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.

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 130 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.

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

You were not a good candidate for full tummy tuck or mini tuck

I am looking at your before picture and try to find an indication for surgery and can not find one. You are not happy with the result because you were not a good candidate for full tummy tuck or mini tuck. You have some stretch marks on your lower abdomen ,but you were not a candidate for full tummy tuck. If you had extra skin ,your were a good candidate for floating the belly button and still that may help you with the pull on the belly button.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Full versus Mini Tummy Tuck

I think it would be important to see a more close up before picture.  Based on the before picture, it does not look like you need a tummy tuck, but on the after picture, I see stretch marks that would indicate that a tummy tuck procedure would be indicated.  Additionally, if you needed muscle / diastasis repair (which may not be evident in pictures), a full tummy tuck would be required.  I think it is very important to discuss your concerns with your surgeon to see where the misunderstanding happened between you two.  It is impossible for us to comment as none of us were there for those pre-op conversations.    Generally, I am not a fan of "mini" tucks expect in ideal candidates as the result from a full tuck is so much better in the general population.


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Fix for a mini tummy tuck

It is unfortunate that your procedure is less than expected. Your before picture would have been the envy of many. It is logical that a mini tummy tuck was the better fit, though your surgeon should have discussed this with you beforehand. Revision should be considered carefully, and only after a six to twelve month wait, to see how things settle out.

Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 36 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.