How Can I Tell if I Got a Full Tummy Tuck?

How can I tell if I got a full tummy tuck that I agreed to ? I never had to walk bent over, did not have much pain. I am 51 and had lost over 80 lbs. If swelling goes down -won't I have loose skin again? I am 2 weeks post op in these photos. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 12

Early tummy tuck results

Based on the picture, it looks like you had a full tummy tuck (there is a scar around your belly button). Your concerns should be shared with your plastic surgeon as you can get the best answers about what was done directly from the source. But you should know that at 2 weeks after surgery, it is too early to judge the results. As hard as it is to wait, give it at least 3 month to allow for proper healing.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

PHOTOS: limited results of tummy tuck following massive weight loss.

The first thing to do is ask your surgeon. Judging from your pictures, due to the massive weight loss, you have poor skin elasticity resulting in the observed upper abdominal skin laxity. Furthermore, if you underwent a combined breast lift and augmentation (your breasts appear larger) this can cause the upper abdomen to be pushed down and more lax due to the weight of the implants. The lack of pain may be related to the muscle repair or lack of such and that is difficult to assess from your photos.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

How do I REALLY Know if I got the Full Tummy Tuck I paid for?

Regarding: "How Can I Tell if I Got a Full Tummy Tuck?

How can I tell if I got a full tummy tuck that I agreed to ? I never had to walk bent over, did not have much pain. I am 51 and had lost over 80 lbs. If swelling goes down -won't I have loose skin again? I am 2 weeks post op in these photos. Thank you

There is NO doubt in my mind you had a Full Tummy Tuck.
- the scarring around the "new" belly button implies it was moved up.
- the absence of a vertical short scar where the belly button USED to come out means that a significant amount of skin was removed from below the belly button INCLUDING the former belly button opening.
- the fact that you no longer have much skin overhanging the belly button implies that skin was removed
- your previous endoscopic surgery scars (? gall bladder or bariatric) moved lower, especially the one on the right). That means the skin was peeled off the muscles and pulled down.
- your inner and front thigh skin is tighter implying it was lifted as part of the Tummy Tuck ? by using a High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty technique.
- Finally, if you had a back picture of you Before and After you should see a narrowing of the waist.

As a surgeon who is is totally committed to getting the absolute BEST Tummy Tuck results for my patients, I find the underlying theme of your question somewhat insulting. I view my relation with my patients with utmost trust. They honor me by entrusting their lives and well being in my hands and I strive to do whatever I can to get the best outcome for them to honor this trust.

The idea that such a sacred trust would be reduced to a cat-in-a-bag, bait and switch used car lemon sale as implied by your question is highly insulting to me and I feel sorry for my anonymous colleague who despite hard work did not earn the trust and respect he / she deserves.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

You can tell if you had a Full Tummy Tuck if you have a scar around your belly button.

If you have a scar around your belly button then you have had a full tummy tuck. Your results seen in your photos seem to indicate that you did have a Full Tummy Tuck.

It is impossible to tell from the photos whether or not you had a muscle repair. However it is very unlikely that the Doctor would do the surgery and not repair the muscle.

Your result appears to be very nice.

Full Tummy Tuck

Thanks for the question.

From the photographs provided it does appear that you did have a full abdominoplasty although it is not possible to tell whether or not you had a midline plication.  In a patient with massive weight loss such as yourself who undergoes a tummy tuck, it is common to experience lateral abdominal skin laxity, especially if you did not undergo a fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty.

Warmest Regards,

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Different types of abdominoplasty

Based on your scars and overall contour, it appears that your surgeon performed a full abdominoplasty, rather than a mini-abdominoplasty. It is impossible to tell if a plication of the muscle was done based on photos.

That being said, the laxity that you feel is in the transverse direction (across), rather than vertical (up and down). This is indicative of inherent skin laxity which is very common after significant weight loss. The only way to tighten things in this direction is with a Fleur-de-Lis abdominoplasty- this incorporates a vertical scar to tighten things further.

You may have some tightening of the skin as time goes on depending on how your skin retracts. Be patient.

Lawrence Iteld, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

How to tell if you got a full tummy tuck

First, ask your surgeon, and think back to the preoperative discussion you had with him or her.  Second, your scars do look like those of a full tummy tuck.  Your skin QUANTITY changes with surgery, but your skin QUALITY will not change.  You will always have some loose, pinchable skin.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

How to tell if you got a full tummy tuck

A tummy tuck is a safe and effective procedure to contour the abdomen, create a tight waist, and remove extra skin, fat, and stretch marks.

In our practice, we feel that every patient is unique and so is every tummy tuck. During the consultation we spent a great deal of time discussing with the patient their concerns, their goals, and evaluating their body so that we can put this information to create a surgical plan that will help them meet their aesthetic goals. In our practice, we describe a full tummy tuck as an abdominoplasty with excision of skin fat, muscle tightening, the creation of a new belly button and contouring with liposuction. As every practice may define their tummy tucks little bit differently, it is best to ask your surgeon what your surgical plan will consist of and thoroughly understand the components of this plan.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Weigth loss and tumm tuck

I would consider you a massive weight loss patient losing more than 80 lbs.  Body contour procedures vary. It looks like you had a tummy tuck from your photos, but the pinch you display is accounting for the vertical pinch I call it that is the result of the entire midsection expanding just like a balloon.  A vertical midline incision completing the fleur-de-lis might help.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Did I get a Full Tummy Tuck?

First, I would recommend speaking with your plastic surgeon and get the details of your procedure. Some times during your preoperative visit there is a lot of information to remember. The fact that you can still pinch the skin has more to do with it's elasticity. Based on the placement of your scaring with relation to your before pictures it does appear that you had a full tummy tuck. Maybe also try to attain a copy of your operative report. This report will show exactly what your Plastic Surgeon did for you. Best of luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 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.