Abdominal Protrusion After Tummy Tuck

Q: I’m 7 months post-op. My stomach is still big with a lot of fullness—what is causing this? The doctor did not mark me in room standing up. He marked me in the operating room while I was laying down. Is this why I have excess fat and why my stomach isn’t flat? (Also, I have balls in the incision area where the doctor gave me steroid shots.)

Thanks for posting your before and after pictures, and sorry for your sub-optimal result.

From observing your pictures, indeed the stomach is protruding excessively. However, the cause of upper abdominal bulging after tummy tuck surgery can be due to the following:

  1. The surgeon tightened only the skin and not the muscles.

  2. The surgeon tightened the muscles, but due to excessive fat intra-peritoneally, for your own safety, he could not flatten the stomach, to avoid breathing difficulty after surgery.

    (In my practice, I ask the tummy tuck patients during the first consultation to lie on their back flat. If the stomach is still protruding while flat, I notify the patients that for their own safety, I will not be able to tighten the muscles optimally, which will result in the stomach not being flat after tummy tuck surgery).

  3. The surgeon tightened the muscles optimally, but you were too active after surgery and stretched the muscles during repair, which resulted in the protrusion.

    Lie flat on your back. If the stomach is flat, re-tightening of the muscle surgically will help. If the stomach is protruding, you need to lose weight.

tummy tuck revision patient
tummy tuck revision patient

I would recommend reading the book “Sugar busters”, which will educate you about eating low Glycemic food and losing weight. I give this book to all my overweight patients. 

Always consult with experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons who operate in an accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check the before and after pictures in the photo gallery; make sure that they are numerous, consistent, and attractive, with flat stomachs, nice belly buttons, improved body posture, and low scarring.

For more information on tummy tucks offered by Dr. Widder, contact Widder Plastic Surgery for a consultation.