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Distended stomach after appendicitis surgery, liquid filled. Something went wrong during surgery?

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Oncologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 576 Questions
Hi. I never had issues with my stomach, it used to be flat before I had a child, and not so prominent after I had the child.

But when I had the apendicitis surgery, the region around bellybutton got very distented, it's like filled with some kind liquid or air inside. When I make some pressure with my fingers and I release it, it pops back to where it was imediatelly (like pushing an air ballon, which doesn't happen with other body parts like breat or legs that comes back softly).

I wonder If this surgery let some liquid or air inside that wasn't supposed to be there. Because of that, my pants got tight around the abs. I didn't gain weight, it's just the abs that are like an air balloon, this bothers me, it pushes the tshirts out.

About a year after the surgery, I tried working out on steps for around 6 months, i even gained some muscles on abs ( as I didn't have much fat to lose ), but the damm inflated air balloon didn't go away.

Can you tell me if it's related to the surgery, maybe it's something wrong the doctors did? I have lot of gases after surgery, which i think is normal, as they opened it out to remove the apendice and wash inside ( the apendice was big and black, almost exploded ). But I didn't expect to have a bloated belly until now...

Can it be fixed ? What could have caused this ?


Posted Tue, 11 Sep 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Rohan Khandelwal 28 minutes later
Dear Maam,

I can see that you are very concerned about your condition and it is affecting your daily activities. By the description, it seems that you have an incisional hernia which has developed after the surgery. It is not air or fluid which has accumulated but because of the weakness/ absence of muscles in that area, you have developed a hernia.
My advise to you would be to visit a surgeon and have your condition examined by him as this can increase in size in the future and also cause problems like bowel obstruction. If it indeed turns out to be an incisional hernia, then the only option is surgery (which can be done by an open method or laparoscopically). In the meantime, you can wear an abdominal binder (belt) while working so that this bulge does not appear.

I hope I have answered your query. Feel free to clarify further.
Hope you get well soon.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Distended stomach after appendicitis surgery, liquid filled. Something went wrong during surgery? 20 minutes later
But what an hernia is? Liquid acumulated ? It doesn't hurt, wasn't hernia supposed to be painfull ?

I know that hernia from the bones, where one vertebra compress another, and it forms an hernia in the middle.

Is it another kind of hernia ?

Follow-up: Distended stomach after appendicitis surgery, liquid filled. Something went wrong during surgery? 30 minutes later
I'm seeing hernia pictures from google, and all of theem seem a specific area with problem. My abs doesn't hurt and are not bloated on specific area, it's the entire abs that got rounded and bloated, like if i were 5 months pregnant ( which i'm not ).

Does it still can be a type of hernia ?
Follow-up: Distended stomach after appendicitis surgery, liquid filled. Something went wrong during surgery? 23 minutes later
Also, I read about a thing called seroma. Is it possible that this is the case ?

This is how my abs look like ( it's not be, but quite similar )

Answered by Dr. Rohan Khandelwal 26 hours later
Dear maam,

A seroma or fluid collection does not persist for 4 years after surgery. It is a problem which manifests in the immediate post-operative period.
An incisional hernia develops in the region of the scar or close to it and is only painful if there is a complication associated with it.
It is difficult to identify an incisional hernia on a picture unless it is very evident. My sincere request to you would be to visit a surgeon and get it evaluated.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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