Is This a Horrible Tummy Tuck Result?

i had a full tummy tuck 5 weeks ago. i have battled an ongoing infection, and my results are deformed. my doc agrees that i need a revision, but i dont see how he missed so much skin. i am so upset that i am in tears. i have had 5 children, 2 c-sections. more skin has been brought to the front creating extra flank that i didnt have. why didnt he go farther out on my sides? he says tucks are harder on thin women? i feel like he rushed and should have been more agressive.

Doctor Answers 13

Poor tummy tuck results - doctor's fault?

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It is apparent from how far down your gallbladder scar moved that quite a bit of tightening was done.  It could well be, as Dr. Rand points out, that factors such as the existing scar, which reduces blood supply, might have caused the doctor to be conservative.

In any event, thank your lucky stars that he was!  If he had been more aggressive as you wished, the amount of infection and wound healing problems you had would have been much greater.

Infections and poor wound healing can occur in any surgery.  Certain surgeries and certain patients are more prone to having problems, but that is the nature of surgery, problems can happen.

Patients often imagine a body they might have after surgery.  They are sometimes disappointed that the result they got was not perfect, or not what they expected.  Usually by looking at the before-after pictures, they are reminded of the significant difference between the before and the after picture.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Unhappiness following a higher risk tummy tuck

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The unanimous assessment of your result and the preexisting risks as noted by the other plastic surgeons speaks volumes of the reasonableness of your results. Your large scar on the right side of your abdomen, probably from a gall bladder removal, placed you at very high risk of healing problems including substantial loss of skin - neither of which you had. If much more skin was removed, you might have sustained significant loss of skin so what was done was prudent.

You are still very early in the healing process as well - so be patient. Wait at least around 6 months to see a more long term result. (It would have also been very helpful to view your pre-operative photos to see the extent of changes that you experienced.)

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Not A Poor Result on your Tummy Tuck

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I agree with my colleagues, This is an acceptable result and as has been pointed out YOU were at a higher risk because of your previous subcostal(gallbladder) scar.  You will also improve further with time so be thankful you have had no complications, be patient for the  future result, get yourself into shape and go get that new bathing suit.

Charles Virden, MD
Reno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Disappointment after tummy tuck

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It sounds like you have not had an easy time after your surgery and that makes it hard not to be so caught up in the day to day issues that you lose the big picture. Five weeks is still relatively early in the healing process and far too early to judge final results. Also an infection will slow down healing and increase swelling. It is difficult to be patient but it is unlikely that all the swelling will be gone until 6 months after your surgery so don't be in a rush for a revision. Discuss your concerns with your surgeon on an ongoing basis and try to relax and concentrate on how far you have come already.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck revision

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Your result is not horrible, and considering five pregnancies and abdominal scars, we bet you have come a long way. Aggressive is a word in cosmetic surgery mature surgeons learn to avoid. Admire his concern for your safety, and his willingness to revise skin and scar as might be needed after a full six months of healing. Revision under less tension is much preferable to longer scars, wound breakdown, infection, or worse.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Tummy Tuck San Diego

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Hard to evaluate the result from these photos alone.  A before picture showing the entire abdomen from different angles and an after photos from several angles are required.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Results are Patient Specific with Tummy Tucks

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Sorry to hear that you are not fully satisfied with your outcome, but here are a few things to consider.

Your specific outcome is determined by your starting weight and body shape.

Your result is best seen at 6-9 months following the surgery. At 5 weeks there is still significant swelling present and your shape is largely due to swelling. Any revisions should wait at least 6 months to accurately define any residual loose skin or excess fat.

You did not show "before" photos - many patients forget the extensive loose skin and fat that was present prior to surgery. You should be realistic and focus on the relative change that was achieved.

Finally, as mentioned by every other commenting surgeon, your abdominal scar poses large risks and really limits the ability of the surgeon to provide an optimal result safely.

Best Regards,



Kirk A. Churukian, MD
Los Gatos Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Great expectations?

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You appear to have an acceptable TT result given the limitations I can see that your surgeon had to deal with and the fact that it has only been 5 weeks since your surgery.  Clearly there was a gap between your expectations and what the surgeon thought safely possible.  You have a subcostal scar that could have resulted in a much larger complication had he/she been more agressive.  At five weeks you are still quite swollen.  It will be at least six months and possibly 9 before all the swelling is gone.  Wait until the tissues have softened before getting a revision.  The tissues will be more responive to further tightening.  I would agree that your scar could have been extended and that possibility should have been discussed before the procedure was done.  Many women are very concerned about the length of the scar and want it as short as possible.  When your tissues are ready some liposuction in your hips and further skin excision would improve your result.  In the meantime think about the positives.  Your scar is in a good place and you have had no major complications.  Your surgeon has already offered to do more for you, Just be patient and work with him/her to make a good result a great one.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Is This a Horrible Tummy Tuck Result?

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As previous posters have stated, "Where's the before photo?" If only judging on the afters and your history than in my opinion your result is acceptable. But if you are sooooooo disappointed than you need to either post the before view or seek in person second opinions. 

Without before pictures it is hard to comment

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You could have had a bad necrosis  if your surgeon was too aggressive. Your subcostal incision make your tummy tuck very risky and you should not be angry with your surgeon.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 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.