Michael S. Beckenstein, M.D.
I had a hernia repair and tummy tuck five weeks ago. I now have a bulge from below my belly button down to my scar. Is this normal during the healing process and will it eventually go down?
There is usually some degree of swelling after abdominoplasty but this should resolve in 4 - 6 weeks. If this "bulge" is new, it might be the underlying abdominal wall which is now visible as the swelling subsides. It might be a fluid collection that may have to be drained by your surgeon. Rarely the sutures used to tighten the abdominal wall may become disrupted recreating the weakness present before surgery. I would suggest you visit with your surgeon to have an evaluation of this and receive an opinion on what it might be.
I was born with a cleft lip and palate which were repaired shortly after I was born. I am now 18 and would like to have it redone as I have a remaining scar. If I have surgery now would it permanently remove the scar, resulting in the area looking normal?
Thank you for your inquiry. There are no methods available today to completely remove a scar. There are sometimes methods that can be used to IMPROVE them; there will always be a scar, but it should be improved. Not everyone is a candidate for scar revision and the risks may not be worth the small benefit you might receive. With cleft lips, this might be more challenging and involve more then a simple scar revision. What I would recommend is that you be evaluated by a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes in cleft lip repair. This way you will find out if you are a good candidate for a revision. Good luck!