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Have large swollen, hard stomach. Hysterectomy done. Skin starting to sag. Is this caused by scarred tissue?

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Gastroenterologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1989
Answered : 883 Questions
I have a large swollen,hard stomack. I had a section birth with my 1st child when I was 22yrs old. When I was 34yrs old I had a hysterectomy. I was under weight for at least 12yrs,my height is 5ft8ins,and I weighed 8sts. When I turned 40,the weight finally started to go on and on,until I reached 15sts! As I am now much older,the skin is starting to sag,but I still have a stomack like a pregnant mother of 9mths. I was told by a physiotherapist,this problem was caused by scarred tissue, in your opinion, is this correct? Am I stuck with it till I die? Bending down is quite impossible.
Posted Tue, 28 Aug 2012 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 2 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
There are two possibilities regarding the enlarged or sagging abdomen.
1. If on straining like coughing ,sneezing or while doing any physical activity, if there is an increase in the size of the abdomen then it could be a incisional hernia.
In addition to this it will also cause discomfort especially after meals.
2. If none of the aforementioned features are seen or experienced then it is nothing but a fatty apron or obesity. The scar of previous surgery would have becomed stretched and thiined out.At this age it would be a bit difficult to get rid of this abdominal obesity in view of limited avenues for physical exercise or work out.
I hope this answers your querry.
With regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have large swollen, hard stomach. Hysterectomy done. Skin starting to sag. Is this caused by scarred tissue? 1 hour later
Thank you for your suggestions regarding my long standing problem. I have never noticed any difference in size of abdomen whilst straining. I am certainly not obese,never have been. The rest of the body is normal,that is why the abdomen is so obvious. I do understand that physical exercise at my age would be extremely difficult,however as I was 40yrs old when this became a problem,I exercised & worked out at that time,and continued to do for some considerable time,to no avail. That's when I was informed by a Physiotherapist that the problem had been caused by scarred tissue,and it would never go away,regardless of exercise! I was interested in a second opinion. Thank you for this.

Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 1 hour later
Thanks for the feedback.
The deposition of fat on the lower abdomen has nothing to do with the scar tissue.Fat deposition is hormonal change and at an advanced age is difficult to get rid off by physiological means.Surgically by liposuction it can be reduced if it is really indicated and is present in enormous proportions. Scarring in the skin and the underlying musculoaponeurotic structures at the site of previous surgery has nothing to do with fat deposition.
i hope this answers your querry.
With regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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