Vertical Loose Skin/loose Stretch Marks After Tummy Tuck?

I had a tt 2 weeks ago. The Dr. told me that my stomach muscles were 15 cm apart-more than the average patient. I was told I was a very good candidate for a tt and would get a pretty flat stomach. He was also going to lipo remaining fat that I had around my belly button area that he told me not to worry about. I am extremely unhappy right now with the results. I am being told that the area under my belly button with smooth out in time and that the folds in the skin will go away. Need help.

Doctor Answers 8

Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) results after 2 weeks. Too early to be disappointed

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It appears that you have a nice result for being just two weeks from your tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). The excess skin you are referring to, is likely secondary to the amount of central muscle laxity and spreading(diastasis recti) you had pre-operatively. By repairing this diastasis the waist is narrowed, but you still have skin which has not been narrowed. In extreme circumstances, a vertical scar can be added to a tummy tuck which is called a "fleur de lis" which directly removes this skin, though leaves you with a vertical scar and a "t" point which has difficulties healing. It looks like you will have a great scar and the central redundancy you are complaining about will likely flatten over time (3 to 6 months). I usually perform fairly aggressive liposuction centrally during the time of my tummy tuck (lipoabdominoplasty) which can help eliminate the need for secondary procedures and can help flatten the central area. I as well internal sutures which can accentuate vertical lines initially though flatten with time.

You look completely appropriate for 2 weeks out and you will likely have a great result.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Trussler

Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Another type of Tummy Tuck

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It appears to me that you were a good candidate for a tummy tuck but you needed a Fleur-De-Lis tummy tuck which removes excess skin both in the vertical and horizontal directions.  You would have to accept a upside down "T" incision.  Your concerns may improve over 3-6 months and if they do not that is the time to undergo any revisions or additional surgery.

Good Luck

Dr. ES

Vertical loose skin and stretch marks above pubis after tummy tuck.

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It would be nice to see a preoperative picture. As I can imagine you had a lot of distention of your abdomen. The stretch marks above your belly button are now below. I think you should wait a few months. Things may get better and you may be happy enough. The stretch marks are going to remain. A revision might be necessary to remove some excess fat by liposuction or if necessary a combination of liposuction and a vertical skin excision which will give you a scar between your belly button and pubis. Over all your surgeon has done a good job.

Give time (4-6 months) to assess tummy tuck results

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If you think back to how your belly looked immediately after delivery, I am sure it improved over the following 4-6 months.  Give it at least 4-6 months to settle. It is difficult to assess your results this early after surgery. Certainly the swelling can make your belly appear worse.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Loose vertical skin after a tummy tuck

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As Dr. Aldea said, you probably have a substantial improvement from preop.  The vertical scar is impossible to hide in a bikini or nice underwear so most of the time only the massive weight loss patient will accept it.  

I have found that in people like you in order to avoid a vertical scar, I pull the skin down and OUT rather than down and IN as we do most of the time.  If you need a revision, I would still try this and try to avoid a vertical scar.  The basic problem is that you will always have stretch marked damaged skin in the midline that will never be perfectly tight and smooth.

Fleur de lys tummy tuck works for vertical loose skin.

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Of course you should do nothing for several months, but I think you will need a revision.  The excess skin can be removed.  This leaves you with an up and down scar in the center of your abdomen, but women accept this scar when they get a really flat stomach.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Dissatisfaction with Vertical loose skin and stretch marks AFTER Tummy Tuck

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It is extremely common to feel the way you do if your expectations were extremely high. At 2 weeks after surgery the results WILL continue to improve and the incision waviness will smooth out in a few months.

What will not smooth out completely is the vertical loose skin in the mid-tummy. When you were bigger the skin there was much rounder. As a result a low transverse hidden incision cannot remove much that is higher and mostly centrally located. This is a known compromise for a scar than can be hidden under most conventional underwear. To completely flatten the tummy by removing this central excess requires a Fleur de Lis Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) which would leave a permanent vertical scar up and down your mid-abdomen.

If you still want what remains of this looseness in 6 months time, you can still have a vertical incision with removal of this skin looseness.

In the meantime, I would encourage you to look at you old "big" pictures, then ask to see your surgeon's BEFORE pictures while you are looking at yourself in the mirror. You will realize just how far you have come and the results will still improve.

Dr. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Your tummy tuck result should improve with more time

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Thank you for your question and photograph. I do understand your disappointment but it is far too early to be concerned. The vertical folds should definitely improve with time. Generally it takes 3-6 months to really be able to evaluate tummy tuck results. Be sure to express your concerns to your 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.