Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Tender Bulge Above Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

A bulge above the belly button after tummy tuck is not normal. It can be a pseudobursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that develops around scar tissue.

There are two ways to get rid of the bulge: drain it or remove it. The first option involves draining out all of the fluid and then putting in a small tube called a catheter to keep the space open. Your doctor ought to take care of this. The second option involves removing the pseudobursa with an incision at its base and then closing over it with stitches. In this guide, we review the aspects of Tender bulge above belly button after tummy tuck, pseudobursa after tummy tuck, how to get rid of upper belly bulge after tummy tuck, and lower bulge after tummy tuck surgery.

Tender bulge above belly button 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 after tummy tuck

Abdominal surgery is exceedingly common. General surgery, urology, gynecology, spine surgery, and bariatric surgery all have surgical procedures that require abdominal surgery. Because of this as well as the complexity of the abdominal wall, abdominal surgical complications are also common and can create both disfigurement as well as ongoing symptoms of pain. The case below is a video of a patient who developed abdominal pain and disfigurement after multiple abdominal surgeries. She had developed a pseudo-bursa which caused her abdominal pain and hernia laxity which also caused discomfort. Secondary to the above issues we decided to proceed with excision of abdominal pseudo-bursa and related scars and repair of ventral hernia without mesh.

Cassandra has left a new comment on your post “Endoscopic Abdominoplasty”:

I am 5 months post full tummy tuck and although my upper abdomen is still intact, my lower abdominal muscles seem to have have way again.

I can for the most part suck the bulge in, but with relaxation or bending over it protrudes again. It seemed to be very flat up until now, w the exception of normal post op swelling.

I did have wound complications just below my belly button which bought me a wound vac for 6 weeks.

My wound has been closed for 2 months now. Any suggestions on what caused this or how to fix it?

I’ve tried to make an appt and they can’t see me for another 3 weeks and I have been told it’s just swollen and it will take a year to go away. This was told to me over the phone.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

Repairing the lower half of the abdominal wall (re-tightening the muscles) can be accomplished alone or in combination with other tummy tuck revision procedures. At its simplest, the scar from the wound healing issue you discussed can be excised (removed) and access gained to the lower abdominal wall. Doing so is dependent on the looseness of the skin below your belly button. The other option is to undergo a full tummy tuck revision. In doing so the tissues all the way to the rib cage are freed. This will allow the entire abdominal wall to be tightened appropriately, the scar removed, and the incision lowered. The other issue you may want to evaluate is the possible presence of a pseudo-bursa. This can sometimes masquerade as lower abdominal fullness. If you would like you can contact my office and they can have you email photos and set up a phone consult.

Plz help have very hard knot from bottom of panniculectomy incision to pubic area on left side..has been oozing pinkish thick fluid..right side isn’t hard or painful. I’m 3 wks post op

Sorry to hear about your healing issue. There is definitely something occurring with your healing that should be looked at. Hardness near or at the incision area after a panniculectomy is not uncommon since swelling and healing can create this. The pain that you are experiencing and the drainage are indicating that something else may be occurring. It may be that you have some fat necrosis and the body is trying to take care of that. I would seek follow up with your plastic surgeon to get an idea if you should be doing something else in terms of wound care or if surgical exploration would be beneficial.

Lump Above Belly Button No Pain

A tummy tuck can be a powerful plastic surgery procedure. It can provide an incredible amount of improvement in the shape and appearance of an individual’s abdomen and make a significant impact in the confidence and sense of well-being of a person’s body image and self esteem. It is also a big decision and one that should be researched thoroughly.

Although the final result of any tummy tuck procedure is in part related to where each patient starts (amount and quality of loose skin and fat), there are qualities that most great tummy tuck result will have. In the end, you’ll want to have the right tummy tuck done by the right tummy tuck surgeon, at the right time. To help you navigate the consultation process I have listed five of the best tummy tuck result qualities to look for and discuss with your plastic surgeon.

