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Swelling 1 Year After Tummy Tuck, Please Help

In Feb 2009, I had a full TT with a BA and lipo of...

In Feb 2009, I had a full TT with a BA and lipo of flanks. My doctor said I had almost no fat on my abdomen, just loose skin with stretchmarks.

I workout 5 days a week and am athletic. I runabout 16 miles a week , weight train 4 days a week and do high intensity cycling routines 2-3 times a week. I was small going into surgery, 5'5 1/2" 132 lbs, my size 27 jeans were a bit loose on me.

After surgery seemed to go pretty normal. Pain hurt but was bearable. I felt that I was recovering pretty quickly. I swelled very badly, but it seemed to dissipate within 3 or 4 weeks. I was back down to 132. I did notice my stretchmarks were all over my abdomen and the left flank is grossly uneven and has this big indentation in it. I decided to just be patient. I started doing mild workouts and gradually building back up to my norm.

Now here's where my problem is...Within a month my weight jumped up 15 lbs and my clothes were tight. I have this ugly swelling above my TT scar that makes me look like I'm pregnant or have a spare tire. My dr didnt seem to take this seriously and even joked that my implants only weigh about 3 lbs. I find this anything but funny considering the amount of time and effort I put into staying healthy and slim. I don't think I could gain 15 lbs in a month of eating fast food every other day, let alone eating healthy and working out the way I do. This weight and swelling have persisted up until present and I feel like it may never go away. The skin of my legs feels very tight and hurts and my legs look dimplier.

I amped up my workouts, cut things out of my diet, I drink a lot of water, I take vitamins. I try to wear this compression garment as much as possible even now, but it seems useless.

My stomach is looser and flabbier looking than before. When I sit or lean over it looks just like the before pictures. I still have all of my stretchmarks, the only difference is that they looked stretched, if that makes sense. My left hip looks awful.

I don't know what to do from here. I want to have my dr fix this, but at all of my appts he seems that he doesnt know what the problem is. He said that maybe I am just an "intense sweller". He keeps pushing this off 3 months here, 3 months there and now it's been a year with no change. I am embarrassed of how I look. I waited 13 years to be able to afford this surgery and have actually become depressed over this.

Any advice or thoughts would be GREATLY...

Any advice or thoughts would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
Name not provided

My doctor had no problem saying he needed to do a revision. He did it and I look and feel soooo much better.

