Did my surgeon botch my tummy tuck? Not take enough skin off, or is this normal? (Photos)

I had my tummy tuck with lower muscle repair just over 4 weeks ago. Since about 1 week post op, I noticed quite an overhang above the incision. My surgeon has told me it's because of the swelling... But this never changes!! Not even slightly!! And sometime during the day, I will have my skin squish together and my belly button looks like a line with the skin.. Is this normal for 4 weeks p/o? Or did he not take enough skin off?? I feel totally disgusting and hate the results so far.

Doctor Answers 4

Swelling after tummy tuck

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From the photographs I would have to agree with your surgeon, that you look still swollen. If you had a fair amount of Weight loss prior to your procedure, and the skin redundancy was only taken out horizontally, there still may be some excess that you can see in the vertical dimension. Without a T shaped scar, this vertical access cannot be addressed with a standard tummy tuck. It may take several months for the lymphatics and venous drainage to return such that the step off from the scar to the tissues below it is more flat. Ask your plastic surgeon about a compression garment. Good luck with your continued recovery.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Did my surgeon botch my tummy tuck? Not take enough skin off, or is this normal? (Photos)

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Thank you for your question and series of photographs and I am sorry that your results have not been what you anticipated. It is difficult without an in-person examination to determine what may be taking place. Most commonly this is residual swelling from surgery which will spontaneously resolve but it would be important to voice your concerns to your surgeon.  Tummy tuck results often take several months to reach your long-term results so I know it is difficult but allow your results more time to mature.  

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

Did my surgeon botch my tummy tuck? Not take enough skin off, or is this normal?

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Your results look normal for this time period and your surgeon is correct about the swelling. From your photos, I don't see that any additional skin is remaining that could have been removed. Be patient, it will take 4 to 6 months and sometimes up to 12 months for all of your swelling to subside.

Tummy tuck - hate the result at 4 weeks

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Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck.
  • Your surgeon is probably right - you are still swollen.
  • This can cause the overhang and the line in the middle of the tummy. 
  • You need to wait (usually) 3 months to see the improvement and 6 months to see the final result.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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.