Is 9 Weeks Too Early to Have a Revision on a Mini Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I recently had a mini tummy tuck, lipo of abdomen,flanks, inner/outer thighs, and upper arms. At my 5 week post-op Dr. said I needed a revision. More skin needed to be cut out. He said in 4 weeks. So I have an appointment for revision. I am concerned that it might be too early. Still have a little swelling around the area. I do agree with the Dr. that I need a revision. I look worse than when I went in. So revision is due, but is 9 weeks too early?

Doctor Answers 9

Is a revision the right procedure for you

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Thank you for the photo.  Only a small group of patients are candidates for a mini tummy tuck.  When performed  for patients that are better candidates for a full tummy tuck the results can be disappointing.  Your options are really to lower your scar and in the process remove more skin/soft-tissue or to undergo a full tummy tuck.  Only a full examination will be able to determine which of these would be better for you but I am inclined to say that a full tummy tuck would be a better investment.  9 weeks is early but the reality is that the laxity will not improve with more time.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

A Full Tummy Tuck Would Be Appropriate

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You are an excellent candidate for a complete tummy tuck with correction of your separated abdominal muscles.  You can get rid of the majority of the stretch marks between your existing scar and your belly button.  It appears that you have had reasonable liposuction of the upper abdomen.  This has led to some alteration of the blood supply to your abdominal skin which is know as a "delay".  Normally, a surgeon waits 8 weeks after a delay to do a second surgery; therefore, 9 weeks is a great time to go ahead and do the full tummy tuck and you can even worry less about any potential dangers of skin sloughing. 

Be sure your plastic surgeon is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and speak with him or her about the possibility of a full tuck as the revisionary surgery. 

Wait at least 6 or more months or Tummy Tuck Revision

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For the best results I have found that it is important to wait until you have fully recovered from your original tummy tuck surgery. That is until all the edema, skin stretch, and scar maturation has occurred and your skin and underlying soft tissue is once again supple.This can take a year and I personally recommend waiting this time for most. In as little as 6 months this may occur but an exam would be needed to tell

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Revision Timing

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I concur with your concern: 9 weeks is way too early to consider any revisions.  your are likely still swollen and your scar is not yet mature.   I would suggest that you wait at least 4-6 months to give more timing for healing before you consider any revisional procedures. Some surgeons also advocate waiting even longer 8-12 months before considering any revisions.  Best of luck.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Tummy Tuck Revision

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Thanks for your photographs and question. I agree with you and believe that 9 weeks may be a little too early to consider a revision.  Looking at the swelling evident in your photos, you seem to be in a period of healing that may not be best for further surgery.  However, I would also question what type of surgical revision is being considered. It seems like you would best be a candidate for a full tummy tuck +/- liposuction.  I would be sure to discuss this with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area. Good luck!

Tummy tuck revision

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I do not necessarily think it is too early to have a revision, but I believe you would be better off having the mini tuck converted to a full tummy tuck.  You are a perfect example of someone who was a better candidate for a full tummy tuck, but because you had a mini, you are disappointed with the result.  The good news?  Converting you to a full tummy tuck is a pretty straightforward undertaking,  Good luck!

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Revision on a tummy tuck

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Thank you for the question and the photos. There are two things that are concerning about your surgery. The first is "revision" what type of revision, and why so early. The second concern is related to the type of surgery you have had. Looking at the photos I think you are a candidate for a full tummy tuck. This would give you superior results and likely would not have needed a revision.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Too early for revision abdominoplasty? (photo)

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In agreement with you, my recommendation is usually to wait for more complete healing and resolution of swelling before surgical revision.  If there is still swelling at the time of revision, the secondary procedure may not result in complete correction.  Also, the tissues remain delicate early after your first operation... they are still healing.

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

Tummy Tuck Revision

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I am sorry that you are unhappy with your mini-tuck. At nine weeks you still have significant swelling and the healing process is in a phase that is not conducive for a reoperation.  You should wait at least three months, and perhaps longer. 

Looking at your post operative photos I feel that you are a much better candidate for a full abdominoplasty, and that any revision you are entertaining should be the full abdominoplasty with concurrent liposuction to the abdomen.  Performing both simulatneously requires a basic understanding of the circulation of the abdominal area as well as knowledge of tumescent technique liposuction to avoid harming the circulation of the skin. I recommend you seek out another surgeon that has extensive experience in body contouring of this type.  The type of surgeon you need would not have performed a mini-tuck on you in the first place.  Although unfortunate, you have not burned any bridges with respect to getting an excellent result with the appropriate surgery.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 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.