Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Symptoms of pseudobursa after tummy tuck

What is a pseudobursa? Well, it’s basically a fluid collection that can form around the surgical incision after any abdominal surgery. This can happen when there’s inflammation or infection in the area around the incision, but not directly in the incision itself.

The symptoms of pseudobursa include pain, swelling and warmth around your tummy button, nausea and vomiting, fever, chills, sweats and general weakness/fatigue. The symptoms can come on suddenly if there’s an infection in your body—or gradually over time if there’s an ongoing inflammatory response. In this guide, we review the aspects of Symptoms of pseudobursa after tummy tuck, pseudobursa symptoms, pseudobursa treatment, swollen love handles after tummy tuck, and bulge in lower abdomen after tummy tuck.

Symptoms of pseudobursa 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.

Pictured above, a 48-year-old mom with identified muscle attenuation who underwent the comprehensive Tri-Modality repair during her tummy tuck to avoid a post-operative “muffin top” deformity.

Are You Considering A Revision Tummy Tuck?

Are you unhappy with your results or struggling with a “muffin top” or other complications following a tummy tuck surgery? Contact Dr. Mowlavi for a free consultation to see how you can improve your results and achieve a flat, beautiful stomach. For your convenience, we have offices in Newport and Laguna Beach, CA.

pseudobursa treatment

Pseudobursa, also known as a fibrous capsule, is a complication that can occur after joint replacement surgery. It is an abnormal accumulation of scar tissue and fluid around the joint, which can cause pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion.

The treatment for pseudobursa typically involves a combination of conservative and surgical approaches. Conservative treatments may include physical therapy, pain management medications, and joint aspiration to remove excess fluid.

In cases where conservative treatments are not effective, surgery may be necessary to remove the pseudobursa and repair any underlying issues. This may involve a revision joint replacement surgery, where the prosthetic joint is removed and replaced with a new one, or a debridement surgery, where the pseudobursa is removed and any damaged tissue is repaired.

It is important to work closely with a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment approach for your specific case of pseudobursa.

swollen love handles after tummy tuck

Tummy Tuck Recovery

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.

bulge in lower abdomen 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 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:



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