Will a Third Tummy Tuck Surgery Be Necessary?

On #1 abdominoplasty, I expected a full abdominoplasty w/MR, new belly button.. but all the surgeon did was pull everything down so my wrinkled belly button was still there but lower and I had a crevice between my belly button and my incision, looked like a butt crack in front. #2 surgery to fix the crevice and smooth it out but basically redid abdominoplasty w/MR. Stomach feels like my guts are crammed up under my breasts and sewed into place. At hysterectomy, GYN said I had metal staples in there?? When I have bloating, I bloat up under my breasts.

After two tummy tuck surgeries, it still doesn't feel right. Is there anything I can do to fix this?

Doctor Answers 23

Third Tummy Tuck: Unusual

The complexity of your situation can not be addressed without review of your prior operative reports and even discussion with your surgeon, as well as consultation with you and physical exam.

Sorry for your difficult experience.  Get the second (or third) opinion from a board certified plastic surgeon with a reputation for performing abdominoplasty.


Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

3rd tummy tuck would be unusual

It's unfortunate that your expectations were not met and/or the anticipated results were not made clear by your surgeon. You can end up with a small vertical incision between the belly button and the lower horizontal incision if you do not have enough skin that can be removed between the original belly button and the lower abdominal incision. Most surgeons will discuss this with you preoperatively, as another option is to "float" (or disconnect) the belly button stack and reattach it lower to avoid that vertical scar (that you called the "crack").

As far as feeling bloated up high under the breasts, that is probably due to the muscle plication or tightening that was done during the abdominoplasty. I cannot tell from your description, but if you are having an outward bulge, that is likely above the area that was tightened, so when you bloat its the easiest area to bulge. If the bulging is felt inside and not seen outwardly, it is a result from the amount of tightening that you had, which decreases the amount of room your intestines have to expand. If you are having problems now I would discuss them with your surgeon. In a situation such as this I also think it would be a good idea to find a board certified plastic surgeon for a second opinion. It is helpful if you obtain the operative reports from your surgeon to take with you to that visit. Best of  luck!

Anita Patel, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Functional and Aesthetic Issues- Quite Concerning

It’s unusual for patients to require a third abdominoplasty procedure.Your history is very concerning because you continue to have aesthetic concerns and now functional issues as well.
It’s virtually impossible to evaluate your aesthetic results without pictures or a physical examination.Your issue with bloating is probably related to the muscle plication, but again this requires an examination to fully evaluate.
This is a complicated problem that has aesthetic and functional components, for this reason it might be helpful to obtain a second opinion from a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in this area.This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

Revisionary Tummy tuck

Your case if very complex. You need to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in tummy tuck surgeries and who can show you results as well as discuss your options with you "confidently".  Really, you need someone to examine you - doing it online is not a good choice.

Looking for tummy tuck #3? Not the answer.

IT appears that you may need to undergo some muscle re-education and I would strongly encourage you to undertake a regimen of core strengthening exercises such as a Pilates type program.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Abdominoplasty satisfaction

Abdominoplasty is one of the most sought after surgeries in plastics with one of the highest rates of patient satisfaction.  The best odds of achieving a great result are at the time of the primary procedure.  When revision or secondary work is involved it is complicated by scarring and altered anatomy.  Thus, it is extremely difficult to achieve excellent results.  Nevertheless, there is still hope that you can achieve your goals.  It would be wise to seek the advice of one or many board certified plastic surgeons.  You have had multiple procedures, and, if another is necessary, the hope is, it will be your final one.  Ideally, you can take your time and find a physician to explain the options and, hopefully, create the results you seek.

Jason R. Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Fixing tummy tuck

Your situation is complex.  Whether or not it can be improved is impossible to answer online.  Seek several opinions from Board Certified Plastic Surgeons experienced in abdominoplasty.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

A third tummy tuck surgery is not typical.

You have had a very unfortunate series of events/surgeries.  From reading your information it sounds like your surgeon was to aware of what you wanted, and you were not aware of what your surgeon was planning.  It is very important to communicate well with your surgeon.  If for some reason this hasn't taken place on two occasions, you may want to seek another opinion to see if you can communicate better with another surgeon.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 171 reviews

Seek another opinion

It is impossible to tell what you might need to remedy your situation without a consultation in person.  But there may be options for you.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Tummy tuck revision

I am sorry to hear about your ordeal. It certainly sounds as though you had a "mini" tummy tuck first followed by an "full" abdominoplasty with muscle repair/plication second. With a muscle "repair" the goal is to return the rectus muscles to their youthful position (typically where they were before pregnancy). Care must be taken not to over-tighten the muscles. It sounds as though your issues are mainly with the plication. A revision is definitely possible and even a release of the muscle repair can be done. I agree with many of the surgeons responding that you may want to consult with another board certified plastic surgeon for a second opinion.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 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.