I've Provided Pre/Post-Op Photos, Can Someone Tell Me What Went Wrong With My Tummy Tuck?

I had a mommy make-over on 9/01/11, I am 9 days post op. I am very much displeased with the results of my tummy tuck. My dr. keeps reassuring me that it's just been one week and I'm swollen, but I know that's not the case. Can anyone shed light on what was done incorrectly? I should be flat with some swelling, not have two humps in the middle, you can't even see my belly button and I am getting irritation and sores where the skin folds together in the middle. I would appreciate any advice.

Doctor Answers 4

Healing and Recovery after a Mommy Makeover

Your #healing will continue for 2-3 months for the early period. This includes some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation in the breasts may also be abnormal and scars will be evolve. Tingling, burning or shooting pains in the breasts will disappear with time and should not alarm you. It is simply a result of the regeneration of your sensory nerves. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self-massage per your surgeon's permission may help.

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks. #MummyTummy is a term given to modified tummy tucks which can use liposuction and skin tightening with radiofrequency such Vanquish, Vela3, thermage, thermiRF and others.  The actual fat contouring can be done non-surgically as well with #UltraShape or Cool-Sculpting. If you have any concerns about #healing, its best to ask questions of your surgeon or their nursing staff.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Your results will get better as you recover

I understand your frustration and disappointment, but please let your body recover a little more before you assess your results. Right now, your body is still swollen and the skin needs to re-adjust to your new contour. You'll be amazed at how well your body recovers when you follow your surgeon's post care instructions! Swelling will subside and your breasts will also become more natural in shape. If you are experiencing irritation in the skin fold of your stomach, please let your surgeon know about this. They can recommend something to help.

Potential Inadequate Lateral Flap Dissection

It’s hard to know if something went wrong with your surgical procedure, based on your pictures alone. It’s not unusual to experience significant swelling following Mommy Makeover surgery.  For this reason, it’s virtually impossible to make aesthetic judgements for 3 to 6 months following this type of surgery.
The most likely cause of this type of problem is post-operative swelling.Post-operative swelling can cause abdominal distension, pain and discomfort.When this situation arises, abdominal contour improves with resolution of swelling.
Other potential causes include inadequate lateral flap dissection in combination with aggressive muscle plication, medial advancement of skin flaps during closure to avoid dog ears, and finally seroma formation.All of these problems can be differentiated with a physical examination.
At this point in time, it’s important to be patient and maintain close contact with your plastic surgeon.Your surgeon should be able to evaluate your situation and address concerns as they arise.

Tummy Tuck - Early Post Operative Advice

I agree with your plastic surgeon that it is too early to make any decisions on what the final outcome will be only 9 days after a tummy tuck.  You have a lot a swelling in the midline, and therefore I would do ultrasound on your abdomen at this time to decrease swelling.  The ultrasound I refer to is the therapeutic ultrasound the physical therapists use to treat sore muscles.  This will bring blood supply to the area and help take away injured tissue to allow swelling to decrease.  I would also consider the use of DMSO as this is the world's best anti-inflammatory. 

The two modalities that I listed above should hasten the resolution of your swelling to allow you and your plastic surgeon to determine if a touch up might be necessary. 

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.