Is the pouched look 4 weeks after tummy tuck surgery just swelling? I had a full Tummy Tuck 4 weeks ago and now I'm nervous because I still look like I have a pouch. Will it go away?
Contour Problems After Tummy Tuck
Thanks for your question -It is common to have abdominal swelling after abdominoplasty. Four weeks usually is enough time from some of the swelling to begin to improve. When thinking about abdominal contour here are things to consider:Skin envelopeAbdominal fat (subcutaneous and intrabdominal)Muscles tightnessIntrinsic SwellingFluid 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 complication 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.The majority of swelling usually resolves after the first 4-6 weeks but there may be residual swelling for up to 6 months. 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. Talk to your plastic surgeon and see which might be contributing to your abdominal contour.
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