Could This Pain Be Scar Tissue Damage from my Tummy Tuck?

I had the "mommy make over" one year ago. During surgery my Dr. punctured both of my lungs leaving me hospitalized for 5 days and with chest tubes. It is now a year later, and I obviously have no contact with my surgeon after that. One year later I now am having severe abdominal pain near my belly button, every day! Could this be from scar tissue damage? Should I go see a different surgeon? I am a runner and this is affecting my training.

Doctor Answers 7

Be sure to investigate further....

Peri-umbilical pain following abdominoplasty surgery may occur for a variety of reasons.In some cases, it might be related to scarring, neuroma formation or possibly an umbilical hernia.
Regardless of the cause, it’s important that it be investigated to prevent secondary complications.Identification of the cause of the pain and appropriate treatment can also improve the quality of your life.
For this reason, it’s important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon.This surgeon may be able to identify the cause of your pain and provide appropriate treatment.Unfortunately, this may be difficult and additional consultation with a pain specialist may be necessary as well.When this approach is utilized, there’s a reasonable chance that your pain will be successfully managed.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Pain after an abdominoplasty

I am certainly sorry that you had such a rocky surgical course.  Sharp pain is not uncommon after an abdominoplasty.  There are many sensory nerves in the area and they get bruised and caught up in post operative swelling.  Sometime you move one direction and just put a little pull on the nerve and it can cause this type of pain. If It becomes persistent then you need to be examined.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Scar Tissue Damage

I’m so very sorry for all of the trauma you’ve experienced.  It’s very difficult to tell without seeing you and examining you and I strongly urge you to seek the opinion of a board certified plastic surgeon. 

Jonathan Ross Berman, M.D. , F.A.C.S.

Jonathan Berman, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Pain in Abdomen Post Tummy Tuck

The short answer would certainly be yes the pain you're having could be due to scar tissue from your abdominalplasty.  I agree with the other responders.  You need to see both a board-certified plastic surgeon, experienced in abdominalplasties, as well as a board-certified general surgeon who will have a broader picture of what the cause of your pain could be if it wasn't due to the abdominalplasty.


The differential diagnosis of a peri-umbillical pain can run the gamut, from post-op complication from the tummy tuck to ovarian tumors, gastro-intestinal problems, and this could also be referred pain from the liver.  I'm sorry you're going through this, and I'm sorry for your very significant pulmonary complication.  Please be sure to choose your consultants wisely, based on recommendations from the state medical society, local hospitals, and comments by friends.

Abdominal pain after tummy tuck.

What you describe can be from multiple causes.  Find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area.  It also would be good to find a Board Certified General Surgeon as well.  Sometimes  Plastic Surgeons and General Surgeons work together on complex cases.  Ask the Surgeons' offices if they have referrals to give you.  It would also be helpful to get your chart from the previous surgeon.  The operative note should the next surgeon know what transpired in the operating room.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Pain after a tummy tuck

I am very sorry about your severe complication.

I suggest that you see two specialists to start with and don't delay -- 

  1. Board Certified plastic surgeon
  2. a Board Certified general surgeon

You are likely to need some tests as well to find the cause of the pain.

Best wishes for a quick diagnosis and speedy treatment.


Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Mommy Make over

The abdominal pain could be due to many things. You need to see a doctor for the proper diagnosis of your pain reason

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 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.