Stomach not flat after Tummy Tuck? (Photos)

I am almost 2 mos out from umbi float TT w/ hernia/MR. Before surgery, i was very fit/athletic but had a huge diastasis that made me look pregnant. When i feel for diastasis now, i can feel the sides of my muscles come together as i crunch up (similar to before, though not as severe). Is that normal? Shouldnt they be together before i crunch up? My PS says i need to do core work to get a flat stomach. I was under the impression that's what i was paying him for. Should i seek a 2nd opinion?

Doctor Answers 9

Tummy tuck to repair diastasis rectus

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It appears you continue to have a diastasis with laxity of your abdominal wall. I generally recommend Seri mesh for patients with severe diastasis such as yours. This method helps prevent recurrent laxity. You will need a second procedure with fascial tightening, mesh, and more skin removal.

Possible need for extra support

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I am sorry that your results do not live up to your expectations. I would assume that your board certified plastic surgeon repaired the diastesis but you have weak fascia and may require extra support using mesh. Your results will not get much better but wait at least 3 months before revision 

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Stomach not flat after TT?

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Thank you for sharing your question and photographs.  I see your areas of concern, and though nothing replaces an in-person examination, it appears that your abdominal muscles were not appropriately tightened at the time of surgery to fully correct your diastasis along the full length of your stomach.  Unfortunately only a surgical correction can improve upon your results. Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Stomach Not Flat 2 Months Post-Op

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Most patients will be placed in an abdominal binder, which they will wear the first week. There is usually a fair amount of swelling and the binder should be opened several times a day so that there are no pressure points. After the first 7 to 10 days the patient is placed in an elastic garment for compression over the next six weeks.

Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area and the scrotal and penis area for men can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

Now, considering the fact that this is likely just continued swelling that takes a while to reach the full and complete healing and final results, there should not really be anything to worry about. But, if you are worried that this is not swelling then you should definitely contact your surgeon for a visit to have the area examined for proper healing. Good luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Tummy tuck

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The details of the procedure should be discussed with your plastic surgeon on follow up exam. It is difficult to tell from photos if bulging is from swelling and/or diastasis. Close follow up with your plastic surgeon is recommended during the healing process.

Underdone tummy tuck?

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On your photo I see a lot of skin laxity but I cant tell if you are "crunching" or flexing your torso at the time of the photo which is why you need to be examined in person. I see a well defined muscle contour thought. An in person examination will also determine ongoing rectus diastasis or even hernia.

Tummy tuck results

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Sorry your unhappy with the results. 2 months after surgery a significant amount of swelling remains but the contour of your abdomen should be flatter than where you were before assuming a rectus plication was performed. That being said it sounds like you needed a hernia repair simultaneously which complicates this picture. It's never a bad idea to seek a second Opinnion. It can help clarify your questions.


David Shifrin, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Tummy tuck

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At two months out you are probably still a bit swollen. I would give it 6 months or so then re-evalaute. Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tummy Tuck, muscle repair

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After muscle repair most surgeons have you wait 6 weeks before core exercise.  Since you are only 2 months out, you have not strengthened the muscles that have become weak from disuse.  Core strengthening at this point should get you to where you want to be, muscle repair alone doesn't fix an abdomen like yours.  Repair to get the muscles in the right position is the surgeon's job,   strengthening the muscles is yours!  Hopefully this helps.  

William Koenig, MD
Rochester Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 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.