Normal to Have Loose Skin 8 Days Post TT? (photo)

I am 8 days PO TT and I am not happy at all so far with the results. My Dr tells me it's swelling and it will go down. But to me it looks like a lot of lose skin. Please let me know how much you think it's going to go down. I am post before and after pics. On the 7th day I went and had the drains taken out and a compression garment put on. I only take it off to bath and it goes right back on. Please help! I want to know if it will get flatter and will I have a normal looking belly button?

Doctor Answers 6

Residual loose skin after tummy tuck--this is NOT normal.

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  • Your question belies your own observation and not-so-subtle worry that you did not have enough skin and fatty tissue removed to yield the results you wished for. Your observations and concerns are accurate, in my opinion. This is NOT swelling, and wearing compression will help healing but will NOT remove excess skin and fat.
Your pre-operative photos showed significant loose skin and still-substantial residual fatty tissue, maybe after major weight loss (perhaps lap band or gastric bypass surgery), but perhaps not. At the bare minimum, I would have recommended extended abdominoplasty to allow excision of more vertical skin excess (requiring longer horizontal elliptical incisions). Although your surgeon appears to have performed umbilical transposition, much more tissue should have been removed than was, and what remains is not just post-op swelling. Sorry, but you really knew this anyway.

Unfortunately, this is not malpractice, negligence, or even poorly-performed surgery. It is simply inadequate--woefully so. Your best result would have been obtained if your surgeon had asked you to lose more weight before proceeding with this (or better-option)operation, but sometimes that is not possible for a multitude of reasons, and we all are sometimes confronted with a pre-operative situation and anatomy such as yours. Your surgeon appears to have done all the tummy tuck surgical steps correctly, but not enough tissue was removed!

When a surgeon agrees to proceed in anatomic situations such as yours, the patient needs to understand that longer horizontal incisions may be necessitated by more vertical height of skin and fat removal, or discussion about secondary surgery or even a different initial surgery--lower body lift (circumferential beltlift)--should have been had.

As it stands, you will see swelling go down, incisions heal, scars soften, and end up with loose, protruding excess abdominal skin that will require an additional major skin removal operation (including another umbilical transposition, if that is possible and necessary). If your surgeon is an ABPS-certified plastic surgeon, he or she should have discussed the possibility and costs for second-stage, touch-up, or revisionary surgery. If you and your surgeon remain on good terms, this will be your best and least costly option for the results you reasonably expect.

If your surgeon was a "cosmetic surgeon" with little or no training in an accredited plastic surgery fellowship training program, or certified by a "bogus board" or board other than the American Board of Plastic Surgery, then perhaps you are lucky this is no worse. Obtain additional consultations by ABPS-certified plastic surgeons who do lots of these surgeries. Most of us, even being charitable to our fellow surgeons, would NOT consider this a result to be proud of.

Then, let things heal for at least 3 months (6 would be better). Lose additional weight if possible. You will need another (big) operation, but if you choose wisely, you CAN achieve much improved results. Click on the web reference link below for several examples. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Fleur de lys tummy tuck revision will help you.

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Just going by your pictures, you do not have an adequate result.  You will probably need a revision in a few months.  Either a body lift, or a tummy tuck with a vertical scar in the middle.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Abdominoplasty results at 1 week post op

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A lot of people are concerned about their results after just one week of healing, and my ususal answer is that it just takes several months for a tummy tuck to heal. In your case, I am not certain that time is going to make you as happy as you might like. It certainly appears as if quite a bit of tissue was left behind that could have been safely removed. That being said, it all depends upon what you and your surgeon discussed prior to surgery. You will certainly look better in a few months when the swelling resolves, but almost as certainly, you will be still be disappointed.

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

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Revision may be necessary

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Although it is early on in your recovery, your photos show that you still have a lot of loose skin. In fact, any swelling would make this loose skin look tighter, because of the bloating it would cause. Therefore, I think you may need a revision surgery to correct this. Wait 6 months before considering this as an option.

Loose Skin After Tummy Tuck

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Looking at your before photos, I believe that you would have gotten better results if you were to loose weight achieving a BMI of about 23-24.

Your surgery did remove excess skin for sure but to have a flat tummy required removal of more skin that may have not been possible without putting you at great risks.

I am not aware of the details of your surgery so I cannot provide you with a definitive answer of why you have gotten such results.

Your best bet at this moment is to have a great and solid recovery, then exercise and diet well so to establish a good weight before you consider a revision surgery. Only by doing so you can achieve the commendable results you are aiming for.


Unfortunately, what you have is excess skin and even when your swelling will subside, you will not achieve the results you desire, unfortunately.


Best of luck to you and thank you for your inquiry.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Residual Fat VS Swelling a week after a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty?

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The short answer to your question is - I don't know. From the pictures provided your BMI was in the high 30's if not in the 40's and you were not a great candidate for a Tummy Tuck. The post operative result is reasonable considering the starting point. I suspect what you are seeing is some moderate surgical swelling affecting the significant amount of fat you appear to have had before surgery.

I would wait for it to resolve and embark on a strict regimen of excercise and a high protein low carb diet to get you into a BMI in the high 20's. At that point, you may benefit from a redo set of procedures to get you a MUCH nicer result.

But for the time being there does not appear to be anything out of the ordinary. A quick visit to your surgeon may confirm it.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis 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.