#5 Symmetry and contour

Although there is no perfect symmetry when it comes to any part of the human body there is a level of symmetry that is needed in the abdomen and waist area to make the tummy tuck result appear both natural as well as aesthetically pleasing. Look at before and after photos with a “wide lens” and let the general shape and appearance of the abdomen and waist communicate to you if enough symmetry is present. The sides (flanks) as well the transition of the abdominal tissues from above the incision to below the incision should flow seamlessly. Contour should be smooth without lumps, bumps, indentations, or noticeable transitions.

#4 Tummy tuck incision location, shape, and quality

The tummy tuck incision appearance is one of the main concerns for most patients considering a tummy tuck. Examples of bad tummy tuck incisions are easy to find. Great tummy tuck incisions should go unnoticed. Thin, symmetric, low, and high quality should be descriptors of a good incision. As you can see, the length of the incision is not particularly important in terms of incision quality since the incision length is largely dictated by the amount of loose skin present. The incision should match the patients’ body type and clothing preferences.

#3 Shape and appearance of the belly button

The belly button will definitely be the one part of the tummy tuck that cannot be covered when wearing a bikini, so it has to look good. Natural, aesthetically, pleasing, and without any tell tale signs of being operated is key. When evaluating before and after photos take a look at the belly button. If the belly button is aesthetically pleasing, if it looks natural, and if it matches the persons body then it is likely the other details of the tummy tuck design and completion are probably also good.

#2 Tummy tuck shape

Thin, flat, tight, and narrow. These are some of the words that I like to use to discuss an aesthetically pleasing tummy as well as a good tummy tuck result. There is a combination of factors that can come together to accomplish this including liposuction, removal of excess skin, and tightening of the abdominal wall. In the end, a tummy tuck should result in a narrower waist that flows well and is aesthetically pleasing as well as a flat or significantly improved side profile from ribcage to pubic bone. Narrower from the front and flatter from the side–that’s basically the improvement a tummy tuck should provide from the shape standpoint.

#1 Harmony

Everything about the tummy tuck and waist should flow and appear as one. This one encapsulates a little of all of the above. When looking at before and after photos of a tummy tuck everything should just make sense. The result should just tight enough, not too tight and not too loose. The tummy tuck result should provide waist narrowing. Not too narrow and certainly not a boxy shape. The abdomen should compliment the thighs and breasts and should make sense when everything is viewed from afar.

Tummy tuck surgery has one of the highest satisfaction rates of any elective cosmetic procedures. Because of this, tummy tuck surgery continues to be one of the most common plastic surgery procedures. Below are five facts about tummy tuck surgery.

During your tummy tuck surgery, you keep you belly button. That is, in the normal full tummy tuck surgery process, your belly button is not removed. You also don’t get a new belly button. Rather, your belly button is released from the abdominal skin and then brought back out through the skin that is pulled down. Our belly button is like a straw with one opening on the surface of our skin and the other end inside our abdomen. The “straw” is maintained and it’s then brought out through the new skin that now overlies it during the tummy tuck process. What makes one tummy tuck belly button look better than another is how the incision is made initially, how the opening is made when bringing it back out, and how the belly buttoned is sutured back up.

People often talk about loose muscles and the need to repair them with a tummy tuck. If you think about it, muscles are designed to flex and extend. Therefore, pregnancy or weight loss will not lead to a change in the muscles themselves. What people often notice is the looseness of their abdominal wall. Since the muscles are wrapped up in connective tissue it’s the connective tissue that is loose and it’s the connective tissue that needs tightening during a tummy tuck procedure. Muscle repair, therefore, is really more like connective tissue repair. Doing so during a tummy tuck will repair rectus diastasis and tighten the abdominal wall.

Many patients ask me if the fat that is removed during a tummy tuck will appear somewhere else on the body after the procedure. The answer to this question is if weight is maintained, no new fat will appear. If weight is gained, the body will distribute that weight evenly based on your genetics like it always did but less will go to the abdomen since there are fewer fat cells there.

