What Are the Risks with a 2nd Tummy Tuck?

What makes a 2nd tummy tuck after a 2nd child so difficult?

Doctor Answers 7

Difficult Secondary Tummy tuck

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Much scarring is present with the surgery.  The tissue plans are less defined.  By cutting the belly button out again, the skin from that point to the incision may not be able to be removed completely.  It is more difficult.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Difficulties of a secondary tummy tuck

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In a second tummy tuck, the surgeon has to deal with scarring of variable extents that was not present during the original procedure. If there are quirks involving the incisions such as orientation, position and even irregularities, these have to be dealt with. Dealing with the umbilicus can also be more complex depending on how much excess tissue is present the second time around (as compared to the initial surgery).

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Repeat Tummy Tuck Risks?

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Thank you for the question.

Because there is scar tissue left from the first tummy tuck surgery dissection can be somewhat more complicated (although usually not significantly so).  Also, there may be a lack of sufficient skin to perform the tummy tuck surgery without a vertical scar component.

The risks and outcome of your surgery will depend on your anatomy which will be best evaluated directly by well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.

Best wishes.

Risks of a second tummy tuck

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The main problem is that there is a layer of scar tissue between the muscles and the fat layer.  Also, if there isn't enough skin to get from above the umbi to below the current scar, you might wind up with a vertical scar up to the umbi which looks worse than a purely horizontal one alone.

Why is second tummy tuck difficult?

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Several reasons that secondary surgery presents additional challenges. Location, magnitude, and quality of scar from initial procedure unpredictable. Skin excision has already been accomplished once, so a new pattern of skin removal must be individually designed and executed to achieve the beautiful contour you seek. Yet, elasticity of your skin unpredictable, thus the amount and shape of skin removal cannot be precisely planned beforehand. Vascularity of tissues also unknown. Performed secondarily, promising a particular outcome from abdominoplasty is impossible.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

What makes a 2nd tummy tuck after a 2nd child so difficult?

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Childbirth results in permanent stretching of the abdominal wall muscles and skin. An abdominoplasty restores the flattness of the tummy, narrows the waist and removes all excess abdominal skin left by the pregnancies. Therefore, ideally, an abdominoplasty should be dome AFTER a woman has completed her family. When an abdominoplasty is re-done after one or more pregnacies, the normal anatromic differentiation (or plane) between the muscle lining and the subcutaneous fat is filled with scar tissue making dissection very challenging and the operation longer than it could have been. . While all of us have done such cases, I know of no Plastic surgeon who enjoys revision tummy tucks.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

What makes a 2nd Tummy Tuck so difficult?

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With every surgery, the body responds with the formation of scar tissue during the healing process.  This involves not only what you see at the surface, but also everywhere below the surface that the surgeon has been though.  Scar tissue can make it difficult to discern the anatomy and is more difficult to dissect though.  Secondary or Revision Surgeries are always more difficult for that reason.  

Adam Hamawy, MD
Princeton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 57 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.