Need Advice Regarding Result from TT... Is This Normal? (photo)

Big difference from above my scar line than below. It's not "flush" but, indented. 12hrs post sx, my stomach was flat all the way to pubic region. Now,my stomach runs flat, hits scar, BIG indentation and runs flat again. I had an exam on4/24/13 and the PS just said I MAY have swelling, and that it may never be flat! I'm 5'6," 140lbs. I've seen much bigger women that have had better results! Looks awful under tight clothing. Crying at the thought this could be my end result? Will this smooth? :(

Doctor Answers 4

Tummy Contour Problems

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Thank you for your question.  The uneven nature of your result is likely due to two factors:  normal postop swelling and a discrepancy in thickness of fat between the upper part of the incision and the lower part. This can be addressed during surgery by trimming the sub-scarpas fat...fat below one of the fibrous layers of the fat.  This can be done safely without affecting the blood supply.  This is usually necessary to even out the planes in tummy tuck patients who have excess fat preop.   Once the swelling has resolved, and residual discrepancy can be corrected with some touch up liposuction. Discuss this matter with your surgeon.  All  the best.

Tummy Tuck swelling

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Thank you for your question and for the photos.

Since your tummy was flat 12 hours after surgery I believe this represents swelling this long after surgery. If in fact it was a difference in the thickness of fat that would have been present 12 hours after surgery.

Most patients will have swelling after a tummy tuck for at least 3 months.  At this point most but not of the swelling will have resolved.  The last bit of swelling usually takes another 3 - 6 months. Most patients feel there is less swelling in the morning and more as the day goes on especially in patients who are more active during the day.  I encourage patients to wear some type of compression for the first 6 weeks at least.  Many patients choose to wear it for longer until they feel the swelling has resolved completely. This will certainly vary from patient to patient.

Ralph R. Garramone, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Need Advice Regarding Result from TT... Is This Normal?

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Appears as below average result based upon poor pre operative planning. Best to seek in person second opinions. 

Need Advice Regarding Result from TT... Is This Normal?

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It is always difficult to comment on results when no preop photos are posted. Depending on the starting point this could look great, or mediocre. Also, I can't tell how far out you are from your surgery.

If this looked good at 12 hours before there was much selling, that augers a high expectation of a nice result resembling that. Has your surgeon considered the possibility of seroma, another common cause besides swelling. 

Swelling usually takes about 3 months to mostly resolve, and 6 t0 12 months to be completely gone. 

Follow with your surgeon, all the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle 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.