I'm 54 with Diastasis Recti, but I Had my Gallbladder out in 1989, the Year Before Laparoscopically. Can I Do TT?

2 plastic surgeons they said can't do a tummy tuck as the blood supply as already been severed and the tissue would die. I had a mastectomy w/reconstruction last year and again was told they could not use my abdominal muscle & tissue for the repair. I'm not fat, I don't have extra skin, but I really NEED my abdominal muscles! I can't lift anything when bent over, and my lower back hurts. But I'm told sit-ups, crunches & leg lift exercises will make it worse. Can anything be done?

Doctor Answers 8

I'm 54 with Diastasis Recti, but I Had my Gallbladder out in 1989, the Year Before Laparoscopically. Can I Do TT?

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    If you need your muscles tightened and do not have loose skin, this can be done in a straightforward operation with little risk for complication.  You have not found the right surgeon for you.  You have to find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs HUNDREDS of tummy tuck procedures each year.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Higher Risk Procedure

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Tummy tuck after an open gallbladder surgery is riskier.  There can be healing problems below the incision because the blood supply has been divided by the surgery.  The operation can be modified to make it safer but it is not always 100% successful.  A flap delay procedure can also help, but would require multiple operations and increase the cost of sugery.  Best wishes. 

George Bitar, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Can I Do TT?

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Most senior plastic surgeons have experience with TT after open gall bladder operations, and although the operation is modified, it can be done safely. 

However, if you have no skin excess to remove, the diastasis repair can be done endoscopically by some surgeons, and with mininal undermining by almost any surgeon. 

Don't give up--keep trying to find the right surgeon.

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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Tummytuck after and open gallbladder removal

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Unfortunately I think the other surgeons are correct.  To be honest there are doctors that will do a tummytuck despite your previous gallbladder surgery but I think it is highly risky and the ramifications if your tissue doesn't heal are very high.  In my opinion its too risky and I don't recommend it.  That being said I have done cases where as a result of the issues with blood supply, I have limited the amount of my undermining (lifting of the tissue off the blood supply) in order to remove some but not all the excess skin.  In your instance it does not seem like this is your problem.  Finally if all you have is diastasis, that is muscle separation and no excess skin, you may be able to use a tummytuck incision to approach and close the muscles and not remove any skin.  In this instance you may not have as much risk of wound healing issues.  An exam is key.  Bottom line make sure if a doctor tells you he can do it, you trust him and he has experience with patients like you.  Hope that helps

Rady Rahban, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 141 reviews

Diastasis recti and TT

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A picture would be helpful to fully assess your suitability for a tummy tuck. However diastasis rectii may also be repaired endoscopically!

Sultan Hassan, MD, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon

Modification of TT technique required with gallbladder scar

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Thank you for your question. A personal exam and consultation is always best.

That said modification of tummy tuck technique is required often requiring a vertical incision.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, experienced in your procedure, and who has an excellent reputation in your community.

Tummy Tuck Candidate After Previous Laparoscopy?

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 Thank you for the question, but  you are description of your situation does not quite make sense. Patients who have had laparoscopic surgery generally have not had their blood supply “severed”. On the other hand, open  approach cholecystectomy,  involving a much longer incision line, can potentially compromise blood flow important during tummy tuck surgery.

 Whether or not you are a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery will depend on your physical examination and goals;  you may want to post pictures here for more precise advice online.

 Best wishes.

Tummy Tuck A Possibility

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If 2 plastic surgeons told you that it can not be done, then it seems that there is something else going on that we are not being informed of. Usually if you only had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy the blood supply should be fine. If you had an open cholecystectomy then you are at higher risk of breakdown. Please post a picture of your abdomen to help the online experts determine why 2 surgeons already told you that it can not be done.

Itzhak Nir, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 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.