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Loose and wrinkled skin 3 weeks PO after mini tummy tuck. Is this normal? (photo)

3 weeks PO after a mini TT with lipo, muscle and hernia repairs. I have been wearing a compression garment 24 hours a day since the drain removal. PO I have a lot of loose, wrinkled skin and my BB is far worse than pre-op. I have been an emotional wreck and embarrassed that I even did this to my body. I consulted with 3 PS's before deciding on a mini TT. I was told that I was not a candidate for a full TT. I am 5'2", 115 pounds with three pregnancies. Should there be more improvement?

Doctor Answers (9)

Loose and wrinkled skin 3 weeks PO after mini tummy tuck. Is this normal?

+1
It's hard to make this determination from a photo.  In general, a mini (or modified) tummy tuck consists of the removal of some excess skin (and subcutaneous tissue) from below the belly button, usually with liposuction of the surrounding areas.  Muscle plication (actually, the plication of the diastasis recti) can be performed on the lower half of the abdomen but since you cannot get above the BB it may not be a good idea to do so. 

So the question is what exactly did you have done (not the name, but the components)?  Either way, three weeks is way too early to be overly concerned about the appearance since final healing takes many months.  But knowing precisely what was done will give a better idea of what you can expect throughout the recovery, and how long that process may take.

I hope that this helps and good luck,
Dr. E


New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Takes time to heal

+1
Your abdomen presents a 3 week picture.  You must be patient.  Wound healing takes a year.  Be very patient.  Healing always makes everything look nicer.  My Best, Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Poor results after tummy tuck

+1
The problem seems to be that underlying tissues (muscle) were tightened no skin was removed.  This will make loose skin appear looser and more wrinkled.  Even in a "mini" tuck skin should be removed.  Sometimes this requires leaving a small lower vertical scar from the belly button that is removed later.  You need to see a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who does a lot of tummy tucks and who is comfortable with revision surgery.

Daniel Greenwald, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

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Loose and wrinkled skin 3 weeks PO after mini tummy tuck. Is this normal?

+1
Not real sure what was done in surgery. Does not appear as a mini TT to me. Best to seek in person second opinions... 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Wrinkled Skin 3 Weeks Post Mini Tummy Tuck With Lipo

+1
Take a deep breath.  Things look completely normal for 3 weeks after surgery.  The wrinkling, dents, etc. will improve with time.

That being said, in my practice, I utilize post liposuction ultrasound (the kind physical therapists use for sore muscles).  This combined with DMSO, which is the world's best anti-inflammatory, speeds the natural healing process.  Both the DMSO and the ultrasound increase the local blood supply which will carry away injured fat cells, free fat, and early pre-scar tissue before any permanent scarring can occur. 

I completely understand your concern and I recommend talking to your plastic surgeon about which modalities he or she might recommend to speed the healing process.

S. Larry Schlesinger, MD, FACS
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 232 reviews

Three weeks is too early to evaluate the results of a mini tummy tuck, hernia repair and liposuction

+1
please do not be so concerned and alarmed at this early point in your recovery.  It is very early and I fully expect your result will improve with time.

The lumpiness is likely caused by the liposuction and gentle massage and lymphatic drainage should improve this a lot.

Please see her plastic surgeon and ask about massage and lymphatic drainage.  I do expect that you will improve significantly.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Give it time

+1
Just give it some time. I agree that you were not a candidate for a full tummy tuck and the swelling from the lipo takes a lot of time to resolve. Give it at least 3-6 months. I would also recommend trying some non invasive treatments such as lymphatic drainage and deep tissue massage. Be patient. Your results appear to be satisfactory. 

Itzhak Nir, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Tummy tuck results

+1
It can take 6-11 months for things to smooth out, for swelling to resolve, and for the scars to fade. The shape of the belly button will change as the swelling resolves, and you have a noticeable difference already, so just give it time.

Dana Goldberg, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Post operative result following tummy tuck

+1
Thank you for your question and please do not worry - it is VERY early days

As I am sure your plastic surgeon explained, it is quite normal to have lumpiness after this operation especially as you have had liposuction too. The skin will be a little wrinkly also - all normal.

Please do chat to your surgeon and I am sure they will allay your concerns. Many surgeons will also recommend some MLD at around about this stage too and this will help your swelling, lumpiness and skin changes.

Good luck

Paul Banwell, MBBS, FRCS
London Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 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.