How to Fix Bad Tummy Tuck Result? (photo)

I thought I was getting a complete TT. Woke from surgery with what looks like a mini with a long scar. Doctor did lower muscle repair.I had 3 old laparoscopy scars at end of BB. Scar was level with my skin, hardly noticble.Im 3 months out. The skin is pulled tight n the lap scar is stuck buckled inward. Makes me look like my BB is 3 inch slit or I look like a stab victim. When i button my pants or lay on my side it looks like butt cheeks on my stomach.Not what I expected. How to fix? 5ft3 115lbs

Doctor Answers 16

How to Fix Bad Tummy Tuck Result?

Although your preop photo is taken from a distance, it does not look like you were much in need of a full tummy tuck.  In any event, did you sign a surgical consent for a full tummy tuck? Or just an unspecified "tummy tuck"?  In any event, wait until you are at least 6 months after surgery, discuss your issues with your plastic surgeon and ask if there was some reason accounting for this miscommunication between you and your surgeon, and consider a second opinion.

Fix for an Undesireable Tummy Tuck Result

It sounds like there was some miscommunication between you and your surgeon. On the other hand, your before photo suggests that you did not need, or were not a good candidate for a tummy tuck at all, except possibly some lower abdominal muscle tightening. The depression of the lap scar is a result of the tension on the skin in your lower abdomen. It will probably improve somewhat over time. It might be possible to revise in 6 months, but that probably won't make it much better.

MiniTT result

I personally can't imagine going to surgery with a plan to do a full tummy tuck and just doing a mini.  Even though your result isn't bad, you feel that you didn't get what you bargained for here and will always be more critical of the result than if you have wanted and expected a mini.  Ask your doctor what made him/her change the plan and give yourself a full 6 months of healing before considering any revisions.

Tummy Tuck Revisional Surgery

It’s apparent from your history that there’s been significant miscommunication between you and your surgeon.  Your pre-operative pictures suggest a relatively mild deformity that’s appropriately treated with a mini-abdominoplasty.  Although you’re not happy with your result, it’s still early in the post-operative course and tissue remodeling will occur as soft tissue swelling resolves.

It’s important to realize that secondary revisional surgery may be necessary with any cosmetic procedure.  When this situation arises, revision should not be under taken for at least six months following the original surgical procedure.  It’s essential that every effort be made to avoid miscommunication with your surgeon.  Utilizing this approach there’s a good chance that you will be happy with your surgical result.

Mini tuck and belly button

My preference would be to do a full tummy tuck but placing the belly button in a better place will be a real trick. .I would wait for 6-12 months then reconsider. By this time your skin would relax a bit more. . Mini tuck=mini results if the appropriate pt is not selected.

You will have to decide what you want to accomplish


Thank your for the question and photos.  If you were to get a full tummy tuck at this point the location of your current belly button would be somewhere between your current belly button location and the pubic bone.  This is the only way to lower the scar, tighten the abdominal wall, and rejuvenate the belly button.  This does not have to occur right away and waiting longer for full healing will only improve the final result should you choose to pursue a revision.  I would not be too concerned with having an extra small incision in the midline from your current belly button location being pulled down and closed.  If performed properly this can heal very well and is nearly invisible.  The link below shows exactly this in one of my patients who underwent a tummy tuck revision.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta 

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

Tummy Tuck Results?

Sorry to hear about the less than satisfactory results after tummy tucks surgery. Obviously, you and your plastic surgeon had some form of miscommunication.

I would suggest that you wait  as long as possible (one year. If possible)  to allow for  complete healing and resolution of swelling etc. At that point,  revisionary surgery options can be discussed. Seek a second  opinion if necessary ( even if for peace of mind).

Best wishes.

Muscle repair

It's a little hard to tell from your photos. The absence if a peri umbilical scar would suggest you had a mini.  This may have been done to avoid the scar around the belly button which can be visible in a two piece bathing suit. A mini tummy tuck can be converted to a full tummy tuck. You need to clarify the issue with your plastic surgeon.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tummy Tuck Revision

It's hard to tell from the pictures, but it appears that you will probably need a full tummy tuck to get rid of the issues that you don't like.  The best answer is to be evaluated by a board-certificied plastic surgeon and come up with a plan that will make you happy.

Dustin L. Reid, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Problems with Mini Tummy Tuck

From your photos - although it can be difficult to appreciate, your pre-op appearance did not look like it needed a full tummy tuck. However, a decision should be made between the MD and patient before surgery. Occasionally, situations arise that cause a surgeon to deviate plans in the best interest of the patient. I does appear that the scar is worsened in its appearance after the procedure, but it was present to some degree before surgery. Meet with your surgeon to discuss the options you have and to better understand his/her decision to deviate from the operative plan.

Best of luck,

Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.