Does This Look Like a Bad Tummy Tuck? Will I Need Surgery Again? (photo)

I had abdominalplasty Oct. 31, 2012. There were issues with drainage tubes and pain management! My doctor refused to prescribe me anything more than lortab 10's (which did absolutely nothing for my pain) after going back and forth between her office and home(1 hour drive in each direction) everyday my 1st week home from the hospital! I found out that my scar was not even, I had an abscess, she ignored my drug allergies, and both of my sides are completely different. So heart broken!

Doctor Answers 13

Bad Tummy Tuck?

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         I would have to say that the scar appears to be well placed and the belly button looks reasonable.  I would have to say that this is not a bad tummy tuck.  You have fullness of your sides, but tummy tuck is a procedure to flatten your tummy not your sides.  I would recommend completely healing, and then you may consider additional liposuction

Does My Tummy Tuck Look Like I Had A Bad Surgery?

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Actually, your tummy tuck looks very good to me.  The belly button looks reasonable and your incision is in the right place.  Unfortunately, small breakdowns in the tummy tuck suture line, known as stitch abscesses, are very common.  Two months after an abdominoplasty is too early to determine if your two sides are uneven due to swelling which is very often asymmetric.  Post-operatively, there is a depression built in to most cosmetic surgeries.  In your case, this depression may be exaggerated because of post-operative pain. 

Please don't be heartbroken.  Give yourself a break and give your surgeon a break.  This early after a tummy tuck, there are 1000 reasons to be disappointed, most of which vanish with time.  The good news is you appear to have had a pretty reasonable surgery.  Don't forget.  You trusted your doctor with your life.  Now trust her with the recovery. 

Tummy tuck scar

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Yoyu are only 3 months out I would give it more time.I tell my patients there is no such creature as perfect symmetry so be patinet and use soem scar gels or creams for the scars.

Dogears will require a revision after a tummy tuck.

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You have had a more problematc post-op course after a tummy tuck.  On balance it looks as though the result will be good.  The dogears (left greater than right) will probably need a revision in the future.


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It sounds like you had problems with communication with your surgeon post-op, but your result looks good. Give it 4-6 months before making any decisions, but I do not think you will need any revisions.

Still early in your healing period following an abdominoplasty

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It certainly appears that you got a reasonable result from your abdominoplasty.  I would agree that there is some degree of residual fullness of the lateral edges.  You may want to ask your surgeon to explain to you how she feels about your result and if there is any thing that may be considered in the future to make it better.  I would imagine that you would only need to have some additional liposuction of the lateral edges.   This is usually done 3 - 6 months after the original surgery if needed.  

Your results don't look so bad

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Aside from slight fullness in your sides that could be removed with liposuction and some irregular scarring, your results don't look bad. At this point, I would suggest starting a scar therapy treatment to minimize their appearance.

Recovery after Tummy Tuck

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It sounds like you have had a tough recovery from the tummy tuck.  Although I definitely see the asymmetry in your sides that have you concerned, 8 weeks post op is still too early in my opinion to judge your final shape.  This may resolve as the swelling does.  If the asymmetry does not resolve however, it can definitely be touched up.  It may even be able to be touched up in the office which would make for a potentially easier recovery and minimize your expense.  Good luck.

Does This Look Like a Bad Tummy Tuck?

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No, I do not feel that this is a bad tummy tuck. Without seeing photos from before surgery, I can't comment upon improvement, but the incisions seem appropriately positioned, including both the navel and the main one. 

It is quite common to have an irregularity at the end of the incision. Unless you were having an incision all around the back your surgeon has to stop somewhere, and a "dog ear" at that place is not at all unusual. Often they resolve as the swelling goes down and as the scar remodels. Othertimes, a minor office revision can be done with local anesthesia. 

As far as the other issues, only the photo on the left is a true frontal view, and at least on that the sides look fairly even. Abscess abd drug allergies I can't comment on without info. But I do feel this is an acceptable outcome so far, and the appearance typically will improve over the first six months or so after surgery. 

Thanks for your questions, and for the photos. Patience. Best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck Results

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It would be helpful if you post before pictures as well, especially when asking for comments about your results.  At just two months, you still have healing to go and you will see positive changes over the next several months.  It really is too early to get worried about your results.  Looking at your results, it appears that you may benefit from some liposuction along your waistline to enhance your results and possible minor dog-ear revision.  However, I would suggest waiting at least six months.  


Good Luck.

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.