Failed Tummy Tuck Or Adhesions?

I asked a question yesterday about a possible failed abdominoplasty, but I didn't give enough info. I am 10 years post-op from DS GBS. My weight has been around 135 for some time. I lost over 100 pounds and have had repeated history of adhesion removal. This stomach distention issue does not feel like adhesions. My TT was in Oct 2010. I have had several tests all inconclusive of what's causing the problem (CT scan, ultrasounds, colonoscopy) I don't smoke. What could this be? Pictures attached.

Doctor Answers 4

Failed Tummy Tuck Or Adhesions?

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I don't think this is related to adhesions.  The muscle wall can relax some after a tummy tuck.  This is best evaluated by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

For more information, please go to my website at:

Loosness after tummy tuck

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Many patients share you fate. After surgery , even when the recti are aproximated well, the belly wall bulges. Crunches usually help a lot, since the pain initially prohibts this excersize. Do some, and then see a board certified plastic surgeon if the belly wall is still loose.

Your tummy tuck

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It could be that your fascia was not tightened enough (as opposed to a failed tummy tuck).  Or it could be that your fascia could not be tightened any more.  If you live near by please call my office and come in for an examination.  Otherwise, get another opinion from a local plastic surgeon (before going in always check the before/after photos of the surgeon you are visiting to make sure you see what his work is like)

Tummy tuck surgery for fascial tightening - the limitations

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A tummy tuck tightens your existing fascia.  It does not completely replace your fascia.

Patients who have had large pregnancies or massive weight loss have stretched, damaged fascia.

While tummy tucks improve things greatly, patients should not realistically expect to have an absolutely flat stomach if their entire fascia is weak or ripped.  Mesh repairs can help in some patients, but the fact remains that in many patients, the fascia is too damaged to achieve a perfect result.

Consult with your plastic surgeon.  If the deep layer was carefully tightened from the pubic area to the breast bone (xiphoid), you may have achieved your maximal result. 

In that case your surgery does not constitute a failed tummy tuck if your abdomen bulges; but it may constitute a failed fascia.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 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.