy Tuck

After undergoing a tummy tuck procedure, it is important to be aware of the warning signs that may indicate complications or issues with the healing process. While tummy tucks are generally safe surgeries, like any surgical procedure, there are risks involved. Being able to recognize warning signs early on can help prevent further complications and ensure a successful recovery.

One common warning sign after a tummy tuck is excessive swelling. It is normal to experience some swelling after surgery, but if the swelling is severe, persistent, or accompanied by redness, warmth, or pain, it could be a sign of infection or fluid accumulation. In some cases, excessive swelling may also be a sign of a seroma, which is a collection of fluid that can form under the skin.

Another warning sign to watch out for is persistent or worsening pain. While some discomfort is to be expected after a tummy tuck, if the pain is severe, unrelenting, or not improving with pain medication, it could be a sign of a complication such as infection or nerve damage. It is important to communicate any changes in pain levels to your surgeon so they can assess the situation and provide appropriate treatment.

In addition to swelling and pain, other warning signs after a tummy tuck may include:

– Fever
– Excessive bruising
– Foul-smelling drainage from the incision site
– Changes in skin color or texture
– Difficulty breathing
– Numbness or tingling in the abdominal area

If you experience any of these warning signs after a tummy tuck, it is important to contact your surgeon immediately. They will be able to evaluate your symptoms, determine the cause of the issue, and recommend the appropriate course of action. In some cases, additional treatment or intervention may be necessary to address the complication and ensure a successful recovery.

Being able to recognize warning signs after a tummy tuck is crucial for ensuring a safe and successful recovery. By monitoring your symptoms closely and seeking prompt medical attention if you notice any concerning changes, you can help prevent complications and achieve the best possible outcome from your surgery.

Final Results

Full recovery can be expected with eight weeks, but results may take a bit longer to be realized. Swelling and bruising typically subside within this time frame, but full slimming of the midline can take a few additional months.

Be patient during this time and take care of your body to help ensure your results are both pleasing and long-lasting. This includes eating properly, exercising regularly, and taking steps to improve your health and enhance your results. We will discuss all of this in greater detail during your initial consultation to make sure you understand what will be required for the most rewarding experience.

If you are considering tummy tuck surgery in Los Altos or surrounding areas of California, please call Altos Oaks Plastic Surgery at 605-934-7200 and schedule your consultation today. We welcome men and women from Palo Alto, San Jose, Mountain View, Santa Clara, and all nearby communities.

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