The following post from our forum is from a woman who had a tummy tuck then two weeks later had a heart attack followed by other complications. This is a true tummy tuck horror story.

Date: 12/30/2011 Submitted by: SuszanneHeart Attack After Tummy Tuck And Other Problems

I had my tummy tuck March 16th 2011. Things went great and I was home the day after my surgery. 2 weeks later, April 1st I had a heart attack and had to have open heart surgery. Done well with that surgery also. However, I formed a seroma pocket in my abdomen area. Woke up early one morning with fluid running down my leg and went to see my Dr. He took me back to surgery and opened me up and removed the pocket of fluid and put me on a wound vac. I had been reopened from the top of my incision to the very bottom and nearly all the way across from hip to hip. We alternated the wound vac with a packing of Dakins solution seems like every 9 to 10 days. I had to go back to surgery 2 more times to be cleaned of the pocket that kept forming. I do have terrible scarring and my belly button looks horrorible. I am post surgery 9 months and I still have problems with swelling. It does not occur everyday but there are days I can feel it swelling and by bed time sometimes I feel like I am going to bust. I still have to wear compression garments to help ease this. I do not know ho much longer this will go on. Do you have any idea on how long the pockets of fluid can last?

My Dr. has been great throughout this whole ordeal. He has called me to check on me to make sure things are okay.


Date: 12/30/2011 Submitted by: Tanner


Wow! When things go wrong they really go wrong.

Sorry to hear about your ordeal. That’s probably one of the longest and most complicated tummy tuck recovery stories that I have heard. I never even heard of a wound vac before so I looked it up. What a hassle.

I’m sorry but I don’t know how long the pockets of fluid can last. I’m sure your doctor would tell you if he knew.

On the positive side, you said the swelling does not occur every day. Hopefully it will become less frequent with each day then eventually disappear.

You probably already do these, but have you tried?
– taking frequent naps/rests (laying down) throughout the day?
– limiting exercise
– limiting salt intake
– there is a product called Capisette that is suppose to stop/reduce swelling. I have no idea if it really works but it might be worth a try (I would check with my doctor first though).
– taking vitamins and supplements that promote faster healing

Sorry I couldn’t help or answer your question.

Good luck with the rest of your recovery.


Supports Wound Healing

RESOURCE ARGINAID EXTRA Oral Supplement is an arginine-intensive drink with specialized nutrients to provide support during wound healing. It is a ready-to-serve, great-tasting oral supplement containing supplemental levels of L-arginine, zinc, and vitamins C and E to help promote the likelihood of wound healing. Provides calories and protein, as well as other essential nutrients required to protect and maintain lean muscle mass.