Contour Irregularities On Belly After Mini Tuck and Lipo? (photo)

I am three weeks post-op of mini tuck with lipo above belly button and on flanks. I am obsessing about what I understand are called "contour irregularities". I have loose skin and uneven/crease/bumps above and around belly button. See photo...Would you consider this severe? I am on my 3rd ultrasound therapy treatment with one to go and no real improvement. I massage 2x per day with no real improvement. Should my belly button have been moved? Will this go away and if not what are my option?.

Doctor Answers 5

Contour Irregularities On Belly After Mini Tuck and Lipo?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Given the nature of the mini tummy tuck operation, it is doubtful that you will experience significant improvement of the upper abdominal wall even though you are only 3 weeks out of surgery.

For the benefit of patients considering mini tummy tuck surgery, inmy opinion, the mini tummy tuck is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.

For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.

I hope this helps.

Abdominal contour irregularity

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Thank you for the question and photos.  I suspect that most of the irregularities that are evident in the photos are from liposuction.  I would continue to massage and wait until the healing process has completed.  From the photos there still appears to be some fluid present as swelling. A combination of additional liposuction and fat gafting should help.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Liposuction Contour Irregularities/Mini Tummy Tuck

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If your plastic surgeon used traditional liposuction and if your physical therapist is using the appropriate settings on the ultrasound machine, then my educated guess after having done thousands of similar liposuctions is that your contour irregularities will go away with time and many more ultrasounds.  You can do up to 3 ultrasounds per week, and I would imagine you would need about 10 more ultrasounds to really see some improvement.  Unfortunately, if you had one of the laser type liposuctions, these irregularities may be longer lasting and may require surgery for correction. 

If the irregularities don't cure themselves with the simple treatments listed above, then in my practice, I would go back in, do an umbilical slide, break up the scar tissue that is holding the irregularities in place.  I wouldn't spend much time worrying about this at this point since it takes about 90 days to really see what is going on.  I am sure your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon already has Plan A for simple treatment and will be ready, as we all are, to do a corrective surgery if needed.  One way or another, this is a curable problem.

Contour Irregularities On Belly After Mini Tuck and lipo

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This is one of the issues with mini-TT is that there is no skin resection or tightening in the upper abdomen. Without seeing pre and post op photos it is a bit difficult to comment on these limited post-op photos, neither of which shows the entire abdomen. 

It is not unusual after liposuction to have areas of bumps and unevenness, much of which can be expected to improve over the course of months (at least six). 

Continuing with the current treatment, and follow up with your surgeon is key.

Thanks, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon


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3 weeks post-surgery it is too soon to see final results. If you are messaging the area to break down the scar tissue you’re doing one of your options. You should follow up with your PS to see what improvements can be made if any. You are still swollen it takes 6-9 months to see final results.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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