Everything to Know About Tummy Tuck Revision Surgery
What is Tummy Tuck Revision Surgery?
A tummy tuck revision surgery is a procedure to correct and improve the contour of the abdomen following complications and unwanted side effects from a past tummy tuck surgery. If you are considering a revision tummy tuck surgery, here are some guidelines for you to help consider whether tummy tuck surgery is necessary or not. Tummy tuck revision can be necessary in the following cases:
- Because of a new pregnancy
- Postoperative weight loss or gain
- Dissatisfaction with the result from first tummy tuck surgery
Tummy tuck revision surgery or second mummy makeover is a procedure to make the abdomen thinner and firm. The surgical procedure involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tightening the muscles and fascia of the abdominal wall as necessary. This procedure can provide a solution for patients with loose or sagging tissues following pregnancy or major weight loss.
Tummy tuck surgery can also provide an improvement in core strength, skin laxity, abdominal contour, as well as correct separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti surgery).
Are You a Good Candidate for a Revision Tummy Tuck?
The common reasons patient opt for a revision tummy tuck are:
- You have a poor scar from a previous tummy tuck which is too high, not well located, or with big lumps (dog ears) at the end of the scar.
- Your aesthetic outcomes were not satisfactory including remaining fat bulges and a poorly corrected tummy area.
- Your abdomen is uneven or has loose skin.
- There was a failure of muscle repair in the previous tummy tuck.
- You have a recurrent hernia.
General conditions for a good tummy tuck surgery candidate include:
- Men and women who are in good health condition.
- An obese person who has had significant weight loss.
- Women who’ve had multiple pregnancies and want to tighten their abdominal muscles and reduce skin.
- You have excess fat and loose skin around the belly.
- You have realistic cosmetic goals.
- You are a non-smoker.
A revision tummy tuck surgery is more difficult to perform than the original procedure. It is important to book a consultation with an experienced specialist plastic surgeon who performs this surgery regularly.
A major concern with tummy tuck revision is the visibility of scars. The patient should understand that there will always be a scar following tummy tuck surgery and it can be visible if the scar is too high. Dr Doyle always aims to make the incision low where it can be concealed by underwear or a swimsuit. Hidden scar placement becomes more difficult during a revisional procedure as the scar already exists.
The outcome of revisional tummy tuck surgery can be seen once bruising, swelling and scars have settled. This can take up to 12 months or more. The results of a tummy tuck are long-lasting if the weight does not change significantly.
Who Should Not Consider a Tummy Tuck?
You should postpone your tummy tuck if you are:
- Planning to get pregnant. The vertical muscle of the abdomen is tightened during surgery, which can be separated by future pregnancies.
- Planning to lose weight.
- You have a serious health condition.
Steps of the Tummy Tuck Revision Procedure
If you choose to proceed with the surgery, a blood test, ECG and X-ray may be carried out to evaluate fitness for your surgery. If you are on certain medications that may interfere with the surgery process and in particular blood thinners, you may be asked to stop them a few days or weeks before surgery.
- A tummy tuck revision procedure is most commonly done under general anesthesia. Small adjustments may be made under local anaesthetic in the doctor’s office.
- The original abdominal scar is opened.
- An incision around the navel may be sometimes needed to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen.
- The abdominal muscles are pulled tight as necessary using strong non-absorbable stitches. Excess skin is trimmed and the remaining skin is sutured together.
- In case of umbilical distortion, umbilical stenosis, and slit-like umbilicus, a revision of the umbilical area is performed.
- Some deformities like excess skin can be corrected by just removing the excess skin. Excess fat deposition can then be corrected by liposuction.
- If there is bulging of the skin in the central upper abdomen this can be corrected with sutures in the rectus muscle and liposuction if there is excess fat in this area.
- In case of scar malposition or scar thickening, surgery is performed for scar correction.
- Drains may be used to prevent the collection of blood underneath the skin flaps.
Your Revision Tummy Tuck Journey
Your initial consultation with Dr Doyle is the beginning step of a revision tummy tuck surgery. It includes a conversation with Dr Doyle to get yourself evaluated and make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the procedure. During your consultation, you need to inform Dr Doyle concerning any medical conditions, past surgeries, current lifestyle habits, and any issues that may interfere with surgery. As revision surgery is more difficult to perform than the initial surgery, it is very important to choose a highly skilled Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
Recovery from Tummy Tuck Revision
As tummy tuck revision surgery is an individualised procedure performed on your unique body type, the recovery period varies from person to person. Tummy tuck surgery is a popular procedure. Despite its popularity, many people are unaware of what to expect during recovery. Knowledge about the recovery process will help make the tummy tuck procedure an easier journey for many patients. As with any surgical procedure, the recovery period is dependent upon multiple factors including the following:
- Age of the patient
- General health condition of the patient
- The extent of the tummy tuck procedure, ie. is it an extended tummy tuck or belt lipectomy?
- Postoperative care and follow-up appointments
Some routine things you need to care of as you heal after surgery:
- During your recovery following abdominoplasty surgery, dressing and bandages are applied to your incision. You will need to wear a compression garment to minimise swelling and provide support to your abdomen. This ensures an uneventful healing and recovery process. Small tubes are placed underneath the skin to empty excess fluids and blood collected.
- You will be prescribed a course of antibiotics and painkillers to reduce the risk of infection and minimise your pain. Dr Doyle routinely uses a pain pump to release local anaesthetic under the skin for the first 3 days after your surgery. This keeps your pain to a minimum.
