Can This Tummy Tuck Nightmare Be Fixed? (photo)

I had a tummy tuck done almost a year ago. I am in horrible pain and swelling everyday. I was a very active woman and I only weighed 125lbs. Now, I cannot exercise without severe swelling and pain an daily activities are so hard to do. I have three children and this nightmare of a tummy tuck has completely changed my life . PLEASE, if you know anything that can help me, I AM DESPERATE !!!!! My doctor keeps giving me the run around and after 1 CT and 2 ultrasounds he still says he doesn't know.

Doctor Answers 9

Tummy Tuck Nightmare #tummytuck

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It is hard to really know what problems you are having without examining you and seeing your scans. The cause of the right upper abdominal bulge can be many things. I also do not understand from your description what your pain really is or where your pain is. Abdominal wall issues can be very complicated or very simple and that usually can only be determined by direct physical exam. Seek as many opinions as it takes until you find the right person. You will know when you do.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Pain after a tummy tuck

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At this point, it's hard to say what's wrong with you without actually seeing you.  However, if the CT scans and ultrasounds are negative, you might need to be re-tightened to get a flatter belly.  If it's nerve pain, I would recommend seeing nerve specialist, Dr. Eric Williams in Baltimore, MD, who has a lot of experience with this sort of thing.  Good luck!

Can This Tummy Tuck Nightmare Be Fixed? (photo)

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Sorry for your issues. Best to obtain in person second opinions. And take your scans with you. It appears as a upper lateral quadrant issue, hernia or split in muscle/fascia. Follow up please. 

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Tummy Tuck Complications

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I would like to know what the studies showed before I render a formal opinion.  For example, is there a fluid collection?  What is the nature of  your pain exactly?  What do you mean by "the run around"?

It may be that a repeat tummy tuck may be in order, or some sort of nerve procedure may be in order.  We need much more information to advise you.


Unusual pain syndrome following an abdominoplasty

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It is hard to understand the exact etiology of your pain.  It does sound like it is sensory nerve related.  It would be helpful to know if you can isolate a point on your abdomen from which the pain radiates.   It is possible that a sensory nerve has been caught up in the suturing of your abdomen or that the sensory nerves are surrounded by excessive scar tissue.  It is unlikely that if it was a nerve related problem that a CT scan or ultrasound would be diagnostic.  You may want to be examined by a neurologist.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tummy Tuck Post Op

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I am sorry to hear about your pain. You should really see you primary care doctor who can do a complete history, exam and review your tests to help you resolve this issue.

Possible reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RDS) of abdomen

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This is a very unusual case and the photos are not particularly helpful but you may have a case of abdominal reflex sympathetic dystrophy which may cause the pain, swelling and usually some  redness.    I am not an expert in this but RSD  is usually taken care of  by pain specialists and is much more common in the extremities.  Good luck.

William Koenig, MD
Rochester Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Can This Tummy Tuck Nightmare Be Fixed?

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I am sorry to read about your postop course. There is very little info here from which to try to determine the cause of your problems. Unfortunately, the photos are not standard views and don't show the whole abdomen,   from the front and side, so it is hard to see the actual problem. 

However, even with more info it is highly unlikely that this will be figured out over the internet. 

Advice--start with your primary doc, as it sounds like your surgeon cannot figure this out. If you can add a little more to the narrative and some straight on and side view photos showing the whole abdomen, some more useful suggestion might come from on line reviewers. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck and Chronic Pain

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   Where is the pain?  Is it confined to a certain area?  Does it radiate?  Is there anything that makes it better?  If it is a very generalized pain, and the CT scan and ultrasound proved fruitless, I would consider a pain management specialist after an examination by an internal medicine doctor.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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.