Is It Safe to Have a Tummy Tuck Revision After 3.5 Months?

Had a tt Feb2010 and the upper muscle never tightened - suture broke?? (it never looked flat). My lower ab looks okay, but upper ab is now 4 inches larger than preop size. Surgeon wants to fix in office next week. 1st surgery done @hospital. I'm nervous-I have lost confidence -2nd I am only 3.5 months out from 1st surgery and 3rd it'll be performed in a doc's office with numbing shots and a Valium. doc assures me that this is okay to do and safe - I'm not as sure. jitters or is this a bad idea? thank you

Doctor Answers 4

Timing and Anesthesia for Tummy Tuck Revision

Hi there-

Wow- I would have to say I agree with you that there is reason for concern....

It may be that your surgeon is trying to make you happy be offering to proceed so soon, but I would recommend waiting at least another month or two to allow the tissues to soften completely before proceeding.

Once you ARE ready to proceed, the procedure going to require repeat repair of your upper abdominal muscles- this would be very painful and stressful under local, even with Valium. The pain and stress are likely to cause you to move and express pain- both of which will make it harder for your surgeon to do his/her best work for you.

Even though there may be some added expenses for you, I would recommend having anesthesia for this procedure.

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Wait more time for revision

I share some of your concerns.  I would wait longer than 3 1/2 months.  I don't understand how the upper abdomen in 4 inches larger than pre-op; that seems almost impossible.  Did you or the surgeon actually measure it?  What type of suture did the surgeon use to repair the muscle-was it interrupted or running sutures?  What does the surgeon say is the reason for this and what exactly is the surgeon going to do to repair it?  The cause must be known before the plan can be made to fix the problem.  Why is it being done in the office-to save money?  If the muscle needs to be repaired, in my opinion you need general anesthesia and I assume the surgeon does not have general anesthesia facilities in the office.  I don't believe in short cuts to save money.  Some things are worth the cost-like your safety and health and a satisfactory surgical result.  I also agree-if you have doubts, trust your instinct.  There is no downside to waiting and doing more investigation.  Yes you have to deal with your distress over the result for a little longer, but that is temporary.  Rushing in could make things worse.  Hope this helps.

Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS

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

a tummy tuck revision after 3.5 months

Yes, it is ok to fix now but only in a operating setting under general anesthesia. Be careful if your surgeon is cutting corners at your safety.


Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Tummy Tuck Upper Tummy Revision in Office - NOT a great Idea

You justifiably hear a whole lot of inside alarm bells : "I'm nervous-I have lost confidence -... I'm not as sure. this a bad idea? ". YOU ARE RIGHT.

It would be much better to re-operate on you once the tissues have softened and all surgical inflammation has subsided. This is usually seen at 6-8 months after surgery.

As regards having surgery in the office - to quote the American Society of Plastic Surgeons - "It is the position of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Inc. that plastic surgery performed under anesthesia, other than minor local anesthesia and/or minimal oral tranquilization, must be performed in a surgical facility that meets at least one of the following criteria:

- Accredited by a national or state recognized accrediting agency/organization such as the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care or the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations
- Certified to participate in the Medicare program under Title XVIII
- Licensed by the state in which the facility is located
. "

Having the surgery done in the office is intended to save you the costs associated with a procedure in the OR. From your description, I am not sure how your surgeon intends to reach the upper abdomen and re-stitch the ? disrupted muscle repair. The options are either through the umbilicus which would be very challenging and hard to see or by re-opening the Tummy Tuck incision which would be extensive. Are you sure that some (/10mg) of Valium and a few shots of local anesthesia would be sufficient?

I think you are justified to be concerned and I would get at least one other opinion before seriously considering it.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

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