IBS and tummy tuck with muscle repair?

I have IBS-A and a mother of 5 and the majority of the time look 7 months pregnant due to flare ups even while on the low fodmaps diet. How will having IBS-A and a tummy tuck affect my recovery and will I likely have more pain with swelling after having muscle repair? Worried about a flare up during recovery and the bloating causing issues with healing.

Doctor Answers 6

Good for you

Good for you to think ahead and ask those questions. I think first of all that having your surgeon and your gastroenterologist talk prior to your surgery is essential. You need to be "optimized" meaning, perhaps, a change in diet preop (low residue), maybe a bowel prep (like for a colonoscopy), maybe a dose of stress steroids if you take Prednisone on a regular basis. You should also be ready if a flare up occurs to seek medical attention. Its hard to predict and most patients sail by without issue. I applaud your thinking of these issues BEFORE surgery. Good luck


Munster Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

IBS and Tummy tucks.

IBS is a broad term that encompasses many discomforting conditions. If your IBS is improved with bowel rest (for example a clear liquid diet) you should not have any major problems with your post tummy tuck recovery. If not , then you should think carefully before having any surgery, not just a tummy tuck. The newer drainless tummy tucks are associated with minimally painful side effects. All surgeries carry risks so choose your surgeon carefully. See a board certified plastic surgeon who operates at a certified facility and does a ton of tummy tucks and you'll be in good hands.

Ayman Hakki, MD
Waldorf Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Tummy tuck

Hello and thank you for your question.  I have performed tummy tucks in patients with well-controlled IBS.  This is not a contraindication, as long as your GI doctor gives you clearance and works closely with you and your surgeon to make sure you are optimized at the time of surgery.  If you are an appropriate candidate, a tummy tuck can be done through a low and short incision, all completely below the bikini line.  The belly button can be designed to look natural and have no scars on the exterior.   Your muscles can also be plicated resulting in a flat abdomen.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Tuck and IBS tummy tuck and IBS

The most important thing is that you discuss with your gastroenterologist that you are having this surgery, to check if you need modulations in any of your medications, etc.  The tummy tuck procedure will tighten the muscles and slightly increased pressure in the abdomen for some time until it relaxes more.  What this slight increase in pressure will do to your particular case of IBS is impossible to predict.  Could it result in temporary flareup of symptoms?  Potentially, but again, difficult to say.  Luckily, it should not have any major effects, but it is best to discuss these things in conjunction with both your gastroenterologist and the surgeon performing her procedure.
Best of luck!

Dr. Subbio
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Newtown Square/Philadelphia, PA

Christian Subbio, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

IBS and tummy tuck with muscle repair?

  Thank you for the question.

Well-controlled irritable bowel syndrome is not a contraindication to proceeding with tummy tuck surgery.  You are wise in seeking “clearance” through your gastroenterologist. Communication between him and your chosen plastic surgeon will be helpful.


Unfortunately, even the doctors who know you best not be able to predict, with any degree of certainty, whether or not you will experience a "flare up" during the recovery period.

 Best wishes.

IBS and tummy tuck

Dear Aussie,

   As long as you are in remission from your IBS, you can have the tummy tuck surgery. Clearly, you will have to be cleared for surgery by your GI doctor. 

    Since, most likely you were treated with cortico steroids in your past, you will need to be treated with Decadron during surgery and Medrol dose pack after surgery.  Also, you should avoid any known triggers for you IBS flare ups.

   Since opiates pain medication can cause constipation, I recommend to all my patients to use Dulcolax suppository on the following day of surgery. That will help you with alleviating the bloating.

        Always, consult with experienced board certified plastic surgeons who operate in accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check the before and after pictures in the photo gallery to make sure that they are numerous, consistent and attractive with flat stomach, tight and youthful looking skin, nice belly button and low scar.

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.