- You should avoid strenuous exercise for at least six weeks following surgery.
- You should follow instructions from Dr Doyle about drain care and incision care. You will be instructed when to change the dressing. You should also immediately inform Dr Doyle if you have severe pain in the incision site, swelling, redness, pus, warmth, or bleeding.
How to Improve Your Recovery
Dr Doyle will provide you with post-operative care instructions. You should follow these exactly to ensure you are not straining your wounds or risking complications. You should also follow Dr Doyle’s best practice cosmetic surgery recovery tips, which include an adequate wound healing diet and the use of supplements. It’s important to do your research before undergoing surgery so that you know what’s normal and what’s not with your recovery. You should know when to get into contact with Dr Doyle should a problem arise.
Risks and Complications of a Tummy Tuck Revision Procedure
There are always risks and potential complications of any surgery and tummy tuck surgery is no exception. Tummy tuck revision risks and complications include:
- Anaesthetic complications: Drug allergy and hypersensitivity are common side effects following anesthetic drug administration.
- Bleeding: Bleeding during and after surgery may occur. If there is soakage of dressings or an abnormally large collection of blood in the drain, then you should immediately consult with Dr Doyle.
- Surrounding structure injury: During the procedure, surrounding structures such as blood vessels, and nerves may get injured.
Late complications of the tummy tuck recovery procedure include:
- Wound Infection: If your wound is red, swollen, there is discharge from the wound and severe pain then you are most likely suffering from a wound infection. You will be prescribed antibiotics to treat the wound infection.
- Wound breakdown: If the pressure increases inside the wound, then the wound may break down. In this case, the wound is reopened and left open to heal.
- Blood clot in your leg (Deep vein thrombosis): Due to prolonged bed rest following surgery you may develop pain and swelling in your calf. You must inform Dr Doyle immediately if you think you have deep vein thrombosis. All patients will be treated with blood-thinning medications following the surgery and encouraged to mobilise early to prevent this from occurring.
You should discuss the side effects with Dr Doyle in detail to avoid any serious complications. It is necessary to note that almost all the complications and side effects of a tummy tuck can be avoided by selecting a highly skilled specialist surgeon to perform the procedure. Book a consultation with our specialist plastic surgeon, Dr Mark Doyle today.
Is Revision Tummy Tuck Worth It?
A tummy tuck revision surgery can correct unwanted or unsightly aesthetic effects created by a previous body contouring procedure. The possible complications such as excess fat, poor quality scars, scars located too high, and an unattractive belly button can be corrected or improved by revision tummy tuck surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get tummy tuck twice?
It is possible to have a tummy tuck twice if you have a poor scar from a previous tummy tuck or the scars are too high, not well located, or with big lumps at the end of the scar.
You may also seek revision surgery if your aesthetic outcomes are not satisfactory and you are left with remaining fat bulges and a poorly corrected tummy area. A tummy tuck can also be done again if there was a failure of muscle repair in the previous tummy tuck. Weight gain or loss, as well as pregnancy and aging, can also affect the results of tummy tuck surgery. Tummy tuck revision can restore the abdomen to a firmer, more sculpted form.
How many times can I get a tummy tuck?
There is no limit on the number of tummy tucks you can undergo if you meet all the requirements and are surgically fit for the procedure. Ideally, a tummy tuck is only performed once on a patient. Abdominoplasty benefits can be lost following weight gain or pregnancy. Revision can re-establish those benefits by removing excess skin, fats and retightening the abdominal muscle. It is best to discuss your concerns with Dr Doyle.
Can your stomach come back after a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery is performed to get a flatter and firmer midsection but it is not a procedure for weight loss. A healthy diet and consistent exercise will ensure you maintain your current transformed tummy. The procedure has a good outcome, but the result can be compromised if the patient gains weight or has children following the procedure.
What is a tummy tuck revision?
Tummy tuck revision is another name for secondary abdominoplasty. This can take many forms ranging from repeated tummy tuck procedure (Trimming excess skin, removal of fat, and retightening abdominal muscle) to minor tweaks (scar revision). Patients seek tummy tuck surgery for many reasons including, post-operative weight gain or weight gain, pregnancy following the original tummy tuck procedure, poor healing, or dissatisfaction with the first tummy tuck surgery.
Why is my stomach still big after a tummy tuck?
There are several reasons for a big stomach after a tummy tuck. It can be due to visceral fat (fat in internal organs). If you just had surgery, it certainly can be from swelling, which could occur unevenly in the earlier phase of healing. It can also be a seroma (collection of fluid under the skin), most often at the surgical incision site. An examination and some investigations may be needed for further evaluation.
Does a tummy tuck lift your pubic area?
A tummy tuck can be done in such a way as to lift the pubic area if requested by the patient.
How long do tummy tucks last?
A tummy tuck is considered to last forever as skin and fat cells that are removed cannot grow back and the muscle tightened should not need further surgical correction. However, significant weight gain and loss, and pregnancy can cause the skin to lose elasticity and become lax again. Weight gain also causes fat cells to grow larger which will affect the final result of the surgery. To ensure long-lasting aesthetic results after a tummy tuck, it is essential to maintain a stable weight, follow a healthy diet and exercise consistently.
Book a Consultation
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- “Short- and Long-Term Effects of Abdominal Lipectomy on Weight and Fat Mass in Females: A Systematic Review“. Obesity Surgery. 2