Mini Tummy Tuck Complications

Three months ago I had a mini tummy tuck. I am told by my doctor that the tissue did not adhere. It looks like I still has a fat belly over my scar. What happen and how can this be fix?

Doctor Answers 10

Post tummy tuck seroma management

Without an exam it is impossible to render a specific recommendation to your case. By your description it is most likely that you have a seroma. Placing a small drain usually resolves the larger seromas and repeated aspirations the smaller ones.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Options for seroma after abdominoplasty

If this fullness is due to a seroma, then it can be drained with a needle but it may come back in a few days. At that point, a small temporary drain may be placed for a few more days. If that doesn’t work, your surgeon may consider injecting a sclerosing medication into the cavity to make the tissue stick together. The final option is a procedure to remove the lining of the seroma and allow the tissue to stick together.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck Complication

Thanks for the question.

The description of your condition would be consistent with a seroma formation or fluid collection. Although most seromas resolve within the early post-op period, some can become chronic forming a pseudo-bursas. In such cases, further surgical intervention is often required. My recommendation would be to consult with your plastic surgeon to discuss your particular case and associated management options.

Warmest Regards, 

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS

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

Persistent fullness after mini tummy tuck

IF the tissue did not adhere, the skin may have been prevennted from "adhering" due to a mechnanical obstruciton such as a seroma. Once this is absorbed, it can leave a firm tender mass which can take several months to resolve. ,

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Mini-tummy tuck issue

It sounds like from your description that you have a seroma cavity.  If it is long standing, then you more than likely will need additional surgery to remove the cavity.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Bulge after mini tummy tuck.

At three months post-op, this is probably a seroma (based on your doctor's description of tissue not adhering), which is a fluid-filled space beneath the skin. Simply draining this may not eliminate the problem, but is a reasonable first step. More than one time may be necessary, and insertion of a sclerosant (an irritant that helps your body seal the seroma cavity) is another consideration. When all else fails, and perhaps more likely at this (later) stage, simply reopening the scar and removing the seroma cavity back to fresh tissue (and placing a new drain, and leaving it in long enough to allow the tissues to heal properly without a new seroma cavity) may be the right way to go. Sometimes, edema (swelling) in the tissues makes the tissue above your scar seem full and bulging without a true seroma cavity; your doctor can determine if this or the other is what is going on (usually just by examination). Neither is a huge problem, but you can't just let this go!

No one likes to have a re-operation, but some times this is needed to get the result you and your doctor want! Good luck!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

MiniTummy Tuck Problem.

It is not possible to tell without examination and photos but it is possible fluid accumulation has developed in this area.  A fluid wave may be noticed as you tap with a finger over the area if fluid is present.  A simple examination may determine this.  Further evaluation by your plastic surgeon would be your best bet.   

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Seroma after tummy tuck is uncommon

Without a photo, its difficult to discuss what is going on. Perhaps you've developed a seroma (fluid collection) beneath the abdominal flap which is distorting the contour of your lower abdomen. An abdominal ultrasound would help to sort out this issue.

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Skin did not adhere after mini-tummy tuck

It's difficult to say what is going on without photos but it could be a number of things.  Skin generally doesn't just not adhere...there has to be a reason that it doesn't stick down.  One of the major reasons for this is the creation of a seroma cavity where fluid collects between the fat and the skin preventing the skin from adhering.  If this is the case, then the fliuid needs to be drained (once or more times). 

If the skin still does not adhere, then there are other surgical options available but these should really be discussed with you by your treating surgeon.

I hope that helps!

Gregory A. Buford, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck Complication

Regarding: "Mini Tummy Tuck Complications
Three months ago I had a mini tummy tuck. I am told by my doctor that the tissue did not adhere. It looks like I still has a fat belly over my scar. What happen and how can this be fix

By "the tissues did not adhere" I am ASSUMING he meant you have a seroma, a chronic fluid collection. If this is the case, at this late stage the pocket has a smooth lining which is not likely to adhere to the opposite wall with just drain tubes. The best option is to go back in, remove the walls of the seroma pocket and close over drains. That should solve this issue.

Good Luck.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 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.