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Is a Tummy Tuck Without Muscle Repair Cheaper?

I'm a 27 yr old mother of 4 boys, the last 3 being within 3.5yrs. I had my first child at 16yrs old and I gained almost 60lbs. My other pregnancies were normal weight gain and I lost all of it. Since then I've always had loose skin directly in the center of my stomach (around my belly button.) I only want the skin to be tightened (and possibly a small amount of fat removed). I don't believe I need (nor do I want) the muscle repair. Can I do this and will it cost less than having the repair done?

Doctor Answers (15)

Tummy Tuck and Muscle Tightening: Is it necessary ?


Thanks for the question.

Although muscle tightening is not "necessary" to complete a tummy tuck, I would strongly advise to undergo this portion of the surgery as it will considerably add to the overall result. Considering that you've had multiple pregnancies, the amount of diastasis your abdomen has must be considerable. Simply performing a "skin only" tummy tuck would rid you of excess skin, but the abdominal protrusion would remain. Additionally, if you have adiposity (fat) in the central abdominal region, you may require liposuction as a secondary procedure to obtain optimal results. 

Best of luck,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Muscle repair is an important step in tummy tuck


The overall contour of the your stomach after tummy tuck does not depend on the skin alone. True skin excess is key when considering tummy tuck. However, if your abdomen protrudes and is difficult to hold in while standing, muscle repair is very important to the end result. Your photo shows such a situation which will do very well with muscle repair, and the cost should not be any different.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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Tummy Tuck Can be Done Without Muscle Repair


A tummy tuck definitely can be performed without a muscle repair.  However, I do not think you will be happy if you elect that option.  Your photo shows a good bit of central abdominal bulging which is not going to be affected by a tummy tuck without tightening your muscle.  I am unaware of any plastic surgeons who charge less for a tummy tuck without muscle repair.  Although this is a very important part of a TT, it does not require a lot of time to perform.

John Whitt, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Tighten the Muscle for Your Best Result


From looking at your pictures, it would seem that you have a significant amount of muscle separation about the belly button as well as lax skin above and below the belly button. To do a tummy tuck with skin tightening but no muscle tightening is indeed possible, but you would not achieve an excellent result.

George Sanders, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Tummy tuck without muscle tightening


Although it would be cheaper because it would take less time, you need it so you'll be pretty unlucky to find someone who would do this for you.  Visit your board certified plastic surgeon to understand why.  On physical examination he can e much more explicit about how tightening the muscle fascia improves your contour.

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Tummty tuck


I can  not recall the last tummy tuck that I did not also repair the muscles. From your lateral photo, it looks like you  need msucle tightening as well.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Tummy tuck without a muscle repair


A tummy tuck is a safe and effective procedure to contour the abdomen, create a tight waist, and remove extra skin, fat, and stretch marks.

In our practice, we feel that as every patient is different so should be every tummy tuck. In our initial consult we spent a great deal of time talking to the patient to understand their concerns to learn their aesthetic priorities and to evaluate their abdomen. By doing this the patient can create a surgical plan that will address their concerns and help them meet their aesthetic goals. We have many patients that can get excellent results by addressing the extra skin and fat and not repairing the muscle layer. This may often be done through a mini tummy tuck. Your best bet is to only work with a plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of plastic surgery and has a great deal of experience in tummy tucks, liposuction, and body contouring. This surgeon will be able to evaluate your abdomen and help you determine what components of body contouring will help you meet your aesthetic goals.
Without a muscle repair, the procedure may take less time and could potentially be cheaper.

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Muscle seperations require repair during a tummy tuck.


If your muscles are in good condition than you can easily undergo a tummy tuck without muscle repair. If, however, your muscles are separated, I would highly recommend that you repair these at the time of the tummy tuck.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Tummy tuck


Looking at your photo only, it doesn't appear that you have that much excess skin.  Consider liposuction, and even tightening of your abdominal muscles through an umbilical incision only.  The cost may be lower.

Shahin Javaheri, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 2 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.