3 Months PO Tummy Tuck - Protruding Lower Abdoman - Very Hard and Lopsided. Will It Go Away? (photo)

I am 3 month po tummy tuck and my lower abdomen protrudes out and is very hard. More so on my left center abdomen. So much that it looks like I'm 3 months pregnant. It also looks like I may have a dog ear dead center of my incision. Is this a common place to develop a dog ear? And will this hardness and protruding go away or am I looking at further surgery after 6 months PO? - - The pics are sideview of protruding abdomen, and one of possible dog ear below belly button.

Doctor Answers 8

3 Months PO Tummy Tuck - Protruding Lower Abdoman - Very Hard and Lopsided. Will It Go Away?

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It is difficult to assess results of a TT without proper photos from before and after surgery. If you look to the right of the screen you will (probably) see photos posed properly for evaluation.

As to the protrusion, there are several possiblities, including

  1. swelling
  2. ​fluid collection (serum or blood)
  3. incomplete muscle tightening
  4. large volume of intraabdominal contents.

These photos are not clear enough to see what you believe may be a "dog ear"--which it probably is not, as they occur at the ends of incisions. 

All these are appropriate questions to address with your surgeon. 


Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Swelling after an abdominoplasty

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You do have some lower abdominal swelling and this is not unusual..  I would expect that things will soften up and get flatter over the next 3 - 6 months.  If you have not seen any improvement over that time period then you may consider a revision.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Swelling After Tummy Tuck

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This is probably okay and is just swelling.  You are still early.  Healing takes one year and 80 % is at 6 months.   Be sure you do not gain weight.  If you gain weight you will RUIN a % of your nice improvements.   Possibly wearing an abdominal binder will help you.  Be sure and keep salt intake down below 1500 mg a day.   You should be fine.  Pictures are hard to assess.  best to take photos anterior and lateral and far enough away to see body shape.  My best,  Dr C

3 Months PO Tummy Tuck - Protruding Lower Abdomen - Very Hard and Lopsided. Will It Go Away?

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Dear csk,

Thank you for post.  In addition to the reasons for possible swelling that were offered below, another reason is fat necrosis.  Sometimes, the fat at the very edge of the abdominal incision can become hard do to not having a enough blood supply.  This inflames and becomes hard.  The central 'dog ear' is actually the reverse of a dog ear.  A dog ear is a protuberance of tissue in a triangular shape, this seems to be indented.  This well most likely resolve with more time and massage.  The area of firmness will most likely resolve as well.  If it does not, then a small revision may be considered.

Best Wishes, 

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

You will want to makes sure you do not have a seroma or pseudobursa

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Thank you for the question and the photos.  A an examination will be needed to determine if you have a seroma or a pseudobursa.  This diagnosis is more likely to be the case if your abdomen was flatter before and has gradually gotten bigger over the last 3 months.  The dog ear can be revised easily even under local anesthesia.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Dogears are created on the edge of the incision.

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Even at three months you have a good bit of healing to do. I see nothing at the moment in the provided photographs it is alarming.

3 Months PO Tummy Tuck - Protruding Lower Abdoman - Very Hard and Lopsided. Will It Go Away?

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Even with the poorly posted photos it appears as a poorly done TT. Best to obtain IN PERSON second opinions to see exactly what was done. Revisional surgery may be needed. 

Issues with Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your photographs. I don't think you have a dog here at the end or the center of your incision. The center of the incision has a retracted scar. This may improve. The fullness may improve over the next several months. Before pictures would be helpful to determine your improvement with the surgery. Your photos show that your skin quality may not be the best and that may affect your result. Please revisit with your plastic surgeon and follow his/her recommendations.

Best wishes.

Dr. ES

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.