Bad tummy tuck?

I am 10 weeks post op and I am not happy with my results. Did something go wrong? I did get a new belly button and my scarring seems excessive. The area above my belly button is not tight and extends outward. What is wrong? 


F, 56, Texas

Two to three months following this type of surgical procedure is still fairly early on in the recovery/healing process. It is not abnormal for people undergoing cosmetic surgery like this to not recognize their "final shape" until several months have passed. There are many plastic surgeons who do this type of body contouring that do not take the "after" photos for some months post-surgery.

Each procedure and each person is different, but generally within three or four months of your surgery you should be able to start wearing clothing that is smaller sized. Your surgeon should have explained the different phases of recovery to you -- from when the initial swelling and pain would diminish to when you could resume your physical activities and when you would see the "final results." This last step could take as long as one year to realize. In the meantime, if you are not satisfied with the work done you should definitely check in with the surgeon that performed the procedure to discuss your results to date, a timetable for full post-op results, and ways to practice scar care (e.g. avoid sun exposure, application of topical creams, etc.).

Without seeing before and after photos or doing an exam, it is difficult to give you an exact answer. However, for most patients, it takes a while before they see the final results from tummy tuck surgery. Recovery time and when people return to their normal activities vary by individual, as do tummy tuck results.

You should have seen a short-term improvement from your procedure based on the removal of excess skin. During the ensuing weeks there should have been a reduction in bruising, swelling and pain. But it’s not uncommon for the full results of this procedure to take six months to one year before becoming apparent. I am hoping that you went to a board-certified plastic surgeon for your tummy tuck procedure -- one who has a lot of experience in this type of plastic surgery (abdominoplasty / mommy makeover).

With surgery comes scarring. However, if you believe something is amiss, and if you haven't already done so, I strongly suggest you schedule a follow up visit with the surgeon to express your concerns and determine the next steps.

Dr. Frederic Corbin has 2 Tummy tuck before & afters:

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Hi Terri

I agree with Dr. Breslow.  Ten weeks is still very early in the recovery, however, you describe some concerning things.  It is impossible to opine without an exam or pictures.

I encourage you to return to the doctor and have a frank discussion about your concerns, what to expect, what if anything went wrong, what next?

Best to you.


10 weeks after a tummy tuck is still early.  It will take a full year to year and a half until you are fully healed, especially the scars.  That said, there are things that can be done as your scars are healing to optimize the final appearance.  Scar creams and silicone sheeting can be very effective.  With respect to the fullness above your belly button, that is not too uncommon.  You may try placing an ace wrap over that area for a while, which can help even the abdomen out.  I would follow up with your surgeon to discuss your issues.  Hope this helps.  Good luck!

Dr. Gary Breslow has 16 Tummytuck before & afters:

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