Plus size with what I thought was suppose to be a tummy tuck? (Photos)

i weighed 220 and 5'4 time of surgery. Didn't see a difference when i woke up. Went home same day. I paid for a full tummy tuck and seem like i had a panniculectomy done. I was able to stand up straight after surgery, no contouring and doesn't feel my muscle was tightened. Everyone looks so different after their tummy tuck including the plus size women. I'm not saying i want a wash board stomach, just want a flatter belly from before. I still have a huge belly. Will this go done or am i stuck?

Doctor Answers 3

It looks like you had a tummy tuck

Hi,Thank you so much for your inquiry. I'm sorry you're feeling let down. Surgery is a huge undertaking, and can be a roller coaster of emotions.It's hard to tell from your photos, but if you have an incision around your belly button, you probably had a tummy tuck rather than a panniculectomy.  When a panniculectomy is performed, the surgeon excises just the apron of tissue that hangs over the lower abdomen. The belly button is not addressed, the tissue superior to the belly button is unchanged, and the muscle is not tightened. It's a good surgery for patients who have skin rashes in that area, difficulty with clothes fitting properly and exercising, but who are not great candidates for a full abdominoplasty because their risks of complications are too high. Some of the fullness that you see now after surgery is from internal fat (fat deep to the abdominal wall muscles) that cannot be removed with surgery. You also have some swelling of the soft tissue. But you have a big improvement! Sometimes it's helpful to look at this type of surgery as a jumpstart, a way to feel more confident, and be inspired to work out and eat even better than before. Lots of tummy tuck patients lose weight after the procedure because they feel great and want to continue down that path. Weight loss is the only way to reduce the visceral, internal fat.For now, my advise is to let yourself heal, and be patient regarding your final result. I bet when your drains come out and your swelling goes down, you will look great in your clothes. It's always ok to express your concerns and questions to your surgeon, The relationship doesn't end when surgery is complete, she/he will always want you to be open about your questions, and can probably put your mind at ease.Congratulations on getting safely through a big surgery. Keep us posted about your progress.Sincerely,Dr. Weintraub

Be realistic

I think you have a very noticeable improvement already.  I am sorry if you went in to this procedure with unrealistic expectations.  It looks like your surgeon removed a significant amount of tissue.  Your results will continue to improve with time. Good luck. Jane

Poor patient education

Its not that there is no difference, it is that you have expectations that are not consistent with the technical possibilities.  The failure is not the surgery or your expectations, it is that you should have been educated about what to expect so you would know what you could reasonably achieve with the surgery.

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.