Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Swelling in pubic area after tummy tuck

A “muffin top” refers to the protuberance of the upper abdomen which results in a protrusion (bulging outward) of the upper abdomen and concave (curving inward) lower abdomen. This contrasts to the more desirable “ideal” abdominal shape characterized by a concave upper abdomen and gentle convexity of the lower abdomen. Below is an example of a patient who underwent a tummy tuck with muscle repair by another surgeon. As you can see in the picture, her surgery resulted in a less than desirable “muffin top” appearance.

What Causes This Complication?

The question that patients consulting me for a revision tummy tuck routinely ask me is why did this happen?

To understand how this complication occurs, we have to review the anatomy and surgical maneuvers used during tummy tuck surgery. After lifting the skin of the muscles, surgeons repair them by plicating the muscles in the middle like a corset. Plicating just translates to “tightening”. This vertical tightening of the muscles is performed both above and below the belly button.

If one tightens the muscles above the belly button less than the muscles below, it can create a muffin top. Optimally, your surgeon should tighten the muscles above the belly button just slightly more than the muscles below the belly button in order to provide you the desirable concave upper abdomen and slightly convex lower abdomen.

Another possible cause of the muffin top after a tummy tuck can occur despite appropriately placed tension of the repaired muscles. Thinned out muscles and their lining causes this muffin top deformity in some patients. This occurs following muscle tightening if the increased tension makes the muscle and lining stretch out again. The medical terminology for thinned out muscles is muscle attenuation. Unfortunately, it is not possible to tell if your muscle repair will hold until after your surgery.

Tummy Tuck Revision to Repair a “Muffin Top”

We can fix a “muffin top” in two ways. If improper muscle tightening by the previous surgeon is the cause, then a revision tummy tuck will require resetting the proper tension so that the upper muscles are tightened slightly more than the bottom muscles. If the muffin top resulted from muscle attenuation, then you will require a Tri-Modality repair, which will not only tighten/repair but also reinforce your entire abdominal musculature, thereby eliminating the potential for further muscle stretch.

Swelling in pubic area after tummy tuck

Multiple pregnancies, weight fluctuations, hormonal disorders, sedentary lifestyle, and the natural aging process are factors that can induce skin sagginess, excess fat located in the abdomen, or even a real “abdominal apron.” These imperfections, in addition to their unsightly appearance, can sometimes cause pelvic and back pain. Cases of diastasis recti (relaxation and separation of the abdominal muscle) and umbilical hernia (protuberance in the area of the navel) can also be an indication for abdominoplasty. The procedure is frequently performed nowadays to correct these imperfections and is considered safe for the patient. However, just like any other surgical procedure, there are potential risks, complications and side effects that can occur.

A common occurrence after abdominoplasty is swelling. In this article, we will discuss the tummy tuck and when the swelling that can occur after the procedure disappear.

While abdominoplasty is often performed as a standalone procedure, in some cases the plastic surgeon might suggest associating it with other interventions such as liposuction to help the patient achieve his goals and superior aesthetic results. This is the reason why many abdominoplasties start with a liposuction.

Stages of the tummy tuck:

– Liposuction of fat deposits in excess in order to refine the flanks and the entire abdomen.

– The removal of excess skin, to treat skin distensions and proceed to a tensioning of the skin (skin lifting).

– The strengthening of the abdominal muscles to treat the diastasis recti and tightening of the muscles of the abdominal wall.

A clinical diagnosis will enable the plastic surgeon to develop the best surgical strategy. In the field of abdominal wall surgery, there is no single surgical technique and it is essential to analyze several parameters, such as the condition of the skin, if there is muscle tonus, and the amount of excess fat in the belly. After a medical examination, the plastic surgeon might recommend a mini tummy tuck, a complete tummy tuck, and even an extended tummy tuck if the skin folds are present on the flanks as well.

When the diagnosis reveals significant lesions of the skin (notable skin distention, stretch marks and/or scarring, lack of tonus), an alteration of the abdominal wall (presence of diastasis recti, umbilical hernia), and an excess of fat on the abdominal wall and possibly the flanks, the right treatment is always a complete tummy tuck with liposuction.

