Too Tight Mini Tummy Tuck Results?

I had a Mini tummy tuck 7 months ago. My belly button, which wasn't moved, is keeping me tethered over and my muscle, tightened at the bottom, feels like it's ripping midline. It feels like too much skin was removed or not undermined. It pulls and blanches when I stand straight, but looks funny while sitting, and my muscle wall bulges and hurts. My surgeon won't acknowledge a problem. I have already gone the CTt/MRI/Ultrasound tests--no problems. Can the skin be relayed and the fascia loosened? How?

Doctor Answers 7

Revising scars and the belly button after mini tummy tuck or abdominoplasty

Plastic surgeons are able to decrease tension in a particular tissue plane or anatomic region, including the belly button, through subcutaneous dissection techniques that release tethering points.  I would revise your tummy tuck procedure to balance the tension zones on your abdominoplasty.  This may require complete revision of your tummy tuck. 

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Your taut belly will relax with agressive stretching exercises

Your best option is to accomplish this with excercise. The skin and fascia has an amazing ability to stretch and expand. This will likely result in relaxation of your taut abdomen.

I have had 3 paitents go through complete pregnancies after FULL tummy tucks. This tells me and you that the skin can stretch and so will the muscle.

Avoid the surgery, unless therapy or excercise will not produce your desired results.

Of course the muscle and fascia can be released surgically but I would only do this if the non-surgical attempts did not work.

Discuss this with your surgeon first.

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

Mini or full tummy tuck?

Thank you for the question and picture. I am sorry that you are experiencing less than optimal results with your surgery.

 A few words of caution for patients contemplating tummy tuck surgery may be in order: In my opinion, the mini tummy talk is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.

For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.
It is important  for patients seeking abdominal contouring surgery to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve  their chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck Results

Consult with your board certified plastic surgeon to inquire about a revision. If you have lost confidence in your surgeon or your surgeon id not a board certified plastic surgeon, seek a second opinion. Best wishes!

Christine Sullivan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Skin problems

You  may want to consider a revision and have a full tummy tuck which wil probably put less strain on your umbilicus and even out the muscle tightness.

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

Tightness after a mini tummy tuck

When performing a mini tummy tuck there are several ways to manage the bellybutton. If a limited amount of skin is going to be removed, the surgeon may choose not to remove the bellybutton from the underlying skin. If this is the case, care must be taken when redirecting the skin to not distort the abdomen or the area around the bellybutton. It sounds as if you are nearing the end of the healing process. You may want to visit with your surgeon and describe your concerns. They may recommend that you continue with your compression garment or that you may benefit from a small revision surgery to correct any tightness or distortion around your belly button.


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

It looks like you could have had a regular tummy tuck

You still have stretch marks in the lower abdominal skin and enough excess that it looks as though you might have been able to have a full tummy tuck and perhaps get a better result with just a bit longer scar than the one you have. Are you sure you went to a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon? Many non-plastic surgeons do "mini tummy tucks" because that's all they know how to do. Check the credentials and seek some second opinions.

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