My flanks are large after full TT with muscle repair. What can I do? (Photo)

Hello, I had a mommy makeover 8 weeks ago. I like my flat tummy, and new belly button, but am not happy with my love handles/flanks. No, I didn't have any liposuction with my TT, but felt I needed it. Granted, I do still have swelling, but I hoped for a smoother contour. I have already addressed this with my BC/PS and at my 16 week appoinment we will revisit. In your opinion, what is the best way to reduce the size of my love handles? It saddens me that I'm having this issue now.

Doctor Answers 8

Large Flanks Following Abdominoplasty

There should be no expectation that your flanks will look better following a tummy tuck unless you have the flanks treated as well.  As you state you likely have swelling so revisiting the issue with your surgeon after a few more months is appropriate.


Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Consider liposuction of the love handles at the time of tummy tuck

Your plastic surgeon addressed your abdominal wall laxity and excessive skin.  You probably have some swelling in the flanks.

The good news: the swelling in your flanks will resolve, and your flanks will look just as they did before surgery.
The bad news: your flanks may appear larger to you after surgery because your tummy is smaller in comparison.

My suggestion: wait about six months to a year to obtain a final result.  If you remain unhappy with your flanks, then undergo liposuction.  I anticipate good results with this procedure.  Good luck!

Ronald Friedman, MD
Plano Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

My flanks are large after full TT with muscle repair. What can I do?

Thank you for your question and series of photographs, and congratulations on your surgery as it looks as if you have obtained a nice result.  If your flanks have swelling from the tummy tuck portion of your procedure they should get smaller and flatten with time.  If, however, there is not much swelling present, then diet and exercise will be the best option to reduce them if you do not wish to have a liposuction procedure performed.  This soon out from surgery I would recommend allowing your results to mature for at least 6 months before entertaining the idea of a revision.  Hope this helps. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Body contouring with liposuction

Thank you for your pics and post.  Your PS gave you a very tight abdomen, and soon it may be time for further contouring.  Many people try to exercise the muscles just deep to the fat they want to reduce, but this really does not work.  Liposuction could give you an even better result.  I, personally like to combine lipo with my tummy tucks in patients who would benefit from this, but every surgeon is different.  Talk to your PS about the appropriate timing for your next procedure.  You've gotten a great result so far.  The lipo would be the "icing on the cake".  Best wishes.  

Large flanks after tummy tuck

Most of the time I combine flank liposuction with abdominoplasty. Sometimes we do it secondarily, especially if we want to also liposuction the lower abdomen as that can't be done aggressively at the same time as abdominoplasty. Discuss the plan with your plastic surgeon as to achieve a better contour I think liposuction of the flanks and maybe lower abdomen will help. 

Too soon to judge

It is quite possible that the love handles will go down in the next 8 weeks so for now, be patient. If you are still unhappy with your results, speak with your surgeon about options such as further liposuction in that area. 
My best,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian
@drsheilanazarian on Instagram

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

My flanks are large after full TT with muscle repair. What can I do?

Secondary surgery - LIPOSUCTION>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

2 months post op, some advices:

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.
At this point (2 months post-po) 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 fter 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. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

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.