Some patients think that how low the tummy tuck incision can be placed depends on their body. There is some truth to that, as someone a small amount of skin looseness will have more difficulty in pulling the upper abdominal skin all the way down to the pubic bone. There are modifications that can be done however that can still make this happen. In my practice I always mark the incision super low near the pubic bone and use the techniques that are available to allow the upper abdominal skin to be pulled down and maintain a low abdominal incision.

Hi I lost weight about 8 years ago and have managed to keep it off , I am wanting tt surgery as my tummy is a little saggy and flabby, I am 32 and a size 10-12 and I am worried about having the muscles stitched because of the pain afterwards and the recovery.My question is does loosing weight at a younger age mean my muscles might not be stretched enough to need stitching”

Congratulations on the weight loss. Muscle tightening only needs to be performed when the abdominal wall is loose and both front and side profile improvements would be seen with abdominal wall tightening. Although there is some additional discomfort with muscle tightening it can be made better with long acting numbing medication such as Exparel which I routinely use. You and your plastic surgeon can make this decision together. I would say that it is better to have it done if possibly needed since it will provide a better overall result and going back in and doing so at a later date would cost more both financially and in terms of recovery time.

Anolost weight about 8 years ago and have managed to keep it off , I am wanting tt surgery as my tummy is a little saggy and flabby, I am 32 and a size 10-12 and I am worried about having the muscles stitched because of the pain afterwards and the recovery.My question is does loosing weight at a younger age mean my muscles might not be stretched enough to need stitching

Rectus Diastasis, Ventral Hernia, And Belly Button Outies: What Are They, When Do They Occur, And How Are They Fixed?

There is a lot of confusion about the various abdominal type hernias that can occur. In this blog post we will review the most common type of abdominal wall hernias, how they most frequently occur, and how they can be repaired.

Lets first start by discussing what a hernia is. There are medical definitions of a hernia but we can simply describe it in a way that makes sense for everyone in the real world. A hernia is a weakening in that part of the body. Think of it as a bubble in a car tire. That part of the tire is weaker and the air pressure inside can push out that area more than the rest. This “weakening” can result from the thickness of the tissue getting thinner or it can be from the tissue losing its strength. The second part can be thought of as a new versus an old rubber band. The old rubber band has the same thickness but is not as strong as it used to be and therefore stretches out further with the same amount of force applied.

What is Rectus Diastasis?

Rectus Diastasis: The space between the rectus abdominal muscles, commonly referred to as the six-pack muscles, has increased. This occurs when the connective tissue holding the six-pack muscles near one another stretches and thins. When this occurs, the six-pack muscles drift farther apart from each other because the oblique muscles, the muscles on the side of our abdomen that that go more side to side, pull the six-pack muscles away from each other—each towards its own side. This process essentially results in a mild hernia or bulge in the abdominal wall. This hernia can be called a ventral hernia (more about this next) but since there is no discreet break of the connective tissue it has been labeled rectus diastasis. They are really one and the same, only to a different extent.

What is a Ventral Hernia?

A ventral hernia is an abdominal hernia. The “ventral” part comes from the description of where it occurs. Ventral refers to the front part of the abdomen and makes the assumption that the most “front” part of the abdomen will be in the middle of the abdomen. So, ventral hernia refers to a hernia in the middle of the abdomen along the connective tissue between the six-pack muscles. Sometimes you may hear “ventral incisional hernia”. This is a hernia in the middle of the abdomen from a prior abdominal surgery—hence the “incisional” part.

What is an “outie” belly button?

An “outie” belly button is also known as a belly button hernia. A belly button hernia, in turn, is a weakening of the connective tissue under the belly button. Think of it as rectus diastasis or ventral hernia just under the belly button. When this occurs, fat from inside the abdomen usually pushes up into the belly button stalk and lifts the deep part of the belly button making an “innie” into and “outie”.

