Tummy Tuck Redo to Fix Bulge and Belly Button?

I  had an umbilicus hernia repair with mesh along with diastasis recti repair. I feel that my stomach bulges in the area of the umbilicus, because perhaps the plastic surgeon didn't know how to suture the diastasis recti while strengthening stomach muscles in the area of the umbilicus hernia repair?

Additionally, my abs are very asymmetrical and lumpy. Do you still think that a revision tummy tuck or "component separation" surgery would be helpful here? Could it help make my abdomen look more normal? Do you think my belly button can ever be repaired? Thanks again for all your help.

Doctor Answers 14

Revision Tummy Tuck

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You really need to see a plastic surgeon to evaluate things.  It is very difficult to tell just by the photo what is exactly going on.  You may need some tests like a CT scan to look at thinks more close.

Good luck.

Redo tummy tuck

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Just by your picture and your story it is impossible to give a good answer. Cannot tell what components are causing the apparent bulge that the picture seems to show. Your best bet is to see your plastic surgeon or another one to have the whole siteation evaluated in person.

Re-repairing a tummy tuck

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It is possible that you could entirely redo the operation and inprove the result. The reason yours went wrong is either that you went to the wrong surgeon or that your body either has too much pressure within the abdominal cavity (ie you need to lose weight) or the tissues are particularly thin and can't stay tightened, or that you have a chronic cough, or that you didn't give your abdominal muscles a full 8 weeks to gain their healed strenght before stressing them. The answer lies in that list. Some of it you can control, some you can't.

Tummy Tuck Revision to Fix a Belly Button and Bulge

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Thank you for your question. It is impossible to tell whether the results of your surgery are adequate since you do not show any preoperative photos. A component separation surgery is a reconstructive surgery that uses a discrete dissection of all of the different parts of the abdominal wall and then attempts to reconstruct the abdominal wall using a rearrangement of those parts in an appropriate manner so as to effect a proper function of the abdominal wall. This technique is often used in clinical scenarios where the abdominal wall has lost its integrity. The use of mesh is also fairly routine in repairing an umbilical hernia. Oftentimes, in complicated situations an additional "biological" mesh is used. This is usually a "natural" material that is obtained from a cadaver animal (pig, cow, or even a deceased human) and is processed so as to eliminate all cells and antigenic elements. This makes the biological mesh biocompatible, which means that your body will not "reject" it, as it is not recognized as "non-self" by your body. The issue of the belly button should be secondary since what we are facing here is a difficult reconstructive problem, and cosmetic concerns should take a back seat in order of importance. It sounds like your situation is complex and should be handled by a Board-certified plastic surgeon. Hope this helps. Good luck and farewell.

Revisional Tummy Tuck Surgery

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Persistent abdominal bulges following abdminoplasty can occur for a variety of reasons.  When this situation arises a careful analysis of the problem is necessary before proceeding with revisional surgery.  Possible explanations include inadequate resection of excess skin, inadequate tightening of the muscles, persistent laxity of the muscles, intra-abdominal fat, residual subcutaneous fat and separation of the muscle repair.

Depending on the cause of the post-surgical abdominal bulge, revisional abdominoplasty may be indicated.  Under these circumstances the muscles can be tightened and excess skin removed.  In some cases weight loss may be more appropriate, while in other cases ancillary procedures such as liposuction may be indicated.

It’s virtually impossible to know what option is best for you without performing a physical examination.

Your pictures suggest tight abdominal skin in the presence of a significant abdominal bulge.  This might be secondary to an abnormality of the abdominal wall or increased intra-abdominal contents.  This can be evaluated by CT scan.

It’s important to get an opinion from a board certified plastic surgeon before proceeding with intervention.  Revisional surgery shouldn’t be undertaken for at least six months following the original procedure. 

Recurrent anterior abdominal wall laxity

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You did not mention how long ago your surgery was performed.  It does appear that you have a sizable abdominal bulge and more than just a small peri-umbilical hernia. If your abdominal fascia was extremely lax and of poor quality it is likely that you have a recurrence.  You need to be examined by a plastic surgeon to determine what needs to be repaired to flatten your abdomen.  


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A consulation with a board certified, reputable plastic surgeon is in order. Upon examination, the surgeon will be able to discuss your results and the next steps.

On Revision Of Tummy Tuck...

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Hi there-

Based on your complicated history and the photo you posted, I think it  is very important that you see a surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery for an evaluation.

It is possible that a revision of your tummy tuck would be helpful, but evaluation of your hernia and repair is imperative.

Tummy Tuck to fix Umbilicus

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You have an amazing amount of abdominal protrusion yet it is not indicative of a pseudoherniation from rectus diastasis. In fact from the picture it appears that you have very little muscle to the abdominal wall. Without muscular tone there is not much that a surgeon can do for you. You will need to start with a physical therapist first then eventually a trainer. You can achieve a good abdomen but now it is up to you not a surgical procedure. Your surgeons did the best they could with what they had to work with.

Redo Tummy Tuck

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From your photo it appears that either you have a recurrent hernia or depending on your height and weight that you may need to get closer to your ideal body weight before having any further surgery. Of course it is difficult to give a complete answer from a limited photo. I would highly recommend returning to your plastic surgeon and discuss your concerns and review your before and after photos to see how you have progressed. This is a complex issue and needs an in-person evaluation and discussion.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

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.