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I have had a tummy tuck with lipo 3 years ago, and my upper tummy is swollen. Why is this?

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I am almost 3 years post tummy tuck and I am still constantly swelling in my upper abdomen. It started about 5-6 months after the surgery. I notice it the most after cleaning my house, exercising, or eating a bigger meal than I should have. Typically I am pretty swollen by the time I go to bed. I look pregnant!! I have seen my plastic surgeon several times. About one year post surgery I was placed on neurontin, which is a med to help calm over active nerves. It didn't work. I was then placed on an oral 7-day steroid. That worked, but the relief was only temporary. So, then I had an MRI to see if I had developed a hernia.... I didn't have one. I was told to give healing a little more time. Once I hit 2 years post-op, I went back complaining to my surgeon that I was still having problems and it was painful and uncomfortable constantly. He thought that maybe the stitching from my bellybutton and up my abdominal wall just below my sternum may have stretched causing irritation and maybe that was the reason for the chronic swelling. I underwent another procedure. He reopened the scar around my bellybutton to keep the surgery less invasive. He restitched my abdominal wall. Needless to say, I am still having the same problem almost a year after that procedure.

I am constantly swollen. It's extremely uncomfortable and very unsightly. I am so frustrated because I am constantly in pain. It is also taking its toll on me mentally because I constantly look pregnant and I have to try and hide it. I spent $8,500 so I could stop having to hide my belly after having a child. Now I still have to hide it under over sized clothing. I am so frustrated and worried I may have to live like this forever and I am only 30. Help!!!!
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i am one year and two months out from my extended tummy tuck. as early as two weeks after the surgery i experienced horrible dibilitating pain in entire abdominal area even on sides and back. dry heaves, weak. went to er and cat scan showed mesenteric edema. ofcourse the er docs says  it was due to recent plastic surgery. well every 5 to 6 months i experience the same attack and i always seem to have a hard swollen belly. my plastic surgeon says there is no way anything he done woulda caused this......

 please help with any info as to why or what to expect or what to do?
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Hi I am also having the same kind of problem. I had tummy tuck surgery and lipo back in Jan 2011 and currently have the constant swelling and pain in my abdomen. I have had numerous MRI's, put on numerous medications and had all kinds of tests run on me and the doctor still has been unable to figure out what it is. I am currently waiting for and answer back from the doctor to see what is going on. I have spent way too much money and have spent way too much time suffering on a daily basis. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas as to what may be going on I would greatly appreciate if someone responds. Thanks
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@noriawill30. Have you had any success with finding out what was causing your abdominal swelling? I'm 3 1/2 years post tummy tuck and I still swell everyday. I'm frustrated and need answers!!! My doc is at a loss and I stopped seeing him over a year ago because he clearly can't help me. 
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superstar wrote:

I am almost 3 years post tummy tuck and I am still constantly swelling in my upper abdomen. It started about 5-6 months after the surgery. I notice it the most after cleaning my house, exercising, or eating a bigger meal than I should have. Typically I am pretty swollen by the time I go to bed. I look pregnant!! I have seen my plastic surgeon several times. About one year post surgery I was placed on neurontin, which is a med to help calm over active nerves. It didn't work. I was then placed on an oral 7-day steroid. That worked, but the relief was only temporary. So, then I had an MRI to see if I had developed a hernia.... I didn't have one. I was told to give healing a little more time. Once I hit 2 years post-op, I went back complaining to my surgeon that I was still having problems and it was painful and uncomfortable constantly. He thought that maybe the stitching from my bellybutton and up my abdominal wall just below my sternum may have stretched causing irritation and maybe that was the reason for the chronic swelling. I underwent another procedure. He reopened the scar around my bellybutton to keep the surgery less invasive. He restitched my abdominal wall. Needless to say, I am still having the same problem almost a year after that procedure.

I am constantly swollen. It's extremely uncomfortable and very unsightly. I am so frustrated because I am constantly in pain. It is also taking its toll on me mentally because I constantly look pregnant and I have to try and hide it. I spent $8,500 so I could stop having to hide my belly after having a child. Now I still have to hide it under over sized clothing. I am so frustrated and worried I may have to live like this forever and I am only 30. Help!!!!