Anesthesia is always general, and the duration of hospitalization is often less than 24 hours, depending on the patient. Several surgical techniques are combined, and the abdominoplasty takes place in several distinct stages:

• Liposuction on the entire abdomen, stomach area, and flanks. This action helps thin the abdomen and smooth it.

• Detachment of cutaneous and fatty tissues to the upper border of the stomach area.

• Tensioning of the abdominal muscles to treat abdominal diastasis, where the muscles of the abdominal wall are tightened.

• Removal of excess skin located between the pubis and the navel.

• Umbilical transposition where the navel is repositioned.

• Lifting of the tummy where healthy skin is lowered to reshape the abdomen. After an incision is made on the supra pubic area, the skin and fat tissue are elevated up to the rib cage level then re-draped over the abdomen and stretched to eliminate any skin folds. The excess of fat is thus eliminated by an excision.

Incisions and scars

Like any surgery, abdominoplasty requires incisions and will leave behind permanent scars.

• The first scar extends transversely just above the pubis and can be perfectly camouflaged by the panties or the swimsuit.

• The second scar is circular in shape and is located around the navel (in the case of a tummy tuck with umbilical transposition).

Cicatricial maturity does not occur until one year later. It is important to avoid UV and sun exposure in the months following surgery to avoid complications such as discoloration of the scar or hyperpigmentation.

Pain and discomfort after the tummy tuck are moderate. They can be more intense when the abdominoplasty has also worked on the abdominal muscles to strengthen them with sutures. Taking analgesic medication allows the alleviation of pain and discomfort; however, the patient is advised to follow certain advice given by the plastic surgeon to avoid unnecessary pain.

Swelling after the tummy tuck

Swelling is often associated with any surgical act. A certain level of bruising and swelling is more often than not present after many plastic surgery, and liposuction and tummy tuck are not different.

The swelling will become visible within the first few days after the procedure when the body will start the healing process. This happens because during the surgery, the tissues were sectioned and this might cause a lymph blockage that can last for weeks or even months if the procedure was complex.

However, aside from the swelling that is normally present on the operated area, the patient might also notice a swelling of the pubic area and even the upper part of the thighs. This is also normal, and there is no need to worry as it will subside in time without additional treatment. However, there is an important recommendation when it comes to swelling after the tummy tuck. The patient must wear compressive garments to help decrease the swelling. The patient should also get enough rest lying down because sitting up for longer periods of time can increase the level of swelling on the lower areas of the body.

Swelling often subsides in about three to six weeks. However, in some cases, it can take as long as three months for the swelling and bruising to disappear completely. It is important during this time to follow the advice of the plastic surgeon and to wear the compression garments. Moreover, the plastic surgeon might also recommend lymphatic massages to address the swelling, but this should only be done after the incisions are fully healed. Arnica Montana supplements and gels might also come in handy to reduce swelling after the surgery. It is important to use these methods only at the plastic surgeon’s recommendation and after he gives a green light. Avoiding intense physical activities can be another factor that will help you reduce the swelling. It is important for many patients to know when the swelling after the tummy tuck will disappear as it is only possible to evaluate the final results once this happens.

The final result of the abdominoplasty is to be fully appreciable after 6 to 12 months, which is the time that all the tissues injured can heal and relax. The patient regains comfort and muscular ease thanks to the treatment of diastasis recti. Moreover, the overall shape of the patient might be improved when the final results of the tummy tuck occur.

upper abdominal bloating after tummy tuck

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

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.

how to reduce swelling in mons pubis

Liposuction and lift of the mons pubis, or normal bulge over the pubic bone, is often done in conjunction with abdominal liposuction or an abdominoplasty. The procedure reduces a prominent or protruding mons pubis.

What is Mons Pubis treatment?

Although weight often plays a role in mons pubis enlargement, it is well-known that the mons pubis region contains a large percentage of hormone-dependent fat that is resistant to diet and exercise. In addition, the mons pubis can become enlarged with pregnancy or droop from aging. If the skin is only mild-to-moderately stretched with excess fat, Dr. Poulos typically utilizes laser or VASER liposuction to treat the area. For severe skin laxity, an incision is made in the pubic hairline to surgically lift the skin.

Why choose Dr. Poulos for treatment of the Mons Pubis?

A patient may elect surgery of the mons pubis for any reason, including a disporportionate amount of fat or skin on the mons, lending it a bulging or drooping appearance.

