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Bulge In Lower Abdomen After Tummy Tuck

by Lyndon Langley
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Bulge In Lower Abdomen After Tummy Tuck

Bulge In Lower Abdomen After Tummy Tuck

You’re lying on your back, waiting anxiously to wake up from anesthesia so you can see what all those people who’ve been talking about your new look have been raving about. You open your eyes, and there it is — that’s right, your stomach has deflated like an old bicycle tire! What happened? Is this swelling normal or should you be concerned?
This is one common post-tummy question we hear often. It happens because patients take certain medications such as diuretics (water pills) which cause significant weight loss. This leads to fluid accumulation around the lower abdomen, causing the appearance of a bulge. The good news is that most of the time this will go away within 48 hours. If the patient was taking diuretic medication at home, however, then contact their doctor immediately.
Fluid accumulation anywhere in your body is called edema. Edema usually occurs when there’s either too much water inside the cells or not enough liquid moving through the tissues. Water builds up between the cells, eventually creating a collection space. As the excess water swells the cells, they push against each other creating more pressure in the spaces. When the pressure gets high enough, the walls become weaker and start to tear. Once the cell wall tears, the contents escape out into the surrounding tissue.
Edema can occur anywhere throughout the body where there are large collections of fluid. For example, edema can form beneath the skin, but if it grows deep enough, it becomes subcutaneous edema. Subcutaneous edema forms under the skin and appears as a lump or bump that may or may not be painful.
The type of edema formed during surgery depends upon how long the incision is left open. If the incision is small and closed quickly, the edema is superficial. Superficial edema is painless and easily treated with compresses or bandages. If the edema is caused by longer incisions, it’s deeper and requires medical attention. Deep edema is also known as seroma.
Seromas are slow-moving collections of fluid that develop underneath the surface of the skin, beginning just below the site of the surgical wound. They are generally painless unless they get infected. A seroma can appear days, weeks or months following surgery; however, most cases occur within the first three weeks. If a seroma does develop, watch for signs of redness, tenderness, warmth, pus drainage or increasing size over several days or weeks. Pain relievers, cold compresses or elevation of legs above the level of the heart can help relieve discomfort. Your surgeon will prescribe antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory medicine to fight infection.
Deep seromas require intervention before they spread to the underlying muscle and connective tissue layers. Left untreated, a growing seroma could result in scarring and fibrosis, which would make healing very difficult. Treatment options include aspiration, needle decompression and placement of a drain tube. Your surgeon may choose another approach depending on the severity of the problem.
Aspiration involves inserting a thin-gauge needle directly into the center of the swollen area and removing some of the fluid. With needle decompression, a catheter is inserted through the incision site and threaded down toward the bottom of the pocket created by the surgery. Fluid is removed slowly through the catheter until the swelling decreases. Drainage tubes are placed in the pockets created by the surgery to keep them clean and prevent further complications. These drains are kept in place until the wounds heal completely.
If you experience any increase in swelling or pain after your procedure, call your physician immediately. He or she will determine whether the condition warrants additional treatment.
Now that you know what to expect, read on to find out why you need a healthy diet after your tummy tuck.
After undergoing a tummy tuck, many women begin to notice changes in their menstrual cycles. Some report having periods that last twice as long while others complain of irregularities in frequency. Irregular bleeding is quite common after abdominoplasty, especially in women who undergo extensive liposuction. Many doctors recommend using birth control pills starting two weeks prior to surgery and continuing for six months after surgery. Women experiencing heavy menstruation preoperatively may want to consider reducing their intake of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids.
Tummy Tuck Diet Plan
A few simple dietary guidelines can improve your chances of having a successful outcome after a tummy tuck. Although the exact diet plan recommended varies according to individual needs, here are some general suggestions:
Eat smaller meals more frequently. Eating frequent small meals rather than 3 larger ones helps maintain proper digestion.
Avoid spicy foods or highly acidic beverages, particularly alcohol. Both contribute to gas formation.
Do not eat anything 6 hours before going to bed. Six hours is the maximum amount of time allowed.
Cut back on coffee and caffeinated drinks such as soda. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that interferes with sleep patterns. Coffee contains caffeine as well.
Exercise regularly. Exercise stimulates circulation and improves elimination. Avoid exercising right before bedtime, as it can delay sleep.
Limit salt consumption. Excess sodium causes bloating and water retention leading to the formation of edema.
Lose excess pounds. Obesity increases the risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Weight reduction reduces stress levels and lowers cholesterol.
Reduce your fat intake. Fat contains essential fatty acids needed for health. However, excessive saturated fats increase the risk of heart disease. Also, trans fats found in margarine and vegetable shortening promote rapid aging.
Maintain a regular eating pattern. Eat five times per day with moderate portions. Avoid skipping meals. Skipping meals slows metabolism and promotes overeating at subsequent meals.
Drink plenty of liquids. Drink 8 glasses of water daily. Do not drink alcoholic beverages. Alcohol dehydrates the body, making recovery more difficult.
Follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding smoking cessation. Smoking increases the possibility of lung problems and delays wound healing.
These tips are designed to aid your overall physical and emotional recovery. Consult your personal physician prior to adopting any specific dietary regimen.
Learn more useful information related to digestive disorders by visiting the links on the next page.
It takes a lot of energy to digest food. That’s why most adults eat four or five relatively small meals every 2 to 3 hours instead of fewer, bigger meals. Each meal should contain 50 percent protein, 20 percent carbohydrates, and 30 percent fat. Meals should be eaten approximately 4 hours apart. Eating frequent small meals keeps the flow of nutrients and waste products to the intestines constant.

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