34 Days Post. Wondering if I Have Muscle Failure, Doc Says I Am Just Going to Have Stretchy Fascia. Can This Be Fixed? (photo)

Full tummy tuck with muscle repair. After 5 weeks my tummy is round when relaxed and pretty bad when I bend over, is it worth a revision? Is it likely that I just have stretchy fascia & I just need to accept this?

Doctor Answers 4

Wondering if I Have Muscle Failure

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There are a number of things that can prevent as tight looking an abdomen as patients and surgeons might want.

  • Fluid collections--blood or serum, possible at 5 weeks, but relatively easy for your surgeon to identify
  • Swelling, likely present to some extent at 5 weeks, but probably not enough that the change would be dramatic when it is gone
  • Intra-abdominal contents, which really cannot be compressed, and are not in the surgeon's control 
  • Incomplete tightening, or failure of the repair, and it is true, that if your fascia is weak, sutures cannot make a lasting difference.

So, check with your surgeon that there is no suspicion of fluid collection.

Have patients for a couple months while any swelling resolves. 

Lose some weight if possible to reduce the intra-abdominal volume. 

Stay in touch with your surgeon, all the best. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Loose Fascia After Tummy Tuck

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                There are some patients in which the fascia is weakened to the extent that the plication is just not as effective as the patient would like.  Fascia can only be made tight if it is strong enough to hold the stitches.  You may also have a significant visceral fat component (fat inside the abdominal cavity, which is not removed during a tummy tuck), which is obscuring an optimal result.  Please trust what your plastic surgeon says, because he or she knows if the fascia was weak or strong. 

34 Days Post. Wondering if I Have Muscle Failure, Doc Says I Am Just Going to Have Stretchy Fascia. Can This Be Fixed? (photo)

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Best to allow more healing time. Also try weight loss of 10 pounds and start abdominal exercises after an OK from your surgeon, 

Revisional Surgery

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 It is bit too early to say if you will require revisional surgery. You should express to your surgeon regarding your appearance. Consider asking if it is seroma or just swelling. Compressive garments assist with post operative edema and seromas require drainage.
 Please be patient and wait at 4 to 6 months after your surgery before considering any revisional surgery. Best,

Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

Gary R. Culbertson, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon

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.