Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Why Is My Stomach Hard After Tummy Tuck

The first thing to know about a tummy tuck is that it’s not a quick fix. It’s a long-term investment in your health and well-being—and it’s worth every penny!

The reason you’re feeling hard and uncomfortable in your lower abdomen after surgery is that you’ve likely got some swelling under the skin there. That’s normal, but it can be painful and annoying.

To see if you have any fluid or gas under your skin, try pressing gently on the area around the incision with your fingers while taking very slow breaths in and out. You should feel some movement or give when you press down. If you don’t, call your doctor right away—this could be a sign of infection, which needs treatment right away!

If it does feel like there’s something going on under there, try elevating your legs on pillows for 30 minutes at a time (or more) every few hours until things feel more normal again—and then keep up with that routine for at least two weeks after surgery!

What is Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck surgery being in popularity still many people lack the knowledge of it. It’s a common plastic surgery procedure and it is also known as “Abdominoplasty,” which is used to remove the excess fats and skin and restore the weakened muscles to flattens the abdomen to create a smoother firmer abdominal profile.

Tummy tuck is the best procedure for people with obesity who are working hard at the gym to reduce fats and get in shape. If gym, healthy diet, the workout did not work for you, then tummy tuck surgery is the best option that you can look for. Surgeons state that it is the top performed plastic surgery procedure that men and women look after for.

Types Of Tummy Tuck Surgeries

There are different types of tummy tuck surgical procedures performed on different conditions that doctors will suggest to you according to the type of surgery you will prefer. Every single procedure begins with anesthesia so that the patient is unconscious about the pain. The types of tummy tuck surgery are-

  • Full Tummy Tuck – It is a “Standard tummy tuck” ideal for individuals who seek to flatten the abdomen. It uses two major incisions, one around the belly buttock and one below the navel so that it can be repositioned after removing the excess skin in the upper abdomen. After the surgery, the most patient requires 2 weeks or less of recovery time before resuming normal activities.
  • Mini Tummy Tuck – Mini tummy tucks are suitable for a small number of patients because of their minimal improvements. The procedure is done for fat removing using liposuction. The surgeon removes the supra-pubic skin redundancy, aspirates the abdominal fat and the medial part of the abdomen is removed. Finally, the end result is the skin is saturated with the umbilicus preserved.
  • Extended Tummy Tuck – The extended tummy tuck requires a round incision to free the naval and reposition tummy tuck to higher once the excess skin has been removed. This process improves the entire abdomen but also addresses the waist.

Why Is My Stomach Hard After Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck patients may also experience a tight feeling in their belly because the skin has been cut and put back together. More so, muscle tightening during the surgery can lead to a hardened tissue sensation during recovery.

Why does bloating and swelling happen after surgery?

There are many reasons why bloating and swelling occur after surgery.

1.    The lymphatic system has been disrupted

Swelling occurs in the body as the lymphatics have been surgically disrupted. However, it is important to remember that swelling is an important part of the recovery process and is essential for healing! The swollen areas actually contain white blood cells and proteins that are needed to heal the surgical area.

2.    Functions of the gastrointestinal tract slow down

Anaesthetic, pain relief, antibiotics and other medications all tend to have a “slowing” effect on the gut. The often means that you will experience post-operative constipation, which of course can lead to bloating and discomfort.

3.    IV fluids

During your operation, you will receive intravenous fluids to replenish your body’s fluids and balance your sodium levels. The IV fluid can cause some bloating while your body regulates its fluid levels post-operatively.

4.    You can’t move around as much as usual

When recovering from major surgery, you are simply not able to move around as much as you regularly would. This decrease is mobility can lead to fluid retention and increase your swelling and bloating symptoms. Without being able to participate in the physical activity you usually would, you may even recognise a small weight gain. This is completely normal! Once you have the all clear to begin gentle movement and exercise, you will find that your weight returns to its regular state.

What can I do to help reduce the bloating?

Post-surgical bloating and swelling is mostly eased with time. Although most swelling and bloating will clear by 12 weeks, you may find that swelling ebbs and flows for up to 12 months after surgery. Some ways you can help ease swelling, bloating and stomach discomfort are:

  • Gentle mobilisation (i.e. walking) when you have the clearance to do so
  • Increase your fluid intake to flush the excess fluid from your body
  • Ensure your post-surgical diet is rich in fibre to aid bowel movements
  • Gentle stool softeners (such as Movicol sachets) can be utilised to help with post-surgery constipation
  • Cease stronger pain medication as soon as practical and replace with those that are gentler on the gut such as paracetamol. It is important to note that post-surgical bloating and swelling cannot be improved with prescription medication.
  • Keep wearing your surgical garment to help minimise swelling.


The recovery time after tummy tuck can vary somewhat depending on several factors, including the patient’s overall health and whether or not any other procedures were performed during the surgery. For example, women who combine a tummy tuck with breast augmentation, thigh lift, and other treatments as part of a full mommy makeover transformation may require extended recovery time. In general, tummy tuck patients should expect to take about two weeks off of work, depending on the physical demands of their jobs. Light activity can usually be resumed after about 1 – 2 weeks, while more strenuous physical activity and exercise should be paused for at least 6 – 8 weeks, or until cleared by your surgeon. Though there will be a noticeable difference in your abdominal contour relatively quickly, the results will continue to improve as the body heals and the swelling reduces over time.


Arguably the most notable aspect of recovery after tummy tuck is postoperative swelling. This is a completely normal and expected part of tummy tuck recovery, as well as nearly any surgical procedure, so don’t be alarmed. Swelling after tummy tuck can last for several weeks, but there are some things you can do to help keep it under control. Three helpful ways to reduce tummy tuck swelling time include:

1. Wear compression garments: As part of your postoperative routine, you will be required to wear medical compression garments, specifically to reduce swelling and promote proper, efficient healing. It is critical that you wear your compression garments as directed, which may be 24/7 for several weeks.

2. Stay mobile: While it is essential that patients get plenty of rest during tummy tuck recovery, it is also important to incorporate very light walking into your daily routine. This helps to reduce swelling, improve circulation, and minimize the risk of postoperative complications, such as blood clots. Simply walking around the room or to and from the bathroom several times a day is usually sufficient for the first several days after surgery. Too much activity, or activities that are too strenuous, can actually slow your healing and cause complications as well. Talk to your surgeon about finding the right balance.

3. Watch your diet: Whether you have had surgery or not, eating too much salt can exacerbate swelling, bloating, and water retention. A common misconception is that drinking more water will make the swelling worse, but the opposite is actually true. Make sure you stay adequately hydrated and minimize your sodium intake to reduce tummy tuck swelling.

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