So how are these types of hernias repaired?

There are two main ways to repair a hernia.

Products that can be used generally fall into either synthetic mesh or natural products such called acellular dermal matrix (ie animal or cadaver skin). This is sometimes done when the tissues are not strong enough to hold their own repair or as additional reinforcement.

Whenever able, the use of the bodys own tissues is preferred. The idea is mush like repairing a rip in a pair of jeans. You can sew the edges together or you can use a patch to plug up the tear.

Regardless of what method is used, access to the hernia is needed. This is where things become interesting. Large incisions can be used for direct access but they should be avoided unless the incision actually makes the area look better. That is, a large vertical incision can be used to fix a ventral hernia if tissue is also removed and tightened at the same time. Otherwise, smaller incisions hidden in the belly button or in the bikini area are used to repair rectus diastasis, ventral hernias, and “outie” belly buttons (belly button hernia).

The following are some photos of what an endoscopic hernia repair and an umbilical hernia repair look like.

Recently Kylie Jenner (of the Kardashian fame) admitted to getting lip filler injections to give her lips a fuller, poutier appearance. Although this is not so much of a surprise it did stir some emotions and thoughts about plastic surgery, youth, and the idea of inner beauty and self-growth that I wanted to share with everyone.

First. Medically speaking, there is no reason why a teenager could not get filler in their lips. The physical indications as well as the possible side effects are the same as those for an adult. The bigger question revolves around the delicate balance of self-image, self-esteem, and the importance of these aspects to youth in general.

If filler is deemed “appropriate” in a 16 or 17 year old, where is the line drawn for aesthetic improvements in youth that are still in the process of defining their self image and their inherent self worth. Certain plastic surgery procedures such as otoplasty (correction of prominent ears), breast reconstruction in young women that have the absence of one breast, or the reduction of overly large breasts is largely accepted by both plastic surgeons and most in society. They are seen as correcting something that has developed abnormally and often times severely impacts the mental and emotional well being of young adults that feel they are somehow “abnormal”.

There is a slippery slope of sorts in terms of plastic surgery and youth. I believe it is in the best interest of society in general for the parents, the child, and the plastic surgeon to take a broader approach to these issues and include discussion pertaining to mental well being in the present and in the future, counseling, self esteem/self worth, and the broad impact that plastic surgery decisions can have on these aspects of a person immediately but also in the future to come.

Tummy tuck surgery can be a daunting journey to embark on for many. As part of my abdominoplasty practice I feel that providing a place for patients to share their experience and advice would be invaluable. I encourage both current and future tummy tuck patients to ask questions and share their advice. I have and continue to learn from each of my patients. I know that the wealth of knowledge from all of my tummy tuck patients will be a source of comfort and guidance to patients that are considering tummy tuck surgery. I am excited to have an additional means of keeping my patients informed. While my website provides in-depth information on the tummy tuck procedure, my blog is a way for me to connect with my patients on a more personal, candid level. I look forward to sharing information with you and hearing your feedback.

“Hi Dr Repta I had a TT, w/ muscle repair in Feb 2015 and since then have had to get drained every other month from a seroma above my bellybutton. Now I’m scheduled to do laser lipo to hopefully get the seroma to heal as and close what do you think about this?”

Sorry to hear about your recovery. A long standing seroma certainly increases the chances of having a pseudo-bursa. If you feel:

In the area of the seroma this may be an indication of a pseudo-bursa. I think laser liposuction of other forms of liposuction can remove fat and disrupt scar tissue but obviously it will not result in removal of scar tissue. I have found in my practice that once the symptoms and diagnosis of pseudo bursa is present only excision of the pseudo bursa results in full relief of symptoms.

Q: Anonymous said…Hi Dr. Repta, I had a TT in Jan 2014 no drains. Appx 10mo post op I noticed a vertical bulge appx 4″x1.5″ to the left of my belly button. My surgeon first thought pseudobursa, but further review of pictures said fat deposit above the muscle in that area. My weight has fluctuated appx 5lbs, is it possible that is the contributing factor? How can it be resolved? Surgeon did lipo on hips… rather lumpy. Nervous about having a lumpy stomach as well!

