How Soon After Tummy Tuck Can a Surgeon Do a Revision?

I had an extended Tummy Tuck on 7/14/09. I was clear with the new surgeon about what bothers me most. I am 31 years old and had an old surgical incision on my left side from surgery as a child. I can see that my right side is still fatter and not as flat as the left side, and I can pinch the fat on the that side where the incision is, while standing. How long after the original surgery must I wait to have the fat that remains on the right side removed?

Doctor Answers 12

Timing of Tummy Tuck Revision

I see what you are complaining of. I think that you should be fine for a revision at any time now. I think that based on what you say, liposuction will provide a good result with minimum risk or down time.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Tummy Tuck Revision

If you wait you may not need anything done. I like my patients to wait 4-6 months before anything can be said about their surgery. You still have a lot of swelling that persists up to 4-6 months. After that you can discuss this with your plastic surgeon.

I would continue with your compression garment as instructed by your surgeon and sit tight.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Optimal Timing of Revision after Tummy Tuck

Hi there-

This soon after surgery, the only reason I can think of to re-operate would be if you had a problem that might get worse (rather than improve) over time if surgery were not performed.

This is not the situation you are in... 

In cases like yours, it is not uncommon for imperfections and asymmetries to improve as healing and maturation of the scars occurs. This natural improvement may take up to a few months, and will change the nature of the revision procedure, possibly even improving your outcome to the point that you no longer feel a revision is necessary. 

While I understand it is difficult, I would strongly advise you be patient- allow scar maturation and healing to progress for a few months, then (if still concerned) visit your surgeon for a discussion.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Time for a Tummy Tuck revision


You're still not at your final result. It's very early and you'll still notice a lot of edema (swelling) that you won't be able to see in the next couple of months.

These issues are very normal and its ok for you to discuss them with your ABPS board certified plastic surgeon. He'll be glad to fix anything for you that should have been achieved at the time of surgery. The scars will become less visible and the redness still has to clear up. Give it time and let everything settle. There's still plenty of cooling down to go in the process.

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Revision Tummy Tuck after 6 months

"Can do" is NOT the same as "should do."

I would suggest you wait AT LEAST 6 months before considering a revision.

You will be pleasantly surprised by how much better things will look in February or March.

Hope this was helpful.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

6 months to a year is best

Before considering a revision one must wait for the body to heal, the swelling to resolve and the skin to settle. After three to six months you start to get an idea about what the final result - 1-2 years out - will look like. The best things to do are to eat healthy, resume your activities and reassess at 3-6 months with your surgeon. A tummy tuck usually looks its worse at about 2-3 weeks and then starts to improve over the next year as the swelling resolves and incisions settle down.

Charles Perry, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Timing of tummy tuck revision

The only reason to do an early revision would be if there were sometihing dramatically wrong that time won't help improve.  That is not the case for you.  It would be wise to wait at least 6 months until all healing has occurred and see where you are.  It might even be that at that time you won't need any revision at all. 

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Revision after a tummy tuck

Hello - I usually wait about 6 months after a tummy tuck to perform any revisions. This may include a little liposuction or scar revision. Either way, it looks like you're going to end up with an excellent result.

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 201 reviews

Wait at least 6 months

Dear Nikki,

Less than 3 weeks out from surgery, you undoubtedly still have a lot of swelling and your skin is quite taut. Your final result will evolve considerably from your present appearance. It is very common to have some degree of asymmetry three weeks after surgery, as the swelling of your abdominal well does not accumulate in a symmetric manner.

Discuss your concerns with your surgeon. He or she will guide you regarding the appropriate timing for revision, if necessary.

Best of luck!

Sam Jejurikar, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Revisions from surgery are always best performed when the healing process is complete

Revisions from surgery are always best performed when the healing process is complete. This can take as much as a year or more in some cases. Certain things will not change much after 6 months, but others will. In your case, I think that having a revision to remove residual fat would be reasonable at 6 months, but you also appear to have some widening and thickening of your scar that may or may not be acceptable appearing at a year or more after surgery.

It would be better to wait and have everything done at once if needed, than to have one surgery at 6 months then at a year decide you are unhappy with your scar and have another surgery.

Daniel P. Markmann, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 113 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.