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Swelly Belly vs. Weight Gain.. How would we know the difference? Swelly Belly vs. Weight Gain.. How would we know the difference?

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Unread 02-29-2008, 12:16 PM
Swelly Belly vs. Weight Gain.. How would we know the difference?

Ok. I've read all the posts regarding swelly belly and this is probably the same thing, but I'm SO tired of my swollen stomach and starting to wonder if it is something else. What part of the body is swelly belly affecting you all in? Just above my incision (TAH/BSO 2/6/08) I have a swollen section that I suspect is where muscles were sewn back together. I completely understand that. What I don't get is the swelling everywhere else. I swear I am swollen from my ribs to my hip bones. I'm wearing men's large pants and even those are uncomfortable! I went back to work part time on Monday and have had to resort to wearing running pants b/c nothing else fits. (thank goodness I work in a casual office!)

So today I started thinking: what if this isn't swelly belly? What if I'm eating more since I've been home in the afternoons and I'm gaining weight? Prior to the surgery I hit the gym several times a week and of course I can't do that now. My boyfriend thinks it is just swelling, but I'm not sure how to tell the difference between swelling and weight gain. Please help and tell me where your swelling is and how you are coping (other than different clothes!). I really appreciate your feedback!

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Unread 02-29-2008, 12:29 PM
Swelly Belly vs. Weight Gain.. How would we know the difference?

Well, the scale helps...and also, how do your clothes fit on your breasts, arms and legs?
I haven't weighed myself morning and evening but someone said their weight really varied between the two. What I do know is that my stomach is flatter in the morning and swollen in the afternoon/evening--I think the morning is what I will look like when the swelly belly is resolved.
But heck, what do I know, I'monly 3 weeks post op.
Unread 02-29-2008, 12:35 PM
Swelly Belly vs. Weight Gain.. How would we know the difference?

Hi Kelly - first, you should know that your stomache muscles were not cut - they were stretched aside with a tool that holds them apart so that the docs can get in there and do their work. Once opened up, they use packing cloths to absorb blood and keep your other organs out of the way. Your intestines were handled and moved around... your bladder was repositioned... and the female organs that brought you to this place were removed. Is it any wonder we have swelling from the ribs down?

You should also know that swelly belly can last for months for some women. My surgery was 12/6/2007 and my belly is still swollen - more so after I've been active. We just have to be patient and try not to over do it so that our bodies can heal properly. My doctor said that even when it seems that our incision seems to be healing well, we will not be 100% healed for up to a year (or more if you have complications).

Hang in there and try not to be too hard on yourself! We WILL feel better! I just know it!

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Unread 02-29-2008, 12:53 PM
Swelly Belly vs. Weight Gain.. How would we know the difference?

I've been wondering about this too, as I had no swelling for the first 4 wks or so, and now that I'm at 7, I do! Obviously I am more active now but I also went to Florida for week 4 to 5 and was trying to figure out if I'd gained that much weight on vacation! I agree, what you see in the AM is what you get. I hope this goes away by bathing suit season!

Unread 02-29-2008, 01:06 PM
Swelly Belly vs. Weight Gain.. How would we know the difference?

Has anybody else gained weight that you can't explain? I am 11 weeks post op and still have way swelly belly. It's swollen above and below belly button and extends out to hips. But the thing is, I've gained 10 lbs since my surgery and don't understand where it went. I don't look any different than before surgery and my clothes fit the same. Belly is a little bigger but not 10 lbs worth? I've been dieting for the last month and really working out hard. It seems like the more I work out, the more weight I gain. What is going on? I never had a weight problem before surgery and weighed 125 lbs for 5 years prior.
Unread 02-29-2008, 03:11 PM
Swelly Belly vs. Weight Gain.. How would we know the difference?

I'm also wondering, since everyone says that the swelly belly gets bigger after you exercise--does exercise help yhou heal, or make it take longer? Does anyone know? I would prefer to get back into the swing of exercise....but not if its going to make my belly stick around longer. And I wonder if some exercises are better than others--like it seems logical that swimming might be less traumatic than running, but I wonder if that really works?
I could certainly switch to swimming for 6 months if that is what it took to heal properly(Heck I was swimming 2x a week anyway...) But I would like to really know...
Unread 03-01-2008, 12:26 PM
Swelly Belly vs. Weight Gain.. How would we know the difference?

Thanks, ladies. Today was another day where I started out with a flat stomach and many hours later I am puffed up like a watermelon! Hopefully time and rest will help. My five year old has the flu and my six year old has a bday party tomorrow (for one of his school friends). I'm trying to rest as much as possible, but the swelling definitely is greater when I'm active. I keep reminding myself to be patient (not something I'm good at!), and reading all of your posts helps tremendously. Thank you again!
Unread 03-01-2008, 01:38 PM
Swelly Belly vs. Weight Gain.. How would we know the difference?

Please make sure you aren't lifting things for the party or straining to take care of your sick 5 yr. ol.d ... We have weight restrictions in place for a reason.. You only have one chance to heal correctly....
I am 4 wks out and I have swelling from belly button down.. but I had vertical incision and they did cut through all the muscles on me.
Unread 03-01-2008, 01:48 PM
Swelly Belly vs. Weight Gain.. How would we know the difference?

I am almost six weeks out and I still have swelling above my incision. It's much better than it was when I left the hospital, but my stomach still looks kind of weird. I can wear my regular clothes, and the swelling doesn't really show when I'm dressed.
I don't seem to be any more swollen at any point in the day. Yesterday, I did my first "real" workout since my surgery (with my doctor's full approval). I did 40 minutes of moderate cardio and floor work, which included some VERY LIGHT ab work. I took motrin after, as a precautionary measure, but I did not notice any extra sweliing after exercise. I have been encouraged to exercise, and this is something that has been a big part of my life for many years.
I know this isn't weight gain, because I've actually lost weight since my surgery...not much, maybe 5 pounds. I only weigh myself in the mornings. Before my surgery I found that my weight would fluctuate several pounds during the day, so I make it a habit never to weigh myself after 10 AM. I'm not sure what the reason for the weight loss is...I think I'm eating just as much as I was before. My dr. said it could take up to 12 weeks for my stomach to look "normal" again. Ugh.
Unread 03-01-2008, 02:16 PM
Swelly Belly vs. Weight Gain.. How would we know the difference?

It's been four months since I had my surgery (TAH 10/23/07 )and now I feel comfortable in my jeans. I have had a bad swelly Belly but everyday it gets better.Since I started going to the gym (in January) it improved alot.I am still not the way I was before but I am getting there.
I wish you good luck

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