Why Does my Upper Abdomen Still Protrude 9 Months After a Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I use to be 250lbs and lost 100lbs in the past 10yrs exercise & diets. About 9 months ago I had tummy tuck and arm lift,since surgery I still have all this skin hanging It’s very uncomfortable to wear jeans, slacks, skirts or anything that is a little tight because my stomach/upper ab folds in half and it forming a parallel line. What went wrong? What can be done to correct... Waited this long to have surgery and not happy with the results... Help... :(

Doctor Answers 8

Tummy Tuck after Massive Weight Loss

Without seeing you in person or seeing a full series of before and after pictures or knowning exactly what was done during surgery, it is impossible to give you specific advice.  However, it looks like you could have a more aggressive skin excision if you choose to undergo a second procedure.


Good Luck.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Why Does my Upper Abdomen Still Protrude after losing over 100 pounds and 9 Months after a Tummy Tuck?

Simply put, because your surgeon and you avoided a permanent midline vertical scar. Allow me to explain, when you were large the obesity and any pregnancies you may have had massively and permanently stretched the abdominal wall (BOTH muscles and skin). The epicenter and location of maximal stretch is just above the belly button (Remember the spherical appearance of the obese or pregnant abdomen). After weight loss comes a deflation which is NOT observed by the skin and muscles so while you lost the inside volume, the stretched out envelope stayed more or less the same.

While a well-performed Tummy Tuck with only a transverse scar can tighten the muscles of the tummy, it can only remove a wide ellipse of extra skin along the lowest portion of the former ball-like abdomen, leaving behind a central excess of skin and fat. That is what you are upset with.

The solution? If you are willing to accept a permanent vertical scar, your surgeon can go back and remove a wide vertical ellipse of skin giving you the flat tummy you worked soi hard for.

Discuss it with him. It is not a hard operation and the recovery is quicker than your original Tummy Tuck.

Peter A Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgery

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Tummy tuck after weight loss

Congratulations on the great weight loss.  Your photos show an excess of remaining skin that could have been removed at the time of the first surgery with a full anchor shaped scar up and down the middle of the abdomen as well as the one that goes side to side across the lower abdomen.  Only with this scar pattern will the excess skin be removed.  It is a trade off of shape and tightness for the scars needed to do it.

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

Excess laxity after tummy tuck


Congratulationlys on the weight loss and sorry to hear about your tummy tuck experience.  It's hard to know exactly what was or was not done during your tummy tuck but I a confident that the excess skin and soft tissue laxity that you continue to have can be corrected.  My first guess is that your plastic surgeon did a lower tummy tuck only, essentially a panniculectomy.  To correct this a full tummy tuck would correct the residual laxity.  Sometimes if there is a significant of horizontal laxity to your abdominal soft tissue a fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty will correct it but will result in a vertical incision as well.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Weight loss surgery

all weight loss patients lose skin tightness after their operations.  your skin has lost its elasticity.  i generally perform a vertical incision on massive weight loss patients to help some of this proble.  your previous rotundness was in three dimensions not just two and the vertical resection helps with this.

Jonathan Saunders, MD
Newark Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Y Does my Upper Abdomen Still Protrude 9 Mo After Tummy Tuck? (photo)Answer:

We all have had the experience with massive wt loss patients, where during surgery we tighten the skin as much as possible, only to have it relax just a few weeks after. Weight loss skin just does that…However…it really seems a bit too loose. As stated, you may have benefited from a vertical incision but we are not sure how much undermining your Dr. did of the upper abdomen. But let your doctor know you are unhappy and give him the chance to get you where you want to be!


John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Why Does my Upper Abdomen Still Protrude 9 Months After a Tummy Tuck? (photo)

Appears based upon the posted photos VERY VERY conservative excision TT. Best to obtain in person second opinions. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Tummy Tuck Result?

Thank you for the question and pictures.

Based on your pictures it seems that you have redundant skin and adipose tissue and the horizontal and vertical dimensions. Further surgery will be required to improve the results;  this will likely involve additional skin excision in both the horizontal and possibly vertical dimensions.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to know “what went wrong” without knowing what you and your plastic surgeon discussed or seeing his/her  operative report.

Assuming your surgeon is a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, I would continue to follow-up with him/her and communicate your concerns.

I hope this helps.

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