Is It Normal to Have Skin Hang Like This After a Tummy Tuck when Laying Down on Your Side? (photo)

I am 7WPO, I have had minimum swelling. My PS said I did not need MR once he got inside. I see other ladies have almost like concaves when they have pics of themselves on there side, mine hangs..and is not sightly. Do you think I will need to have another TT and find a PS who will do MR on me, to get that concave look? I have lots of stretch marks, so I do not have great skin elasticity, maybe this has something to do with with it? My PS says I should be happy with the improvement.

Doctor Answers 10

Skin Elasticity and Tummy Tuck

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Without before pictures, it is impossible to comment on your results specifically.  Based on your after pictures,  see extensive stretch marks indicating that you have lost much of the elasticity of your skin.  So, no matter how thight your surgery pulls your skin, it will not be the same as someone with better elasticity.  Secondly, it is exceedingly rare not to have to do a muscle / diastasis repair during tummy tuck.  While the recovery may be faster, if there is any looseness to the muscle, you abdomen will never be as flat as it could be with the muscle repair.


Good Luck.

Lateral "skin" after tummy tuck ??

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Congratulations to an excellent result !

 There seems to be extra skin/fat tissue on both ends of your Tummy tuck scar. This can still improve in time. Keep up with your Surgeon. He may after a few months consider to revise the the areas of your concern. It is not uncommon one needs a "touch up". Only you with your concerns and your Surgeon with his expertise and experience can figure out if you are a candidate for a "touch up".

Your Surgeon really did a nice job.

Skin elasticity affects tummy tuck results

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Even if the skin in the lower abdomen has been made taught by the tummy tuck, the tissue may have lost its elasticity and therefore will not respond completely to a change in position (laying on your side).

The tummy tissues will continue to adjust over time but the skin elasticity will remain the same. Additional treatments are available to firm up the skin that may improve the results at that time.

Mario Diana, MD
Plano Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck Results

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At 7 weeks after surgery, your results seem to look good (before pictures would be helpful). I suggest waiting at least 3 months after surgery and then re-evaluate. 

Hanging after Tummy Tuck Normal?

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   Your early results look good, and you are still swollen.  Even a person with perfect skin will have some hanging when on the side.  If you did not have pregancies, then you may not have needed the plication.  Occasionally, some women after pregnancy do not have diastasis. 

Tummy tuck result

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You appear to have a very nice tummy tuck result.  Without the benefit of pre-op pics I cannot comment fully on this though.  The laxity when on your side is likely because your innate skin quality is still somewhat poor unfortunately.

Skin Elasticity and Tummy Tuck Results

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You have an excellent result from your tummy tuck. Whether the muscle was plicated or not would not have changed the result that you see. Your remaining abdominal skin has very poor elasticity as evidenced by all of the stretch marks and will never have that concave or more taut appearance that some other tummy tucks had.  Your plastic surgeon is correct...this is a very good result and you should be happy with this improvement as it can not be made better by further surgery or different tummy tuck techniques.

Contour after TT

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FIrst of all, on the front and side views, I see an excellent outcome. The side view demonstrates the poor skin elasticity, not I believe, any issue with the muscle wall. The TT will not tighten skin beyond the length of the incision, and if the loose skin on the flanks bothers you, you could consider converting your TT to a "belt lipectomy" by having the incision extended all around the back. Personally, with the result I see, I would not be in favor of such a procedure. Although it is hard to evaluate without pre-op photos, it is unlikely that I would have suggested it as a possibility.

Thank you for your question, and for the posted photos. All the best.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Why Do I Bulge To The Side 7 Weeks After A TT?

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Congratulations on an excellent looking abdominoplasty.  Tightening the abdominal musculature would have had very little influence on whether your abdomen bulges out when you lie flat and lean to the side.  This side bulge may be due to excess skin, fat or just swelling.  You didn't mention if you had liposuction of the flanks or not. 

It does not appear that you needed an extended tummy tuck, therefore I don't feel that you had excess skin, and therefore there may be some residual fat or swelling.  Only time will tell.  Give yourself another 4-5 months, and if this side bulge still bothers you, then perhaps liposuction may be the curative modality.

Unhappy after Tummy Tuck?

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Although your frustration is understandable, I'm sure that you are aware of several issues. Firstly, you are not seeing the end results of the procedure performed 7 weeks postoperatively. Also, the presence of significant stretch marking of the skin (loss of skin elasticity) will  limit the aesthetic results of the procedure that can be achieved,  especially in certain positions such as sitting…

 At this point, my best advice is that you continue to exercise patience and continue to  follow-up with your plastic surgeon.  You'll be best off evaluating the end results of surgery one year after it was done given that it may take this amount of time for the skin to bounce back completely. If, at that point, you remain displeased, additional surgery ( depending on your physical examination and goals)  may or may not be advisable.

 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.