I see several posts with the same condition that I have, Has anyone received a reply from a doctor or have any advise?
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hi am 7months post tummy tuck i have the same swelling problems really don't no what is causing it but i no that wen i get like this i massage with oil n peppermint and ginger tea has become my favorite it relieves the swelling and helps me pass lot of water. while its not a permanent fix its quick n lasting. Oh the tea bags can be found in in health food store. it taste good and makes u feel great
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superstar wrote:

@noriawill30. Have you had any success with finding out what was causing your abdominal swelling? I'm 3 1/2 years post tummy tuck and I still swell everyday. I'm frustrated and need answers!!! My doc is at a loss and I stopped seeing him over a year ago because he clearly can't help me. 


@ superstar no success yet...i have tried everything...im starting to think my dr cant help me either...doesnt make sense to look cute if we have to suffer on a daily basis lol
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Just adding my similar experiences with constant abdominal swelling 2years post op. I can actually feel a round ish ball right below my belly button. By the end of a day, I actually look 7 months pregnant. It is so humiliating to know that an elective, vain surgery that I choose, mutilated my body. After 3 kids my body was streched before surgery, but not alien looking. So bummed. I would appreciate ANY knowledgeable information about what could be causing this. So sorry for all you who are experiencing the same things.
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Im 4 years post tummy tuck and I have the same thing. Im wondering if its some type of auto-immune reaction to the sutures.

My upper belly swells right over from my belly button up. And Ive had sever uveitis (eye inflammation) since the procedure as well.

 

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@rsourlis. I'm am now 4 years post tummy tuck & lipo and I still swell everyday, especially right over the top of my belly button. I even had "corrective surgery" to re-suture the upper abdominal wall, but it didn't do anything but add more scar tissue. I think it has to do with scar tissue and my lymphatic system. I think that the scar tissue doesn't allow the natural body fluids to drain properly. If I eat a lot of sodium, it's worse. This is definitely not a normal reaction to surgery and I consider it a complication, but I've given up hope that it will ever get better.If you ever figure something out, please let me know. I'm uncomfortable EVERYDAY!
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I'm 8 months post op. At first, it looked amazing. But my upper abdomen started looking bigger...like I had a spare tire uner my rib cage. My belly button area and below is completely flat almost concave. I also have developed IBS. My surgeon says my intestinal area wasn't touched. I knew that!! But pulling everything so tight? That couldn't affect digestion or whatever? I'm in no pain at all...just looks odd and makes it near impossible to buy clothes. I had to wear a side zip dress and ended up in 14 to make it zip. I wear a size 8 pants. I'm not happy.
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I am seven years post tummy tuck and feel so bad. My abdomen looks swollen and I feel awful half the time. My right side gets swollen and hard making my clothes so uncomfortable. My doctor is no help. Of course, it was "nothing he did"! I get to feeling so bad that I have severe anxiety thinking that I am dying and they are overlooking the problem. I wish that I would have been made aware of these possible side effects before the surgery. I am so sorry that I spent money to be this miserable? Good luck to everyone!!
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sand2sun wrote:

I am seven years post tummy tuck and feel so bad. My abdomen looks swollen and I feel awful half the time. My right side gets swollen and hard making my clothes so uncomfortable. My doctor is no help. Of course, it was "nothing he did"! I get to feeling so bad that I have severe anxiety thinking that I am dying and they are overlooking the problem. I wish that I would have been made aware of these possible side effects before the surgery. I am so sorry that I spent money to be this miserable? Good luck to everyone!!


I am also seven years post tummy tuck and am having the same problem with the swelling above my belly button and on the right side as well. It is almost comforting to read your blogs because I thought I was the only one experiencing these weird sensations. No doctor I have spoken to about it understands what I'm going through or have an answer. Bummer that we're all in the same boat.
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sand2sun wrote:

I am seven years post tummy tuck and feel so bad. My abdomen looks swollen and I feel awful half the time. My right side gets swollen and hard making my clothes so uncomfortable. My doctor is no help. Of course, it was "nothing he did"! I get to feeling so bad that I have severe anxiety thinking that I am dying and they are overlooking the problem. I wish that I would have been made aware of these possible side effects before the surgery. I am so sorry that I spent money to be this miserable? Good luck to everyone!!


I am also 7 years post tummy tuck and have also had this annoying effect of being swollen right above my belly button and on my right side close to my right rib. After reading your post I started doing some research because I realized that this was a direct result of the tummy-tuck. All along I wasn't sure if it was or not. I want to share with you what I think it might be after doing a lot of gooling. Google these two things....pseudobursa and seroma which are two complications that can occur after a tummy tuck.  The seroma usually occurs first and then if left untreated you are dealing with a pseudobursa.   After reading about these two issues I THINK this is what our problem might be. Unfortunately, the cure doesn't seem easy but at least you can talk to your doctor about it. Let me know what you think. Thank you.
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