I’ve had tummy tuck surgery but don’t like the results. What can I do?

Tummy tuck revision Dr Sam Cunneen

(before and after photo by Dr Sam Cunneen)

Deciding to have a tummy tuck operation was a big deal. You spent time thoroughly researching the procedure and chose a good surgeon.

But now 12 months has passed and you really don’t like the results. You don’t have to put up with this though.

Tummy tuck revision is a surgical procedure that aims to resolve the issues that resulted from your original tummy tuck surgery.

What is a tummy tuck revision?

Tummy tuck surgery (also called abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and loose from the lower and middle abdomen. Tummy tuck surgery can also flatten the abdominal area and tighten separated abdominal muscles.

After tummy tuck surgery, people consider getting tummy tuck revision surgery for various reasons including:

  • Post-operative weight loss or weight gain or weight loss,
  • A new pregnancy, or
  • Because they’re unhappy with the results from the first tummy tuck procedure.

Why you may need to get tummy tuck revision surgery

There are 5 common reasons people see a Cosmetic Surgeon to get tummy tuck revision surgery including:

1.    Scar revision

The final look and outcome of the scars from your tummy tuck will depend on the genetics of your scar formation and the way your body heals. Even though there are specific surgical techniques to minimise scarring, scar thickening and malposition can still occur.

In many cases a Cosmetic Surgeon will be able to correct the scar position, however this will depend on your skin tone and the amount of residual skin you have.

2.    Umbilical distortion

Your umbilicus (belly button) can become distorted due to:

  • An obvious scar around the umbilicus will become obvious if the umbilicus is not made deep enough.
  • Umbilical stenosis. This occurs when the umbilicus becomes small after surgery.
  • An elongated slit looking occurs if too much skin has been excised resulting in increased tension of the closure. When the new umbilicus is created, the vertical pull of the skin causes the shape to change from a round to an elliptical and elongated shape.
  • An enlarged umbilicus can occur for several reasons including stretched skin in a radial direction due to an intrinsic laxity of the skin or if the new umbilicus is not designed to a proper dimension. It is important to note that a belly button should be no larger than 1.5 cm in its vertical and horizontal dimension.

3.    Unsatisfactory overall tummy tuck appearance

Some tummy tuck patients need to have the abdominal skin elevated to recreate the abdominal contours.

It is important to note that if you need this performed; your abdominal scar will be higher than normal due to the excess skin that was previously excised.

4.    Residual deformities

The most common residual deformities include:

  • The most common areas that require revision due to fat deposits are the mons pubis. If liposuction is not performed in this area, you will have a flat abdomen however you will have unsightly bulginess that will be aesthetically unpleasant.
  • A dog-ear occurs as a result of a significant lack of soft tissue excision, which leads to the tissue bunching on the sides.
  • Inadequate tissue removal usually occurs due to poor surgical planning where the overall skin elasticity is not taken into account when removing the excess skin.

5.    Epi-gastric bulginess

You will have a bulging abdominal area if there has been insufficient suturing of the abdominal wall muscles above your belly button.

To fix this issue, your Cosmetic Surgeon will suture the abdominal wall from the most inferior aspect of the chest to the lowest part of the abdomen area.

What happens during tummy tuck revision surgery?

During the tummy tuck revision surgery your Cosmetic Surgeon will reposition the abdominal muscles so they are tight and flat.

This process also ensures that any abdominal muscles that have separated or stretched can be brought back together. Most patients need to stay for at least one night in hospital.

Read more facts about tummy tuck revision surgery here.

How do I find the best Australian Tummy Tuck Revision Surgeon?

With any surgical procedure, the most important factor in choosing a Cosmetic Surgeon is experience.

We suggest you look for a board-certified Cosmetic Surgeon who performs the tummy tuck revision procedure frequently and has proven safe results.

Find the best Tummy Tuck Revision Cosmetic Surgeons in Australia here.

Are there risks or complications with tummy tuck revision surgery?

Any surgical operation brings risks or complications that can include:

  • Anaesthesia complications,
  • Pain,
  • Infection of the surgical site,
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or
  • Pulmonary embolus

Specific complications of tummy tuck revision surgery include:

  • Numbness or continued pain on your abdomen caused by injury to the small nerves that supply your skin. This can resolve after a few weeks but may continue for many months.
  • Developing a swelling under the skin in your lower abdomen caused by blood or fluid collecting. Excess blood or fluid can be removed with a small procedure.
  • Cosmetic and aesthetic problems can occur after a tummy tuck revision operation.

What is recovery like after tummy tuck revision surgery?

Recovery time varies from patient to patient. Some patients feel well enough to return to work and daily activities in 7 days, other patients require 2 or 3 weeks recovery.

To help the recovery process, wearing compression garments will help. If you experience pain, your Cosmetic Surgeon will prescribe medication.

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