A: Hello Anonymous. Although fat deposit can be a possibility the fact that this occurred 10 months after your tummy tuck and the fact that it developed in a linear fashion suggests the possibility of a pseudo-bursa. CT scans do not always show the presence of a pseudo-bursa. Without an exam its hard for me to guide you through the process but I would discuss the circumstances of how this developed and the fact that it may still be a pseudo-bursa with your plastic surgeon. He/she can help discuss and plan out what the best course of action will be going forward.

Sorry to hear about your DIEP breast reconstruction recovery. If you have a pseudobursa surgery is likely going to be the most definitive treatment. Time, massage, and PT may help but in my experience, significant resolution of the symptoms associated with a pseudobursa is often only accomplished by surgical removal. I do not know if the presence of a pseudobursa would also result in some of the numbness that you have described. Sometimes, the abdominal closure part of the DIEP flap can result in damage to nerves to the front of the thigh. Its a little unusual with the typical placement of the incision of a diep flap dissection but it is possible. Since the abdominal component of your surgery was part of your breast cancer reconstruction, exploration and repair of whatever is the cause of your abdominal symptoms should be covered by your insurance carrier. I do not know what type of insurance you have or whether you have out of network benefits, but if needed my office may be able to help you pre-authorize any revision surgery you may need if you choose to do so.

Q: Anonymous Lynda said… Dr. Repta, I had a double mastectomy with immediate combined DIEP/SGAP reconstruction two years ago. After a very active left hip drain was removed six weeks later, the incision developed a seroma that I had drained a couple times, approximately three months following the procedure, but I have always felt a numbness and fullness from my hip incision and down my outer hip/upper leg area, even after my revision surgery. I am confident it is a pseudobursa and it is beginning to pull on my hip joint and is becoming somewhat restrictive, but I dread undergoing another surgery. Will active tissue release or some form of PT that breaks up the scar tissue be effective, or is the only real fix to have it surgically removed?

Understanding the different types of and treatment options for abdominal hernias.

There are many different types of abdominal hernias that can occur. The most common abdominal hernias include:

Common causes for abdominal hernias include:

Ventral Hernia

A ventral hernia is a hernia that occurs in the middle of the abdomen vertically between the rectus abdominus muscles (six pack muscles). The best way to imagine and understand this type of hernia is to envision a long, skinny football shaped weakness oriented vertically (up and down) in the middle of the abdominal wall.

A ventral hernia can be caused by any of the above sources that been listed, but the two most common is pregnancy and prior abdominal surgery. Often, weight gain and weight loss in addition to either surgery or pregnancy also is a factor.

Repair of a ventral hernia can be performed by suturing the muscles back together, or by using some sort of mesh. I prefer to bring the healthy tissues back together as this is truly the only real hernia repair that allows the patient to regain their core strength. Sometimes a ventral hernia can be more subtle, without a definite border to where the hernia starts and stops. This is seen more often after pregnancy and is often called rectus diastasis. Repair of correction of ventral hernia and rectus diastasis is often similar in terms of bringing together the healthy tissue layers. When the hernia is too big to do so, component separation, where the muscle layers are separated, can be performed and/or the use of acellular dermal matrix can be used to reinforce the repair.

Umbilical Hernia

An umbilical hernia is a hernia or weakness of the abdominal wall near the belly button. This is one of the most common types of hernias to be born with and one of the most common types of hernias to develop as a result of weight gain or pregnancy. Umbilical hernias are commonly referred to as an “outie belly button”.

General surgeons typically like to use mesh plugs to repair the hernias while Plastic Surgeons usually like to repair the hernias but bringing together the healthy borders of the surrounding tissue. An umbilical hernia can be repaired via a small incision around the border of the belly button or via a larger incision if a ventral hernia or a tummy tuck is being performed at the same time.

