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Is It Normal to Not Get Muscle Repair During a Tummy Tuck?

I'm 33 years old, 5'3, 154 lbs and have had 3 children with the last being a c-section. I was told that I wouldn't get any muscle repair done during my Tummy tuck! Is this normal? I have not been able to see any results from surgery since i'm bandaged up and wearing a binder until Thursday when i see the surgeon. Will my final results be good without the Muscle Repair?

Doctor Answers (20)

Abdominoplasty without muscle tightening

+3

Am I correct that you are asking AFTER the surgery whether muscle tightening should have been done?  An issue this critical should generally be ironed out before the patient has surgery.

It would be common not to do the muscle tightening if you were contemplating having more children but were bothered by excess skin, as in massive weight loss patients.  Generally we wait until patients no longer anticipate having more children before doing an abdominoplasty.

Otherwise, we would typically tighten the muscles (actually the fascia, the deep layer lining the muscles).


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Iron things out first.

+1

Muscle repair should be fixed before the surgery to avoid complications, It critical that these sort of thing be fixed before a tummy tuck to avoid complications in the future.

Jonathan Fisher, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

Muscle tightening (repair) with tummy tuck is highly recommended

+1

Hello mystical,

Abdominal muscle repair (tightening or rectus diastasis repair) is often an important part of obtaining excellent tummy tuck results in most patients.  I have personally yet to see a patient after having children not benefit from some abdominal tightening.  Your plastic surgeon is of course able to examine you and determine if muscle tightening is needed.  Loose abdominal muscles will be seen as a roundness on side profile.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

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Muscle plication and tummy tuck

+1

The tummy tuck procedure typically involves plication  of the abdominal wall muscle that have spread during pregnancy or weight gain/loss. Omitting  this part of the procedure will leave you with continued abdominal wall laxity and, in my  opinion, a less than optimal result.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 710 reviews

Muscle repair generally needed after multiple pregnancies

+1

Generally, most women who have had one or more children, will need their abdominal muscles tightened to some degree.  Women who have a wider diastasis will need the repair more than others.  However, if you have the good fortune of having had children but do not have any widening between the abdominus rectus muscles, then you will not benefit from repair of the muscle.  Only your surgeon can see for sure once he/she has lifted up the skin and fat to expose the muscle.

James Tang, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Most Tummy-Tucks Get a Muscle Repair for Optimal Results

+1

Aging alone, and even more so with pregnancies and/or obesity, the muscles of the abdomen gets weaker and most tummy-tuck procedures include tightening the 2 recti abdomini muscles.  It makes the results so much better by recreating the hour-glass silhouette of a woman's body and by bringing the abdomen "in" for a flatter result.  Without the tightening, the 'gut' or intra-abdominal content will continue to protrude.  Dr. Marc DuPéré, Toronto Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, VISAGE Clinic.

Marc DuPéré, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

No muscle plication

+1

It is very rare for me to not plicate the muscles in a patient with your anatomy.  Unless there is some major detail that you're leaving out of the story, I probably would've opted to do it.  There are MINI-TUMM

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Muscle repair during tummy tuck done in most patients.

+1

After three pregnancies and a C-section, I find it unusual to have not received a muscle plication, but not impossible. To decide this ahead of time and to tell you that muscle repair would not be done is quite another matter. If so informed, why did you not ask why? Were you given a "low-price" special?  Is your surgeon an ABPS-certified plastic surgeon?

At this point, however, the deed is done, and now you have spent your money, had your procedure, and will have to wait and see if your results make you glad, or not. To find out what your surgeon was thinking, you have to calmly ask your surgeon, and await the reply. If you receive a defensive, short, angry response, that tells you something about the situation. If your surgeon simply states "By my examination pre-operatively your muscles seemed tight, and that was confirmed in the operating room, so muscle work was not necessary," that tells you something else. It may be incorrect, but errors of judgment are not malpractice or negligence. Errors of surgeon choice are all too common.

As has been said on this site so many times [This is for those who have not yet had surgery!], check your surgeon's credentials, hospital affiliations, complaints with the state board of medical examiners, board-certification (beware bogus boards), experience, training, and listen to your gut also. Get your answers before the surgery, not on a website after the fact, even one as well-run and populated with qualified answer-givers as RealSelf!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Muscle repair/tightening required to correct post pregnancy changes

+1

A tightening of your muscles(rectus plication)  is needed to reverse the changes from pregnancy. Without a muscle plication, your rectus muscles will remain "separated" and it may cause a continuation of abdominal bulging.   Please talk with your surgeon as to his/her reasoning to exclude the muscle plication. 

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Muscle repair is the norm in tummy tuck after pregnancy

+1

After one or more pregnancies the abdominal covering tissues relax and the muscles will separate called a diastasis. Correction of the muscle foundation is an important part of the tummy tuck as it is unlikely that the skin alone will hold the proper abdominal tone and contour. We wish you well, and for others, it is essential to do your homework and ask questions carefully rather than hope for the best.

Best of luck,

peterejohnsonmd

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.