Botched Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I had a TT w/muscle repair done about 4 months ago, and after the first month I noticed a dark and wide dent in the upper part of my abs. When I went for my consultation they told me it was nothing and to come back in a few months. I made an appointment and the doctor said that this was my abs before and he did not have to sew up the upper part of my abs but only from a little above my navel and down were bad. But above that area is where the dent is. Is that muscle separation? My abs arent the same.

Doctor Answers 11

Tummy Tuck and Muscle Repair

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I think aside from that muscle separation that you see, you have an excellent tummy tuck result.  I would show these photos to your surgeon and discuss a revision with muscle repair all the way up.  Good luck.

Tummy Tuck Issues

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      If you did not have the separation of your abdominal muscles before surgery (I cannot tell from the preoperative picture), then there would have been no reason for your plastic surgeon to plicate the rectus fascia as the goal is to obtain anatomic norm, which you said you had.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Upper Abdominal Muscle Separation Show after Tummy Tuck

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The dent to which you refer is the separation of the upper rectus muscles which creates a valley between them. They can be improved by suturing them together but whether that is worth it as this point is doubtful. As you mentioned in your inquiry the muscles were not plicated this high and I am sure your surgeon had a good reason for not doing so. The muscle plication may be incomplete but your result is certainly not a 'botched' tummy tuck. This is a discussion that you need to have with your surgeon 

Not "Botched" Tummy Tuck

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It appears that there is a slight separation of your muscles which is causing that dent. It is slightly visible in the before pic. I wouldn't say that your tummy tuck was botched, as your results look great. You no longer have the large amount of excess skin and fat surrounding your belly button and hanging below it. Further surgery can correct this issue, however please consider the risks involved.

Upper muscle separation shows after tummy tuck

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Your tummy tuck result is very good, however you are right in that there is some separation of the muscles above the belly button which has become visible as you strengthen the abdomen. The fix is not a simple one as the muscle would need repair up to the chest.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Good result

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your result is good. It's not perfect, but NO ONE is perfect. We need to keep in mind realistic and reasonable goals. Comparing your before pic and your after pic looks like two completely different people. 


It may benefit from retightening of the muscles, but frankly, it's not worth the risks involved. 

Bennett Yang, MD

washington dc


Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Botched Tummy Tuck?

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Your issue is one of realistic expectation. The result is acceptable as compared to your before posted photo. Anymore surgery would be a large risk. 

Reasonable Tummy Tuck Result

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You have a very nice tummy tuck result.  You procedure is by no means a botched job.  Discuss your concerns further with your surgeon regarding the plication.

Tightening of Abdominal muscles with a tummy tuck in Los Angeles

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Unlike your surgeon I routinely repair and bring together the two rectus abdominal muscles from the very top to the bottom. This not only re-estabilshes the integrity of the abdominal wall but also avoid seeing the separation of the abdominal muslces in the upper abdomen. Unfortunately, the upper abdominal bulg can get worse with time and exercises, unless it is corrected.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

“Botched" Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

 Based on your description of events  and your pictures, I think that the “dent” that you see is related to residual “spreading” of the abdominal wall muscles along your upper abdominal wall (diastasis).  Correction would involve suture “repair” of this separation.

 I would suggest that you communicate your concerns in a calm/constructive fashion with your surgeon.  Ultimately, you'll need to weigh the concerns you have with the appearance of your abdominal wall against the pros/cons associated with additional surgery.

 Best wishes.

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.