8wks After Tummy Tuck - Still Loose Skin!

My surgeon said he did not move the belly button to avoid necrosis- i had a large umbilical hernia as well. He sutured the diastasis, repaired the hernia, and, it looks to me, did NOT tighten the skin enough nor remove enough skin. I am not really bloated any more and I can grab a handful of skin both on the belly and certainly on the hips. What can you advise me?

Doctor Answers 13

Loose skin after tummy tuck

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Your post tummy tuck appearance could certainly be better.  If you had a mini tummy tuck, this was not the best procedure for you.  If however you did have a full tummy tuck with full plication, you may have had a less than optimal result due to other factors.

I will say this:  It is easy to criticize the work of others.  If in fact you had a fully tummy tuck with full fascial plication, it is possible that you simply had very weak fascia.  Every surgeon who has done this long enough has seen very puzzling cases such as those.  Patients on steroids, on immunosuppressives, etc. all have very poor healing and often stretch quickly. 

Sometimes revisional surgery, possibly with a mesh repair, may be necessary.  And in such a case, patients with underlying tissue weakness must adjust their expectations accordingly.

I would advise seeking the opinions of some top notch board certified surgeons who will ethically give you their opinions and best treatment options.  An examination of the records will be necessary to see what was done during your first surgery.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 191 reviews

Loose skin after abdominoplasty

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We are not privy to the discussions you had before surgery, but it looks like you had a modified abdominoplasty (I try never to use MINI). Sometimes doctors do that so they can do it under local anesthesia., but you would have been better off with a complete abdominoplasty, including an incision around the belly button. That would have allowed removal of all the excess skin. Even with that procedure, sometimes the skin relaxes and gives the impression you could have had more skin removed.  Regardless, I think one could still go back and convert your procedure to a complete abdominoplasty and you would be more satisfied with the result.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Minimal Results from Tumy Tuck

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You need to see 2 other surgeons and get an opinion.  You may have had a very conservative procedure but I do not know you health history.  Possibly your surgeon had good reason for a conservative procedure.  Yes, I would expect more impressive results from a tummy tuck but as I said, I do not have all the facts.  Make sure you opinions are from surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Happy Valentines.

Still loose after abdominoplasty

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You still have a lot of excess skin.  A full abdominoplasty with umbilical translocation would have tightened up your skin more.  I don't know why your surgeon chose this particular technique but he/she may have been worried about umbilical blood supply.   He/she may be able to tighten the skin some more using your existing incision or even do some tightening of the skin using a transverse incision under the breast, a so called reverse-abdominoplasty. 


Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D>

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Excess skin after abdominoplasty can be treated

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Hi 694173,

It looks to me like you could benefit from more skin removal.  You have a nice repair of the abdominal wall, with less bulging.  Discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon.  It is understandable that with a large umbilical hernia he/she was concerned about the blood supply to the umbilicus.  You certainly would not want your belly button skin to die because of lack of blood supply; that would be a real problem.  Ask your plastic surgeon to explain what can be done in several months to address the extra skin.  If the belly button stalk was not cut, a standard abdominoplasty skin excision can be performed; if the stalk was cut, you can have an umbilical float procedure. If your plastic surgeon is resistant to discussing your options, seek a second opinion and bring your operative report with you to the consultation.  Hope this helps.

Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Wrong Procedure for the Problem

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You had a mini-abdominoplasty when you needed at least a standard abdominoplasty if not an extended one.  The more skin you renmove vertically the the longer the incision has to be vertically to close smoothly.  Without an incision around your belly button the amount of pull you get on the skin above your belly button is decreased.  You did have an umbilical hernia and it is true that rarely a belly button will not survive, but that should have all been discussed prior to surgery.  There may have been some miscommunication.  Were you told/expecting a scar around your belly button?  If you were then you have reason to be disappointed.  Discuss this with your surgeon.  Perhaps he changed his plan at the time of surgery.  To get the results you want will requre a full abdominoplasty.  You should wait six months from your original surgery to  alllow your tissues to heal and the sweling to go completely away.  Consider getting other opinions, too.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Poor Results from Tummy Tuck

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If those are the "After" pictures that you are posting, you unfortunately had a poor result from your surgery.  It would be helpful if you could post your "Before" pictures as well.  Sometimes patient come in demanding  a "mini" tuck or a "very small" incision.  I spend countless time talking to patients so they avoid exactly the problem that you have.  By doing a "mini" tuck you end up with a minimal result.  At this point, you would suggest that you allow everything to heal and the tissues to settle for at least 6 months.  Then return for a full abdominoplasty with flank liposuction.  Alternatively, you could undergo aggressive liposuction to your entire abdomen and flanks and then see how much skin retraction you achieve.  However, just liposuction will not address the roundness to your abdomen.  

You have the potential for fantastic results in the right surgeon's hands.


Good Luck.

Mini or full tummy tuck?

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There is a definite improvement but I can see what you mean about still having redundant skin.  I think there will still be some swelling to subside and I tell people it takes 3 months before you start to get an idea of the final result and 6-18 months for things to really settle.

As the other surgeons have said, there is only so much you can do with a mini-tuck as the belly button remains attached and limits how much skin you can pull down.

I would give it some more time to settle before making any long-term decisions. 

Extra skin after a tummy tuck

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Your result appears to show redundancy of the skin.  If after this surgery you still have extra skin you may need some additional skin to be resected.  It appears that maybe your belly button was left intact.  If a mini tummy tuck (which is what we call this) is done on a person that should've gotten a full abdominoplasty then you will have this deformity.  Your board certified plastic surgeon may however have made this decision at his discretion under your particular circumstance.  Best wishes,

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Poor tummy tuck

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You should have had a great result from a properly done tummy tuck.. You need to find out what the doctor did because you look like you had a mini but really needed a full TT.  If it was a mini, you had the wrong surgery.  Are you sure you went to a real Board Certified Plastic Surgeon???

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