Incisional Hernia

An incisional hernia is a weakness or separation of tissues where there has been a previous incision made. Many abdominal surgeries can result in an incisional hernia. Fortunately, most abdominal surgeries are now performed laparoscopically with small incisions. Occasionally, and abdominal surgery to remove an infected gallbladder or appendix or to treat problems with the liver, pancreas, or colon is needed. When these types of large incisions are used there is a risk that the tissues will either thin out at the incision site or the incision site tissue pull partially apart. Repair of these incisional hernias usually proceed by using the existing incision and bringing together the healthy borders of the tissue. Incisional hernias are often the type of hernias that can benefit most from the use of mesh or acellular dermal matrix.

I hope this introduction of abdominal hernias helps educate those that are struggling with hernias and wondering how to best go about finding help.

how to get rid of upper belly bulge after tummy tuck

Pregnancy and weight loss can leave the stomach sagging, with excess skin pooling across the abdomen. Diet and exercise seem to make little difference; the stubborn fatty tissue does not improve with further weight loss or toning. A surgical procedure will be required to bring back a youthful, flat stomach.

While the Tummy Tuck has always been the go-to procedure for soft, bulging skin across the waist and below the beltline, excess tissue above the belly button can still remain after surgery. Those who are experiencing protruding, shapeless tissue of the upper stomach can find the Reverse Abdominoplasty will return the tight, sculpted shape they desire.

The Reverse Abdominoplasty

The Reverse Abdominoplasty, sometimes referred to as the Revise Tummy Tuck, is a surgical procedure designed to lift and tighten lax sagging skin from the stomach. Different from the traditional Tummy Tuck, which excises skin from the lower stomach, the Reverse Abdominoplasty removes skin only from the upper portion. An inframammary incision below the breasts is used for a Reverse Abdominoplasty, leaving the scars well hidden within the breast crease. The technique can easily be combined with other body sculpting procedures, such as a Breast Augmentation using the same incision, for optimal results.

The surgeons at Spalding Drive Plastic Surgery have been recognized for performing the Reverse Abdominoplasty. They have years of extensive experience and utilizes safe and most effective Reverse Abdominoplasty techniques.

The Reverse Abdominoplasty Procedure

The procedure is performed at the Spalding Surgery Facility in Beverly Hills. Performed under general anesthesia, on an outpatient basis, patients are resting comfortably at home the same day. The surgery will take between two and four hours to complete.

The procedure begins with a small incision along the inframammary fold, along the crease breast crease. From here, he will excise the unwanted, loose skin along the upper abdomen, as well as the unsightly fatty deposits. The remaining skin is then pulled upward until taut, followed by dissolvable stitches to hold the tissue in place. With this procedure, there is no need to reposition the belly button, which often occurs during the traditional Tummy Tuck.


Patients should expect the recovery after the procedure to take between one and two weeks. Initially, patients will need to wear a special surgical bandage or compression garment. Swelling, bruising, and tenderness may remain for the first 10-14 days.

There will be mild to moderate discomfort for the first week, so at this time, you will be prescribed with pain medications needed for a comfortable, at-home recovery. In one to two weeks, patients will feel well enough to return to work. Strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and exercise should be postponed for four to six weeks.

Results from a Reverse Abdominoplasty

Immediately after the procedure, patients will be able to note a smoother, tighter abdomen. As the swelling resolves, over the following two to three months, the full benefits of the surgery can be appreciated. The entire stomach will be lifted and tightened to a smooth, healthy contour. A small scar will result from the surgery, but this will fade over time and is normally well concealed within the breast crease. Women with larger breasts will have more scar coverage.

Risks from the Reverse Abdominoplasty

While the procedure is a generally safe, it is invasive, therefore carries some risks. Potential complications include bleeding, infection, scarring, asymmetry, and nerve damage.

lower bulge after tummy tuck surgery

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.

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