Why Can't This Bulge Be Fixed? (photo)

My OBGYN Performed a Tummy Tuck After C-secton 9 Months Ago.  He Said I Had Severe Diastasis Which He Corrected by Stitching my muscles together & even overlapped them slightly to ensure it stayed together. Before my 2 pregnancies I had a completely flat stomach and I weighed what I weigh now. I consulted with a PS about lipo because I thought the issue was fat. He confirmed the diastasis was fixed & said I had minimal fat on my tummy but problem was my muscles bowed & he could help it slightly but I will never have a flat stomach again. I don't understand why this can't be fixed & what the prob is. I'm devistated.

Doctor Answers 9

Why Can't This Bulge Be Fixed? (photo) #TummyTuck Q&A

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I would think you could benefit from re-tightening of the tummy wall by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon...they don't even need to remove skin if you don't want...They could lift up your tummy skin, release your belly button from underneath, fix the bulge and then lay the tummy skin back down, removing and tightening a bit of skin at the bottom....It should give you a much flatter result...

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

A flatter stomach should be possible

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Unless you have something inside your abdomen that is pushing out all of the other causes of a bulge are correctable including excess fat, abdominal wall laxity, pseudobursa.  If you had a lot of seroma collection after your tummy tuck then a pseudobursa is a possibility.  Please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon that has experience in revision tummy tuck surgery.  There is no need to assume that the issue cannot be corrected.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

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

Flat Stomach after Pregnancy

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I hate to disagree with my colleagues, and it is difficult to determine exactly what is going on without examining you, but if you have had a diastasis repair, and another surgeon has confirmed the repair is ok, then I don't see how another surgery will help you.  You have minimal excess skin and fat and would not be a candidate for a full abdominoplasty. 

Looking at you photos, the laxity is probably from weak abdominal muscles.  After pregnancy, particularly with a diastasis, your rectus muscles can become quite weak.  As well, the external obliques will not be engaged and that will further cause an abdominal bulge.

I would recommend spending you money on a personal trainer to work your core muscles instead of more surgery. (yoga, pilates, etc)  I think this would give you better tone, shape, and if you see no improvement after 6 months, then see a plastic surgeon.

Good luck !

Leonard Harris MD, MSc, FRCSC - Plastic Surgery

Leonard Harris, MD
Burlington Plastic Surgeon

Bulge after TT

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Without a physical exam, a definitive answer cannot be given. Even though the diastasis was corrected, the muscle memory to the obliques and rectus muscles never returned completely after pregnancy.  I would recommend seeking another opinion from a board certified plastic surgeon.  To me it appears that further tightening of the muscles in the vertical direction could improve the contours to your abdomen.

A tummy tuck will flatten a protuberant abdomen after pregnancy if performed properly.

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The problem you demonstrate in the photograph can be fixed with a properly executed abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).  Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Bulge after Tummy Tuck

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I am sorry to say that this problem is quite frequently experienced in cases like your situation.  Plastic and reconstructive surgeons have a very different training backround and cosmetic approach to the tummy tuck or abdominoplasty procedure.  Although you were told you had a diastasis plication, it does not appear that was performed maximally.  Also, liposuction may be needed in conjunction with the complete procedure to flatten your belly.  Seek out another opinion and ask to see photographic examples of actual patients from that provider.  I think this is fixable. Best of Luck and keep looking for the right, experienced provider who will help you.

Neil Gottlieb, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Belly Bulge After OB Does Tummy Tuck

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I am terribly sorry, but you had an OB/GYN perform an abdominoplasty and a plastic surgeon state that your 'muscles bowed' (???) and could do nothing about it?  And your not happy? Of course you're not!!!

You need to see a few surgeons who perform abdominoplasties all the time, who are certified by the ABPS, and are members of the ASAPS.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Tummy tuck and bulge

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Dear Cino24,

if I understand well, your OB/GYN performed an abdominoplasty/ or repair of a diastesis recti at the same time of your last C-section ?

there is a certain amount of stretch of the abdominal wall and skin at the end of a pregnancy ! and as we say: 9 months up, 9 months down.

even if back at your original weight, you may still have remaining laxity which was not corrected well enough because the surgery was done at the time of the c-section ?

you need to be examined by a Board Certified Plastic surgeon who will re-evaluate your weight, abdominal wall tightness and muscular tone, if a hernia or not, etc...

if a 6 months course of exercises and toning is not optimal to you, then you may have to undergo another procedure with a Board certified Plastic Surgeon.

Good luck and enjoy your babies,

Florence Mussat, MD



Florence Mussat, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Why Can't This Bulge Be Fixed?

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Thank you for your question and for the photo you attached. Although I might feel differently after an actual exam, I think there is reasonable enough chance to get improvement that I would recommend another plastic surgery opinion. 

RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.
Thank your for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.