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Anterior surgery question...swelly belly??

TatiyanaTTatiyana Posts: 194
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had an ALIF (4 weeks out) and am wondering if anyone else had tummy swelling due to the inscision and for how long?
I guess I am hoping it is swelling & not weight gain ! :O

No way am I stepping on the scales =;



  • Hi! I had an ALIF on December 18th and my tummy is still very swollen. I haven't been able to eat very much since the surgery, so I don't think it is actual weight gain.

    I, too, am wondering when the swelling will go down!!
  • I had a little swelling about one inch in thickness around the perimeter of the incision but it got better. Now it's just numb and hard where the incision is at 6 1/2 months post op. It wasn't too swelled though. Not enough to be concerned that I remember. Is it red and swollen and hot? When do you have a follow up with doc?
  • unless I am wearing my jeans..it seems to get irritated from the waistband & button. The longer I wear jeans, it seems the more swollen it gets.
    This is my 5th surgery on my lower abdomin, so I know there has to be alot of scar tissue. I wonder if there is anything I can do to prevent more scar tissue from forming.. like massage?
  • My guess is that it is coming from gas,from the air that they put into you when they operate.Ask your Dr about it and if taking something (maybe something prescribed-or OTC) for the air bubbles/gas that can sometimes have a way of staying in there...might be helpful.
  • the scar tissue wouldn't give you inflammation.... scar tissue is pretty dense, and would most likely make your stomach lumpy or uneven, not so much swollen. BUT, only a month out, the swelling is normal. mine was swollen for probably.... almost 3 months. a lot of it depends on the position of the incision, each person's natural body healing, each person's skin elasticity, etc... i have terrible elasticity in my skin. it's seriously stretched out from having a 10 lb 9 oz baby at 16. my stomach is a mess. lol. anyway, i used heat sometimes, and ice other times, on my tummy, and eventually it went down. i still have issues with the muscles and the incision, but i can't complain.... the surgery definitely fixed what it was supposed to.

    i think with time you'll be alright (:
  • It is lumpy :| To the right of my inscision it sticks out just a little bit more.. hope that isn't permanent :|

    I am sure it is swelling, I just got back from a Walmart trip, when I put my jeans on I was fine & when I got home it was swollen & sore from the waistband.

    No biggie, I just wanted an idea of how long it may go on.

    Thx everyone! :D

  • It took several months for mine to disappear. One piece if advice I was given was to very gently massage the incision and belly with cream. It took several weeks but I was amazed how much that helped.
  • try the massage, I bet that will help w/ the scar tissue.

    Wow, one more thing to add to my daily routine..I feel so high maintenence right now! ;)
  • I still have problem sometimes with my jeans at 6 mos post op ALIF L5/S1. I wear sweats (i call them active wear to make me feel better) during the day unless I have to go out somewhere. I really don't like wearing my activewear in public. I do have some nice matching sets from areo that I love and will wear them out on occasion depending on pain level.
  • looks like I will be wearing those active wear suits too because i can't stand the way my jeans make my incision hurt and my belly swell ~X( .
    I better invest in some elastic waistband clothing.
  • I find that if I do wear jeans, they have to be stretch jeans. That seems to be a little bit more comfortable than regular jeans.
  • I saw my surgeon last week and he said the swelling and very sore belly is normal and is from them retracting the muscles. Mine is swollen mainly on the left and under my ribs (8" incision). My surgery was Nov. 29. He told me it would probably be about 6 more weeks.

    Check with your doctor if you get worried about it.
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