What is normal for the skin "puckering" after tummy tuck surgery? (Photo)

I had lung surgery several months ago and the puckering that occurred around the scar is completely gone. I had the mommy makeover 3 weeks ago and wonder how much of the puckering around the scar should there be. Is it normal to have it do that? Will it go smooth once healed? I put bio oil on twice a day.

Doctor Answers 11

Breast scars and healing


  It is very common to have puckering after a tummy tuck.  It usually takes 6 months to a year to see your final result.  The cause of the puckering is because of the asymmetric incisions that are needed to make the closure.  No biggie in most of the cases.  If there is a healing process that is bothering you as time goes by, then tell your doctor and the options can be discussed.

  This presentation is very common in my practice.  It is amazing how the body heals these areas and one has difficulty seeing where any puckering/bunching was.

  Be patient.  It will get amazingly better.

  Good luck with your new contours.

Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

What to Expect After a Mommy Makeover

Healing is can differ per patient. Your healing will continue for 2-3 months for the early period. This includes some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation in the breasts may also be abnormal and scars will be evolve. Pain varies per person and medication to control #discomfort will be provided. Tingling, burning or shooting pains in the breasts will disappear with time and should not alarm you. It is simply a result of the regeneration of your sensory nerves. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self-massage per your surgeon's permission may help. Also, the two breasts commonly heal quite differently so #assymetry is not unusual. One breast may swell more, feel more uncomfortable, or have a different initial shape. After complete #healing, they will be more similar and natural. 

The healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks. It can be up to one year see your final result.

As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain. 
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.

As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Incision Puckering


Puckering is usually intentional to a degree and does smooth out as inflammation resolves and scar matures. Massage and oil or silicone applied at your Surgeon's direction will help.

All the best

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews


The puckering is normal and will last several months until the sutures dissolve that are deeper down. Some of the puckering is due to the quality of the skin too. When you have a lot of excess stretched out abdominal skin from weight loss that skin is very very thin with not the best quality. It is usually the skin that ends up along the incision line after closure and it looks just like what you have. Some patients have it worse than others but this is pretty normal for where you are in the healing process. 

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

What is normal for the skin "puckering" after tummy tuck surgery?

Skin puckering is normal immediately after surgery. It will go away with time and will look smooth and flat. Sometimes this take 6 weeks and other times up to 3 months. Massaging helps speed the process up. 

Erika Sato, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Normal puckering

At this early point of recovery you look totally normal and seem to have a very nice result. In 6 months you will be very happy.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews


Your healing looks to be within normal puckering at this point.  Please continue to follow the advice of your surgeon.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Ali Mosharrafa

Ali Mosharrafa, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Tummy Tuck Healing

The puckering on your scars is completely expected right after a tummy tuck.  It will slowly resolve over the course of 3 to 6 months on average.  Performing scar massage will help speed up the process.  Hopefully, you are rubbing in the bio oil not just putting it on the scar.

Remember to always communicate with your surgeon about any issues or concerns you have.

Dr Spies

Robert J. Spies, MD
Paradise Valley Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Is my skin puckering normal?

Thanks so much for your question. It's normal to have some unevenness and puckering after this type of surgery. Based on your photos everything looks normal. It will take a few months for all the healing to take place. Give things 3 months and things should be good. You should have a very nice result. 

Shaun Parson, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Skin Puckering after tummy tuck

Yes it fairly common for mild skin puckering along your scar.  This occurs because two different lengths of incisions are sutured together.  This mild puckering will often resolve with 3 months.  Often gentle tapping at night will help flatten the puckeriung.

Steven H. Wiener, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 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.