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By: Dr. Leppink

Why do I have swelling above my Tummy Tuck incision line?

All patients have some swelling above their incision line after a Tummy Tuck. This is caused by the division of the lymphatic vessels that drain the abdominal skin and fat of the natural fluid that leaks out of our working muscles. Usually that fluid in the abdomen skin and fat drains by gravity into lymph nodes in the groin, but a Tummy Tuck incision cuts those drainage vessels, therefore fluid will accumulate above the incision. The good news is that the body will restore that normal drainage pattern, and the swelling above the incision will go away, but it may take months. Most patients report that in the morning their tummies look flat (fluid drains into their back when they are lying down) but when they are up during the day the swelling above the incision accumulates again.

This cycle occurs daily but will slowly become less over time. Please be patient and continue to check with your Plastic Surgeon to make sure that nothing else is happening.