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Do you mind sharing at least the initials of your doctor? I live in Virginia and I am very disatisfied with my results. Just wondering if it's the same guy. thanks.
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I am going through what you're going. It's been 3 months since my full TT and i still have loose skin.I talked to my surgeon and he thinks that i am being unfair. He said that i look great ant that there's nothing he can do.. I am going for second and third opinion. And you should too. We paid way too much money to not get the results we wanted to get. Talk to your surgeon again. Tell him that you're no happy with results and that you are getting second opinion. Good luck. Keep us posted. You can check my pics as well. Not happy at all..
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I think getting 2nd and 3rd opinions is a GREAT idea. I'm not a surgeon but it seems that he could've removed more skin. Maybe a revision would help to pull that scar down a smidge too. Your stomach shouldn't be the way it is when you are bent over. Your waistline looks great though. Don't be hard on yourself. I did that for almost a year and it's not worth it. You look great even with the trouble you're having. Have you tried silicone strips for your scar? They have worked so well for me...Rejuveness. In my situation, my doctor revised by doing vaser lipo and removing more skin. It almost eliminated that vertical scar and I look so much better. Now on to my outer thighs... lol
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Do you have updated pictures from revision? if you do can u post them? I need to talk to my surgeon again.
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I had revision surgery done on 2/9 by my original surgeon. I listened to my intuition and just felt it would be okay. I am very, very pleased with the outcome. My surgeon said it was scar tissue causing the bulging. It was just the way my body healed for some reason. He went in removed it, removed additional excess skin and did a little vaser lipo on my abdomen. I have had almost no swelling this time, no bruising whatsoever. I see no sign of that pooch forming and feel like I look the way I should. I just paid operating room and anesthesia fees...$800.
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That's great!!!! You desrve it! I may have that same issue. Thanks for all your posts, I really appreciate it. I will defintly look into getting a revision.
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You're very welcome. I know how upsetting this can be, so I'm so glad I could help you. You deserve a great out come as well.
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Well, I had a consultation w/my dr and he said that the reson why I am still swollen 6mths post op is because I am still healing. He then proceeded to tell me he would do lipo of my flanks ( he soposedly did this during the tt surgery)and he would throw in free lipo across my abdomen!! How rediculus!! I think I need a 2nd opinion.
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I will tell you from my experience that nothing changed for me after 6 months. The pooch was this still a pooch, it got no smaller. I had revision surgery 2/9 by the same surgeon. It has turned out so great. Almost no swelling and not one bruise. He said it was scar tissue, hardened fibrous connective tissue. He removed it, removed more skin and did vaser lipo to even out my left flank and a little on my abdomen. I look like I thought I would originally.
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Do not let that doctor give you a revision. You are/were a slim girl, your tt should have been a piece of cake for someone who knows what they are doing. It looks to me like excess skin hanging over your hip to hip scar a bit, with perhaps a small bit of fat deposit, rather than swelling. It also looks like your doctor stitched your belly button closed and left it there instead of it being cut out with the excess skin as it's usually done in tummy tucks. Please find another board certified p/s at a major hospital (even the chief of p/s) for second opinion. Do not let a doctor who could not do the right job the first time, work on you a second time. I wouldn't. My tt is so horrible (I am totally disfigured and look 100 times worse than before the surgery) and I am afraid to let any one else touch me as I am afraid they will make me worse. I am grateful to have my life, lets put it that way. Just be very careful with your body and do not trust anyone unless they are highly recommended and work at a major hospital in your city (or in my state such as NYU Medical Center, Weil Cornell, Columbia Presbyterian, etc...). God bless.
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I am so so sorry to hear about your experience. That scar is from my old bellybutton. I never really noticed that no one else has that. More frustration. The pouch is very hard and swells more throughout the day. My dr suggested it is scar tissue and another said a late developing seroma. I have a lot of thinking to do on this now. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me and for taking the time to read mine. God bless
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Don't be frustrated, you still look great to me. Since my surgery, I have done so much research and have seen several botched tt that your tt looks beautiful in comparison (even to mine!). It's a shame I did not do the research prior to surgery, but that's water under the bridge and we can not dwell on the past, but only go forward. Don't obsess over it otherwise it will take over your life and steal the joy out of so many other blessings God has given you (trust me, I have done this). In addition, obsessing over it could lead you to make another bad choice in doctors (and even worse results) in order to rush to fix what you don't like. Just pray that God leads you to the right board certified doctor (who has a great education; has done his residency/and worked at a top rate hospital; and has before/after pics with past patients willing to refer the doctor). Do your research, and take your time-do not rush into anything. Just to let you know that I am following my own advice and am going to a plastic surgeon and general surgeon at Mount Sinai Medical Center (top of the line hospital) in NYC tomorrow (the docs office has offered to ask past patients to talk to me). I have seen a liteny of doctors and have not felt confortable yet. We will see.
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Hello There is a problem, my first thoughts is that you have a late seroma, which have stretched your skin. It also seems you did not have a full tummy tuck. The vertical incision in the mid lower abdomen is where your belly button was??????????????? you seem to be different in the oictures the after pictures show swelling even in the flanks? Recommend strongly to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
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That was my thought exactly. My stretchmarks are in the same places and still above my bellyb utton. Yes, that vertical scar is the belly button scar. I don't see those in any "after" pictures. My dr suggested the "pooch" is scar tissue that has formed. It is very hard, not like adipose. He wants to do more lipo of my abdomen and flanks and remove more skin like what probably should've been done the first time.
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Are there supposed to be stretch marks like this left after the serg.? Please advise.
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For me, that's the million dollar question. I have them even after the revision, but my skin is tight. I don't think I had enough skin to make a big difference. Look at what you can reasonably pull away from your abdomen and see what's left. That's pretty much how it looks for me.
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I too had a flat tummy before my tt, and now my stomach looks exactly like yours. My strech marks are just streched out and I have a small pooch. If you get answers, please post them. My dr keeps shrugging me off too.
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Is the pooch hard to the touch and gets bigger with activity? Mine is hard and gets more swollen as the day goes on. A dr on here said it could be a late seroma. My dr says he believes it is scar tissue. I say prob scar tissue as a result of a seroma, but I am no dr. Make your dr acknowledge this before your 1 year is up. Mine was very understanding at my appt last week and readily admitted what needs to be revised.
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Hi there! I had my surgery revised on 2/9. All seems to be going very well so far. My swelling almost nothing and no bruising. My surgeon removed extra skin and did a little vaser lipo on that uneven area on my flank. I asked what the pooch was and he said scar tissue/fibrous connective tissue. Not fat (woohoo) just the way my body healed for some reason. There is hope!
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I had fulltummy tuck 17 months ago, I was please with the result as I was size 14 and i went down to size 10. just 10 month after the surgery my tummy start swelling up, I am now 17 months post op but my tummy looks like I never had tummy tuck, just like I am pregnant. my Dr did give me only one year insurance but i did not call him when i started to notice the change. I do not know what to do. I know how your feel, but i am planning to consider undoscopy tt
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I am so sorry you have to deal with this. It is so difficult to put the money out, have those hopes, go through the pain and then watch this happen to yourself. I workout like I am training for an event, but it does not help. Feels like I am running in place. Times are tough financially but maybe this 1 yr ins. happened thing for a reason. Maybe you shouldn't go back to that surgeon and this keeps you from doing so. I would get as many consultations as I could before making any decisions if I were you. Thanks so much for your reply.
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I had my surgery revised 2/9. I asked my dr what was going on in my abdomen and he said scar tissue. He removed it, removed more skin and did a little lipo. All looks well as of now. I was having a lot of digestive issues and think maybe that was causing it. Do you have anny issues like that?
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Could the swelling above the scar (looks like a pouch in front view pic) be from a seroma? I don't know what they look like. It's hard and nothing is making it go away. Also, my dr didn't use drains on me after I told him very seriously, that I tend to have issues with swelling.
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Hello, I am sorry to hear all the trouble you are having. You can tell from the pics that you are very fit and I can only imagine how frustrated you must be. One of the doctors that comments on here regularly, said that it borders on malpractice for a doc to not put in drains after a TT. I still have my drains in from my TT 2 weeks ago and knowing how much fluid actually drains out, I can't imagine having that trapped under the skin. It is amazing that it didn't cause even more problems for you. I know there are many complications that can arise from this procedure and many are not the Docs fault, but your doc seems to have made some serious mistakes and I would worry that he would make it worse with a revision. I hope all goes well for you in the end and you do still look great!
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Wow! You need a second opinion. I'd get that and then go back to my original doctor and demand a surgical revision. I had lost over 120 lbs and had over 20 lbs of skin removed. My stomach is flat as a board. I would be soooo upset if I were you. Stand up for yourself and go get this revised.
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