Distended stomach after tummy tuck without muscle repair. (photos)

I had a dermatolipectomy (my dr called it, I call it a TT without muscle repair) and BL 3 months ago. I'm 61. My dr (bd certified) said I didn't need muscle repair since I never had children. He took off lots of loose skin. Results are my abdomen is distended and hard now. I have seen him several times to discuss this and each time he said it's fine and there's nothing he can do. I had to get new jeans one size LARGER. I want to see another plastic surgeon. I'd appreciate your comments/advice.

Doctor Answers 2

Distended Belly after Skin only tummy tuck

It can take more than 3 months for the abdomen to become less swollen after abdominoplasty. The fact that the skin is still hard usually means its full of fluid; which means its significantly swollen. When you have your final result the skin should look and feel like it did before. Many times even though you did not have children, the muscles need to be tightened. They can become lose with weight gain and loss as well as age. This does add some disability and longer recovery, but it certainly makes your tummy flatter. Try sleeping flat with a couple of pillows under your bottom to try to mobilize the extra fluid. See if the skin is flatter in the morning. If it is, keep doing this until the swelling is resolved. Good luck.

Eric Weiss MD

Orange Park Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Muscle Repair during tummy tuck

Procedure as described by your plastic surgeon is accurate. However, muscle tightening in my practice is almost a necessity for every patient. Child birth can loosen the abdominal wall, so can weight gain and loss and some women just have a loose abdominal wall genetically. Last the amount of tightening is limited by the fat internal (around your intestines,liver and stomach). This deep fat can only be reduced by diet and exercise. The best way to make these determinations is by an in person exam by a board certified 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.