What Is Wrong With My Tummy Tuck Result?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a tummy tuck 7 weeks ago and I am concerned the results are below my expectations. I found your details through a google search and am wondering if you can give me your opinion please

I had liposuction, muscle tightening/stitches and skin removed from the upper and lower abdomin. 

I would have expected to have a pretty tight and flat abdomen by now but I still have cellutite and soft skin that I can grab handfuls of. My weight and measurements have not reduced and I am quite underwhelmed by the results.

Are my expectations too high? I was told 6 pack definition was not impossible and I am very far away from that result. Will it get better as time goes on or is this as good as it gets? 

I have an appointment with my surgeon in 1 week and will express my concerns. 

This is the second time I have been through the surgery, as the first time was a complete disaster and the surgeon was happy to redo the work. 

I have attached some photos to help explain. 

Thank you for your time. 

A:Thank you for sending your pictures to which I can add the following secondary comments:

1) You had an inverted T type tummy tuck which was appropriate if the goal was to keep the horizontal part of the scar very low. This type of tummy tuck does not remove as much skin as other more extended types of tummy tucks but less skin removal is the price to be paid for the scar location. A supraumbilical type full tummy tuck would have produced a more significant result with much greater skin removal but at the price of a much higher and longer horizontal scar. The aesthetic danger is this approach in you is that you may have been a lot flatter and tighter but may have hated the scar…in which there is not going back. (aka poor tradeoff)

2) I think your expectations (after this secondary surgery) may have been too high. A 6 pack ab result was never a remotely realistic expectation or anything even close to that outcome.

3) I suspect the fundamental issue here is one of miscommunication or lack of adequate preoperatve education/understanding between patient and surgeon. You are what I would call a ‘tweener’ meaning a traditional full tummy tuck may have produced a better ooutcome but with an unfavorable scar location vs a more limited type of tummy tuck which has a better scar but less of an aesthetic improvement. I am not sure you clearly understood your situation before surgery. In patients like you I go to great lengths in making sure they understand their choice and the involved tradeoffs before the surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana