Is this swelling or has my tummy tuck and muscle repair come undone? (Photo)

7 wks after my modified TT and MR w lipo, I have a revision bc the incision was leaking fluid. PS found a suture on my muscle that was irritating and the cause and removed it. He said "thankfully it wasn't the one continuous stitch that would've undone the MR" now 4 weeks after that I feel my stomach is protruding. Have the sutures unraveled, or is this swelling 4 wks later. My stomach muscles feel lax. If MR has failed, will I have to start over?

Doctor Answers 6

7 weeks post op, some advices:

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.

At this point with only 7 weeks post op, the swelling is normal.
To reduce it, I recommend you perform daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the abdomen and wear a postoperative girdle from thigh to the breasts.
If the after six months post-op, I recommend you send us your photos again, to give you more information about how we can solve this problem.

Kind regards,
Dr. Emma Mallol Cotes.-


Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Failure of muscle repair

In my experience, a more common cause of late contour irregularities after tummy tuck is a persistent seroma that gets walled off by scar tissue. This is called a pseudo bursa. The operating surgeon can certainly ascertain with physical examination whether or not the muscle closure is still intact. Similarly a quick ultrasound examination of the abdomen can tell it persistent fluid is there. I suggest following up with your plastic surgeon. Good luck.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Is this swelling or has my tummy tuck and muscle repair come undone? (Photo)

Only in person examination would allow a response. Seek second opinions from only boarded PSs in your area... 

Swelling or failure of muscle repair?

It is difficult to tell what is happening this early after operation. It is certainly possible that everything you're experiencing is just swelling after your operation. From the photos, I absolutely cannot tell if muscle repair has failed or not. My best advice is to have a frank and open discussion about it with your surgeon. It is critical that you seek the advice of a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of plastic surgery.

I wish you the best.

Joubin Gabbay, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Failure of muscle repair?

Thank you for your picture. I'm not really sure what a modified tummy tuck entails. The best way to determine if you have had a failure of your muscle care is only about physical examination and typically by the operating surgeon.

Tummy tuck and muscle repair come undone?

Thank you for your question and the photographs. This swelling could have different etiologies, such as seroma, hematoma, dehiscence of the fascial sutures, fatty deposit, etc. These complications can be "fixed" however it is not possible to make the correct diagnosis and recommendation without at least an in-person examination. Continue close follow up with your plastic surgeon as they are in the best position to evaluate and treat you in the post operative period. This will allow you and your surgeon the chance to further discuss your concerns and help allay any anxieties you may be experiencing. Best of luck.

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.