How to Fix Too Tight Tummy Tuck?

It has been 3 years since my tummy tuck...I'm miserable. It is so tight that I can't wear anything but elastic. When I exercise the muscles will go into spasms. I have no waist anymore and look like I'm 3-4 months pregnant. Is there anyway to fix this???

Doctor Answers 13

Unusual, but might require tummy tuck revision

The skin tightness could be undone with more dissection and freeing the tissues. If the muscles were sutured too tight, it is a harder issue to fix. The specifics will need to be discussed after a clinical exam.

In general, the tissues should relax after some time. Three years is plenty of time for this to happen. I suggest a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to be able to conduct a clinical exam.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

An interesting scenario


This is a very interesting scenario. The loss of your waistline is especially concerning. The skin, after a tummy tuck, is almost never too tight. It's possible that your muscle repair stitches have broken. This would cause pressure from your abdomen to be transmitted to the skin overlying it and would explain a loss of your waistline. See your local board certified plastic surgeon for a consultation. Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Revision likely

I agree with the other surgeon. You have had plenty of time - 3yrs - for you tissues to relax and even stretch if needed to not have a "too tight" feeling. You definitely would benefit from a comprehensive evaluation and examination by your original surgeon or a board certified plastic surgeon. I am suprised that you look pregnant but feel "too tight". If your sutures that were holding the muscle covering together have come loose and therefore put more pressure on your skin, then that may explain the tight feeling. You will likely require a revision to correct the muscle portion of the tummy tuck. good luck.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

You may need a revision

Cathiee44, You really need to post a picture for us to give you specific advice. If you look pregnant, then I am not sure what you are referring to as too tight. Either the skin is too tight (which will stretch over time) and/or the muscles are too tight (which doesn't seem to be the case since you say you look pregnant). Either way, you should return to your surgeon or see another surgeon in consultation who can examine you and give you individualized advice / guidance.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Tummy tuck too tight

It is unlclear what is exactly tight. I am assuming the muscles aren't too tight if you say you don't have a waist line. If the muscles are too tight and you get spasm, it can be very difficult to correct this presuming that you had tightening of the msucle which now has scar tissue on it. If the skin is till too tight after 3 years, it may not be wise to try to open your abdominal skin which could then be hard to close. Was there secondary healing (delayed healing) after your first procedure?

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

It sounds like something else may be going on.

The natural course of recovery after a tummy tuck is for things to feel too tight for a week or two and gradually relax. Your description of spasms, loss of waist definition and fullness of the abdomen does not sound anything like a tummy tuck that is "too tight". I would recommend you see your doctor to see what is really going on.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 175 reviews

See your doctor

Dear Cathiee,

Three years is too long to feel tight from a tummy tuck. Furthermore, because you say you have lost your waist and look pregnant, you may have an underlying intra-abdomenal mass that needs to be evaluated. See you doctor ASAP. Good Luck!

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

You need a face-to-face consultation

It is impossible to give you advice without a careful examination and review of your operative report. Anything said would be mere speculation. I would suggest going to 1 or 2 board-certified plastic surgeon who do abdominoplasties.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

You probably need Tummy Tuck re-done

Tummy Tuck is a very popular operation. I have done several hundred. I've never seen one that is too tight.  I suggest you see a board certified plastic surgeon to have an evaluation. I'm not sure there is anything that can be done to relax this without have another operation.

E. Anthony Musarra II, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Too tight tummy tuck

Your best bet is to consult with board certified plastic surgeons to see what the problem is, and if a revision could help you.

Sometimes, great tightness in one area is accompanied by looseness in adjacent areas that can be recruited to release the tension in the tight area.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 177 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.