Did I Damage my Muscle Repair?

I am 1 week post op. Today I had to lift my crying 6 mo. old who is 16lbs. I bent at the knees and just sat her on my lap and then moves her to her seat. My upper abs near my rib cage are more sore now after this. I think I am paranoid as well because I feel my skin is more squishy on my stomach now. Did I damage my muscle repair?

Doctor Answers 10

Muscle damage after tummy tuck

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Excessive physical activity can, if extreme, result in disruption of the plication. This could manifest itself as a localized area of bulging. Your description doesn't seem completely consistent with this and could represent simply edema in the skin flap. Best to have your surgeon take a look.

Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Probably No Damage...

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I'm sorry to hear about your mishap after tummy tuck surgery.

It would take a lot of force/trauma to do any real “damage”.  The only real/meaningful peace of mind you will achieve is after you are  examined by your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Upper Abdominal Pain One Week Post Tummy Tuck

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Unfortunately, this is a common story.  Your plastic surgeon told you not to overdo things, but life keeps intervening.  Your baby was crying, what else would you do.  The good news is that I am 99% sure you didn't tear the muscle repair.  In my practice, I put a figure of 8 stitches in with permanent sutures down deep, then I put a running locking suture over that to ensure a stronger repair in the event something like this happens.  I am not unusual.  Most plastic surgeons do what I do. 

Your abs are responding to the strain you put on this area.  The treatment of choice is to call your plastic surgeon, put some ice in a baggie and wrap the baggie with a towel so you get cool on the sore area, but not direct ice on your skin.  Follow your plastic surgeon's instructions.  Paranoia at this point is probably a good thing.  It will keep you from overdoing until the muscle repair is stronger.  Don't worry.  I am pretty sure you didn't tear your muscle repair.

Did I Damage my Muscle Repair?

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Call/see/return to your chosen surgeon ASAP for peace of mind. And please do not lift the child until you have the OK from your surgeon. Yes you MAY have split the muscle repair but iover the internet we can not answer for sure. I hope not. From MIAMI 

Heavy lifting after tummy tuck / abdominoplasty

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Most likely you are fine, but without examining you, it is hard to know for sure.  You probably just strained the area which is causing some soreness.  If you said you heard or felt a snap (like a suture breaking) then the situation might be different.  If you have any concerns at all, then you should contact your surgeon.


Good Luck.

Physical activity after a tummy tuck.

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It is best to limit heavy lifting for several weeks after tummy tuck because of the risk of injury.  It doesn't sound as if there was any harm to the muscle repair from your description, but it is best to have your surgeon examine you.

Beverly Friedlander, MD
Short Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Damage to tummy tuck muscle sutures

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Ordinarily lifting is restricted for two weeks and patients are in a compression and support. If you were careful it is unlikely that you damaged your muscle repair at one week. Stressing the repair will result is soreness as will a deep cough. Get back into support and rest and the soreness should settle down.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Tummy Tuck, Abdominoplasty

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For being one week out after a tummy tuck, you are doing very well.  Always check with your plastic surgeon for advice that relates to you.  In general, I would advise my patients to wear their compression garments and avoid lifting or exercise for several weeks.  There is most likely fluid and swelling under the skin flaps.  This is normal and nothing to worry about.  Remember to find help and take it east for a while.

Jay H. Ross, MD, FACS
Palm Harbor Plastic Surgeon

Abdominoplasty Muscle Repair

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Usually, we try to place a couple of layers of sutures to support the repair of the fascia. When this repair is overstressed, there is usually a "pop" and possibly some swelling. The only way to be sure is to visit your surgeon. Your photo looks fine, but it's not adequate to really evaluate. Your surgeon should be able to reassure you. Meanwhile remember to take it easy!

Verne Weisberg, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


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There is no way to know for sure at this point. We usually stress not lifting anything that weighs more than a what a gallon of milk weighs as this puts strain on the muscle repair and can tear the sutures. In my experience when this happens, patients usually feel a sudden pain or pop.  At this point I would recommend not doing any lifting and allow the repair to heal.

Marc Schneider, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.6 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.