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What You Need to Know About Swelling After Tummy Tuck

Updated on September 3, 2016
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Trained in dentistry, Sree is currently studying lab sciences. She enjoys researching various health topics and writing about her findings.

Swelling after tummy tuck is the attempt of your body to protect itself right after the surgical procedure. At this point, your body aims to get rid of the harmful elements that may cause complications for numerous body systems. These include pathogens, irritants, and damaged cells. Once the body gets rid of this through swelling and inflammation, it may then start off with the entire healing process.

The initial stage of inflammation is typically referred to as the irritation phase.

After a certain period of time, this immediately turns to swelling and inflammation. These, in turn, are considered as the immediate healing processes. The inflammatory phase is usually followed by the discharge of pus. This is also known as suppuration.

What You Need to Know About Swelling After Tummy Tuck
What You Need to Know About Swelling After Tummy Tuck | Source

What follows next is the granulation phase. In this stage, there are formations of rounded and tiny masses of tissues in your tummy tuck wounds during the healing from swelling after tummy tuck. Inflammation is considered as a part of the complex biological response to numerous harmful stimuli. Without swelling and inflammation, your surgical wounds and infections will never heal.

There are numerous incidents related to swelling and inflammation that take place after you have undergone surgery.

Within a few minutes or a few seconds after you have gone under the knife, acute swelling after tummy tuck will start to take place. The damage may be caused by two main cases. One of the main causes is an immune response. The other is physical in nature.

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Acute Swelling After Tummy Tuck

There are at least three main processes that occur during and before this acute inflammation process. These are the following:

  • You can observe an increase in blood flow because of the dilation of arterioles near the incision site. Arterioles are the small branches of your arteries that lead to capillary systems. These supply blood to the area of incision.
  • Your capillaries on the area concerned become more permeable. This will enable the blood proteins and the fluids to move into your interstitial spaces. These are the spaces that you can find between your cells.
  • Some macrophages and neutrophils will most likely migrate out of your venules and capillaries. Venules are the small veins that serve as a bridge for the vein and the capillary. These move into the interstitial spaces. On the other hand, a neutrophil is a kind of white blood cell or granulocyte that is usually filled with small sacs. These small sacs contain a lot of enzymes that can help your body digest microorganisms properly. Macrophages are also considered as a kind of white blood cells that can ingest numerous types of foreign materials.

treatment techniques to help reduce swelling after tummy tuck
treatment techniques to help reduce swelling after tummy tuck | Source

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Experts have reported that your neutrophils are the first line of defense of your body after you have undergone tummy tuck surgery. These are the main types of cells that your body relies on to help protect you from most kinds of bacterial infections. The protective function of the neutrophils is essential in disrupting most types of inflammatory related disorders.

When a certain potentially irritating or harmful factor affects your abdominal region during the surgical procedure, there are numerous biological responses that the body does to get rid of it.

The symptoms and signs of swelling that you can see in acute inflammation show that your body is doing something to help it perform healing on itself. Inflammation does not readily translate to infection and swelling after tummy tuck. This is not always the case even if the infection has caused the inflammation. Infection is typically caused by a certain type of bacterium, fungus, or virus. On the other hand, the inflammation process is the response of your body to the entire procedure.

Inflammation and swelling right after the procedure can help your wounds heal faster.

Most of the people's quick response to an incident of swelling is to attempt to bring this down. Taking note that the inflammatory process is considered a vital part of your body's attempt to completely heal itself, you and your physician should be certain that your treatment techniques to help reduce swelling after tummy tuck are definitely necessary. In the long run, correct prescription of treatment regimens for inflammation and swelling will not slow down or undermine the entire healing process.

There are numerous types of medications that you may take to help you relieve some of the swelling and the inflammation right after your tummy tuck surgery.

Acetaminophen can aid in pain reduction related to inflammatory and swelling conditions. However, they do not possess anti-inflammatory effects. These are ideal if you only want to get rid of the pain while permitting the process of inflammation and swelling to run its course. Some examples of this medication are Tylenol and paracetamol.

infection and swelling after tummy tuck
infection and swelling after tummy tuck | Source

Experts views about swelling after tummy tuck

You may take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs to help you get rid of the pain caused by the inflammatory process. These can help counteract the cyclooxygenase or COX enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for synthesizing the prostaglandins that can create inflammation. If the synthesis of prostaglandins is blocked, you can either reduce or eliminate the pain that comes with it. Some good examples of NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. You are not recommended to take this medication without supervision of your physician because you have the risk of acquiring stomach ulcers and hemorrhage. Also, this can worsen the symptoms of asthma and can even cause kidney problems to emerge. NSAIDs, except aspirin, can increase your risks of having heart attacks and stroke.

Corticosteroids are a type of steroid hormones that are naturally produced in the outer portion of your adrenal gland. This region is also known as the cortex. Experts synthesize this substance in laboratories and eventually incorporated in medications. Similar to cortisol, they are anti-inflammatory in nature.

Experts in the field have recently found out that swelling after tummy tuck can help your body heal the damaged abdominal muscle tissues.

These experts findings apparently clash with how the athletes with inflammation are treated. Usually, most of the health professionals in different specializations will always attempt to control the inflammatory process to help encourage healing. This does not only apply to athletes but also to other people with acquired wounds. The experts expressed that their findings will most likely lead to new treatment approaches for muscle injuries right after the tummy tuck procedure.

In this light, experts expressed that the people who have undergone the tummy tuck surgical procedure should be monitored very closely when the physicians use treatment approaches to counteract inflammation and swelling. That way, you can make sure that the procedure will not entirely eliminate the benefits of inflammation that you can readily acquire.

The duration and the quality of your sleep patterns before the tummy tuck surgery can have an effect on the level of inflammation and swelling that you can get after the operation.

Researchers in the wound healing field have found out in their study that poor sleep quality and sleep deprivation can ready raise swelling and inflammation. This, in turn, can contribute in increasing your risks of acquiring stroke and heart disease. This is especially applicable to people who belong in the middle adulthood category.

These are just some of the things that you need to know regarding swelling after tummy tuck. If you have any other concerns that has anything to do with the inflammatory processes that take place after your surgery, you should immediately raise your concern to your physician and your surgeon. In the long run, this can help clear things up as soon as possible.


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