The following post from our forum is from a women who had a tummy tuck 2-1/2 months ago and now her tummy has a hard lump the size of a baseball and she is wondering if this is normal or should she be concerned.

Date: 11/16/2011 Submitted by: MicheleLarge Lump In Belly After Tummy Tuck

Hi, Tanner!

I talked to you recently via email and you were very informative. I really appreciated your response and attention. I was wondering if I could get your opinion. My tummy tuck was 8/26/2011. I have a followup appointment this coming Monday, my doctor acts like it’s a big deal if I call. I will talk to her about my situation on Monday, but I still wanted to get your opinion if I could. You seem like a nice person!

Did you ever experience a large lump of hardness in the lower abdomen (mines below the belly button)? It’s about the size of a baseball. Do you think this is something that’s normal to experience during recovery of a tummy tuck? The hardness distends my tummy out and is really upsetting me. I feel alone on this because I don’t know anybody who’s had an abdominoplasty and my doctor acts like I’m going to sue her every time I have a question, very defensive. She didn’t take the drains out until 8 weeks. My fluid output was so high, they finally had to remove the last drain to lower risk of infection (150 cc per day). My point in mentioning this is because I don’t feel that the hardness I’m experiencing is fluid. It’s very hardened. If you have any experience with this I would appreciate if you could let me know so that I can ask the right questions.

Thank you soooooo much for your help!




Date: 11/16/2011 Submitted by: Tanner


Even though it is hard, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that your hard area may indeed be fluid. That seems to be a fairly normal occurrence especially in your case since you say your fluid output was so high.

I say this because:

During my recovery period, I think I remember a small hard area below my belly button (about the size and shape of two fingers stuck together). That was the same area that the surgeon later in one of my follow-up meetings drained out fluid with a syringe.
Here is correspondence with a women who had a Hard Protrusion Below Belly Button After Tummy Tuck. It turned out to be a collection of fluid.
In an unrelated incident, I had an accident when I was younger and the back of my leg developed a very large, black and blue colored lump on it. It was very hard. It turned out later that it too had to be drained of fluid. My point is, even though it is hard and doesn’t act or feel like a collection of fluid to the touch, it still may be fluid.
If surgical drains are removed before your body stops producing the drainage fluid (as in your case) the fluid has no place to go and will likely pool if your body can’t absorb it fast enough.

If your lump does turn out to be trapped fluid, your doctor may drain it with a syringe (sounds worse than it is) or let your body absorb it on it’s own, in which case it may take weeks or months for it to go away.

I don’t think there is much else you can do about it. Most likely it will just gradually fade away at such a slow rate you won’t even notice it.

Questions you may want to ask your surgeon.
– Is this lump characteristic of a collection of fluid?
– If so, how long does she think it will take to go away?

Good luck and let me know how it turns out. Also, do you mind if I post the pictures you attached. Your scars and healing seems to be going very well.



Tanner, O.k., so it IS possible it’s fluid. I really appreciate your thoughts on this, it makes me feel a lot better. Yes, you may post my pics, just don’t put my name, please. I’m shy. I started out at 216 lbs. I am now 185 lbs. I feel pregnant and get sharp pains and twitching in my abdomen. It literally feels like the my skin is stretched so tight, it’s difficult to take a deep breath. It’s been almost 3 months since surgery. I have a lump of fat collected just under the hair line. I hope that goes away, it looks pretty bad. I feel like my body is trying to explode out through my skin. Anyway, thanks for letting me know what you’ve been through and the questions to ask. Hope to talk to you again.