As a female plastic surgeon and specialist in body recontouring procedures, Dr. Poulos is uniquely qualifed to perform surgery of the mons. The procedure may take place in our in-office surgical suite under local anesthetic. It can be combined with labiaplasty. Should patients wish to combine the procedure with abdominoplasty, surgery of the mons is best performed in a hospital setting.

After the treatment

After the procedure, you’ll wear a compression garment to promote healing. It can take six weeks or more for swelling to subside and the skin to retract.

Our patients report an increased sense of self-confidence after the procedure and are thrilled that they are able to wear form-fitting clothing without embarrassment, many for the first time in years!

why is my pubic area swollen after tummy tuck

Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a common procedure aimed at removing the sagging skin and excess fat from your abdomen. It’s mostly selected by women who’ve been pregnant or lost a huge amount of weight but haven’t succeeded in getting rid of their protruded stomachs.


Almost all patients undergoing this surgery experience lower abdomen swelling. The majority of swelling subsides within 2 weeks. However, slight swelling may remain for a few months up to 6 months.

As every patient has its own unique recovery process, you may have a different swelling experience compared to others. Some people see swelling around the incisions. Some face overall swelling below their belly button.

Patients who have had extended abdominoplasty or combined their tummy tuck with liposuction should expect more swelling, which lasts a bit longer than those with a minimal tummy tuck. Furthermore, you would have a more prolonged swelling after abdominoplasty if you’ve got thicker skin.


When you undergo a tummy tuck, both the blood supply of the surgical site and lymphatic system are affected. As the surgery needs an incision along the pubic area, the skin above it as well as its blood vessels are manipulated. So, the blood cannot easily reach this area. Then, the skin starts to swell as a reaction.

Further to this, as the lymphatic system, which is responsible for the drainage of the fluid, is cut and altered, fluid accumulation may happen. The fluid may accumulate in the abdominal area or somewhere close to your thighs and legs. That’s why some patients report leg swelling during their recovery. To avoid this, patients should have drains for a few days after the surgery.

You may experience swelling for a few months after abdominoplasty.


There are several actions you can take to reduce swelling of the tissues after a tummy tuck.

Choose the right surgeon

Post-op complications depend greatly on the surgical procedure itself. To have a shorter and easier recovery, you need to find a highly experienced surgeon who can predict and handle your treatment course at its best.

For reducing swelling in abdominoplasty, the less the doctor manipulates or ruptures the tissues the better. So, we recommend you to choose your surgeon and tummy tuck destination wisely.

Follow the doctor’s instructions

What’s more important than the surgery? We say “the post-operative phase”. So, listen to your doctor and follow their bits of advice.

Use drain tubes

Drain tubes prevent fluids from accumulation, which can, in turn, cause swelling. If instructed by your surgeon, use drain tubes for a few days after your operation.

Wear a compression garment

A compression garment can help you control swelling by applying pressure and limiting the amount of fluid in the surgical area. You’ll be recommended to wear this garment for around 2 weeks.

Do not wear tight belts

Too much pressure exerted by tight belts can hinder the flow of fluids in the abdominal area.

Move your body

As you may know, you’ll be asked to rest and avoid strenuous activities during your recovery period. But you need to keep up a certain amount of movement to help control the swelling better. A short walk, for example, can do a great job in this respect.

Take anti-inflammatory medications

Upon your doctor’s prescription, you can take certain medications to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Stick to a healthy diet

Healthy food can speed up your recovery for sure. You can manage the swelling by adding fresh fruits, high-fiber foods, and grains to your daily diet. Also, drink water and fruit juices as much as possible as they can stop the fluid accumulation.


A tummy tuck is not a weight-loss procedure, nor does it cause gaining weight. Some people may lose a few pounds in case they’ve got extensive surgery. Significant swelling may also make them assume that their weight is increased. But it’s not true at all. Abdominoplasty is not to change your weight, but to give you a flat and firm belly.

If you’re one of those who are cautious about every step they are taking, you most probably want to fully understand the nitty-gritty details about tummy tuck when you’ve finally decided to go for it.

For cosmetic surgeries of any sort, side effects like pain, discomfort, swelling, and bruising are expected. A tummy tuck is no exception. You should expect these symptoms after the surgery and you should know that some of them do not go away quickly. Swelling is one example.

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