I'm 6 months post op a full Tummy Tuck with Lipo and bs. Will a lipo revision help my protruding stomach? (photos)

I had a mommy makeover about 6 months ago. At the 4 month post op mark I noticed my upper stomach bulge. After seeing my dr he said it may be the muscle repair sutures came undone. In any case I'm very unhappy about it. Will lipo in the tummy help? It's mostly a bulge above the belly button. I'm also not pleased with how my belly button looks. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Doctor Answers 14

6 months post Abdominoplasty

Protrusion of the abdomen following liposuction and abdominoplasty  may be due to visceral fat which surrounds your intestines which is not removed with liposuction. This fat is removed by diet and exercise.

When to Consider a Revision

Typically, its best to wait at least one year following the initial surgery to consider a #revision. Information that you read online may not apply to your personal situation. All surgical #procedures carry some degree of #risk. Always discuss your issues and concerns with the Plastic Surgeon during and following your consultation.The suitability of your procedures and any specific risks may be determined during you #consultation. Also, another element to a #satisfying result of your procedures are realistic #expectations.


Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Diagnosis of post-op abdominal bulging

If your stomach becomes quite flat when you lie down flat on your back, but bulges when you stand, then it is very likely that the muscle repair is not sufficient to keep your abdomin as flat as you would like.  An abdominal ultrasound could help determine if there has been separation of the muscle repair or if there is a fluid collection present.  Correction of the muscle separation would requitre another operation and the umbilicus could be corrected at the same time. Consuoltaion with a fuly trained and certified plastic surgeon will helpo you arrive at a decision.

Bruce Carter, MD (retired)
Salem Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

6 months is too early for further surgery

To be honest, your photos make it a little difficult to tell what is going on (especially lacking the pre-op photos.) And again, to be honest, I agree with you that an abdominoplasty should result in a flat stomach in as much as that is achievable. 

Sometimes, after a tummy tuck, it is normal to have some bulging above the umbilicus, I have seen temporary fluid collections occur--in those particular cases it will resolve (though 6 months is a bit late for that.)

One thing I notice in your photos is that your abdominal muscles seem very relaxed. This speaks to two things: First, maybe you are kind of pushing out your tummy in the photos, and in general. Core body strength and muscle work will improve your result. Second, part of the abdominoplasty procedure is plication (tightening) of the abdominal muscles--hopefully this was done well. 

Last, I noticed your belly button result isn't ideal (though it is hard to see in these photos.) That appearance may be due to fluid collection, or simply a suboptimal surgery.

Overall, it's difficult to tell without pre-operative photos, and a physical exam, but I would say that revision is not out of the question. However, you may be able to correct these problems with minimal weight loss and exercise. There is only so much surgery can do for the abdominal muscles.

One thing is for sure: I don't think liposuction is the answer. 

Hope that offers some perspective. 

Post tummy tuck

A physical exam would be required to come up with the best treatment plan for you. Good luck, Dean Vistnes. 

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Liposuction after a tummy tuck

Liposuction may be good for you, but you also may have some residual swelling.  It's hard to tell you without seeing you first, but give it another 4-6 months before making any decisions.

Revision probably necessary for this abdominoplasty result.

One would expect a flatter abdomen after and abdominoplasty. This might require re-tightening of the abdominal wall with or without liposuction it's impossible to tell without an examination.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Unhappy with bulgy tummy after tummy tuck

Thank you so much for your question about your tummy tuck healing.

I am so sorry this happened.
But the correct treatment might be one of 3 things -
  • muscle repair and/or
  • liposuction and/or
  • weight loss - if the muscle repair failed because of weight gain around the internal organs.
I can understand your frustration and disappointment but if it is anything other than fat under the skin, then the result will be even more frustrating. Discuss these possibilities with your surgeon and see which approach seems best for you.


Be sure to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Here’s hoping you find this helpful. Have a great day!

Bulge

If your muscle repair sutures become undone, liposuction will not be of any benefit.  You will need replacement of the muscle repair sutures to fix your problem.  Ideally your belly button would be redone at the same time. 

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

6 months post op a full Tummy Tuck with Lipo and bs. Will a lipo revision help my protruding stomach?

I would agree with your surgeon's assessment. It would seem likely that the sutures that tighten the fascia have come undone and you will likely need a revision of that plication. Liposuction will not improve that contour of your abdomen if it is related to the fascia and lateral movement of the muscle.

David Mathes, MD
Aurora Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.