Can my revision of my tummy tuck be fixed with liposuction and laser lipo and incision extension? Bulging above my belly button

I asked for a fully tummy tuck lipo on waist and got a mini tummy tuck with muscle repair only below belly button doctor didn't think I need muscle repair above belly button. So now I have stomach bulging i had only 4 lbs of skin and fat removed. And I'm embarrassed to tell anyone I even had a tummy tuck because of my results. Or should I do a tummy tuck revision with my muscle tighten ? My doctor said it wouldn't make a difference.

Doctor Answers 9

Unhappy with Tummy Tuck result

Unfortunately some women have excess fat in the upper abdominal area called the epigastrium. This bulge if present can certainly be corrected but it requires a full exposure of the muscle and midline repair to lessen the appearance. The fat in the area is somewhat softer as well and VASER liposelection may be helpful in removing this while tightening the skin slightly in the area as well. You should ask your doctor to reassess the problem first as he has a full understanding of what your tissues are like, but if you wish to proceed with further correction I think it would be beneficial in the long run so that you can at least be seen in a bathing suit.


Manitoba Plastic Surgeon

Unhappy with mini-tuck result

Thank you for your question about your tummy tuck revision.

I am sorry you are unhappy with your result.
Without photos of before/after, comments can only be general.
  • Four pounds is a lot of skin and fat to remove - 
  • This amount of skin and fat would not be removed with a mini-tuck.
  • Is it possible you are severely overweight? If so, your surgeon may have found he could not tighten the muscles adequately because of internal excess fat.
  • Overweight or not, if you are unhappy with your result, a second opinion is always a good idea. 
  • Take your pre/post photos and copy of your operative report with you to the second plastic surgeon.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Muscle repair required

If you have bulging above the belly button and had muscle repair only below the belly button, then the only way to flatten the abdomen is to have muscle repair from the ribs to the pubic hairline.   This will require full tummy tuck revision.  One of the biggest drawbacks of mini tummy tuck is exactly what you are describing. This is why a full tummy tuck is almost always a better choice.  This is particularly true since you knew you needed a full tummy tuck from the start.  However, it still may be possible to achieve the flat abdomen you desire.  You just need to find someone with the appropriate amount of technical skill and extensive experience who can perform the revision with muscle repair.

Full tummy tuck benefits

Dear Graciemorris,

Few patients are great candidates for a mini tummy tuck.  Most patients are better candidates and are happier with a full tummy tuck.  A full tummy tuck may still be an option for you.  If thats is the case it will likely be the best course of action.  A full tummy tuck allows:

  • more skin removal
  • full abdominal wall tightening
  • belly button rejuvenation
  • better waist shaping
Of course, an examination and discussion would be needed to make sure that this is the best option for you.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Bulging after mini tummy tuck

Laser liposuction is unlikely to help any residual bulging.  You should get a second opinion if you are not satisfied with the answers you get from your own plastic surgeon. In general, there are very few candidates for mini tummy tucks even though patients like the idea of a "mini." So go back to your surgeon and voice your concerns. If not satisfied then get a second opinion.

Below is a ful tummy tuck result.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Redo tt

Hello and thank you for your question. I'm so sorry that you are unhappy with your results. I cannot give an assessment as there are no photos.  I will however say that I always do a muscle privation full length with a tt even a mini tuck. As long as you don't have a lot of visceral fat (internal) then a revision with upper abdominal tightening may well help.
You are going to have to get more opinions so you make an educated decision. Good luck.
Peter Fisher M.D. 

Peter Fisher, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck conversion to a Full Tummy Tuck

Your question is impossible to answer without a full examination.  I would recommend that you see two to three plastic surgeons in your area and get their opinions.  It may turn out that you don't need anything done and things will get better with time.

Suresh Koneru, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tummy Tuck Revision

Thanks for your question.  It is difficult to make recommendations without pictures,but liposuction may be an option to get the results you are looking for.  I would recommend talking to your plastic surgeon about your concerns and if you are not comfortable going back to them...consider a second opinion.  Good Luck!

Kathy Rumer, DO
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Revision Tummy Tuck Surgery

I'm sorry that you're not happy with your results, but without pictures it is hard to tell the possible techniques that could improve your tummy tuck.  But based on your descriptions, the stomach bulging could be smoothed out by extending the initial incision.  This approach might also improve the appearance of scars. 

In some cases, liposuction around the incision and/or flanks could be part of a revision tummy tuck.  But contrary to popular belief, it is not all about removing the largest possible amount of fat; in fact, it is necessary to leave some fat to preserve the natural contour of the abdomen. 

You may want to get a second opinion to determine what really needs to be done.  Just make sure that you only consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon. 

Feel free to see our before-and-after photos of actual tummy tuck patients so you'll have an idea what constitutes a good result.  Just click the link below.  

Good luck and best wishes. 

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.