Did I Ruin my Muscle Repair 3 Months Post-op Tummy Tuck?

Hi, I am 15 weeks post-op tummy tuck with an umbilical hernia and muscle repair. Tonight, I fell hard and for about 5 minutes after, I had sharp pains on my left side near my belly button. It is Friday and I cannot contact my PS until Monday, so I am concerned about how likely it is that I ruined my TT and what signs to be aware of that would indicate damage. Thank you very much the experts on this site are AMAZING!

Doctor Answers 8

Fall after tt

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Sorry to hear about your fall. As you probably know from reading information on this site, the rectus diastasis and umbilical hernias are typically repaired in multiple layers, so it is unlikely that you have "ruined" your repair.  In my experience, many patients treat their abdominal muscles with care over the first 3-6months.  Most limit situps, crunches, and core strengthening.  So during a fall, you may have stretched or stressed the repair more than you have since surgery.  I typically have my patients massage the area that hurts to desensitize the nerves, wear a supportive garment with even compression and call your plastic surgeon for followup.  Best of luck. Dr. Renucci

Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Did I Ruin my Muscle Repair 3 Months Post-op Tummy Tuck?

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You should be fine...you probably hurt just you and not your result!!! Tenderness can continue for months after a TT but the tissues that have been tightened are usually fused after 6 weeks or so....All sounds very normal!

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Significant fall 15 weeks post abdominoplasty

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At 15 weeks postoperative, it is extremely unlikely that you undid/damaged any of the repair. Usually by 8 weeks the repairs are solid. You still should contact your plastic surgeon who may want to just see you on a cautionary basis.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Unlikely to Damage Muscle Repair 3 Months after a Tummy Tuck

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Most healing has occurred by 3 months so it is very unlikely that your fall affected your tummy tuck.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

At almost 4 months, you should be well healed an unlikely to easily undo the work that was done.

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Sorry to hear about your fall.  Although it is possible, it is highly unlikely that you did any significant damage to your tummy tuck.  You may feel better by re-wearing your abdominal binder and taking it easy for the next week.  Muscle relaxing medications may also help if you feel like you are having muscle spasms.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Tummy Tuck Muscle Repair Damaged?

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Thank you for the question.

I am sorry to hear about your fall.  Although the pain that you experienced  is concerning, I think it is most likely that you have not done any serious damage.  I make this conclusion based on  the fact that you do not describe any significant swelling/ bulge/ bruising etc.

Of course, it is not possible to give good advice without direct examination  which should be performed by the plastic surgeon in the near future. If you are otherwise doing well then this is probably not an emergency.

During your examination,  your plastic surgeon will be able to  palpate the area and see if there is any evidence of muscle repair separation. This may become more obvious in the bent over (diving) position  or with coughing/straining maneuvers.

I hope this helps.

Damage to tummy tuck from accidental fall!

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Jerah, you are wise to be concerned, as pain is one of the warning signs of tissues being stretched or torn, but also of simply being irritated or stimulated without damage having occurred.Or anything in between!

Certainly your surgeon has an answering service, and your surgeon (or designated coverage plastic surgeon) can address your concerns with additional questions and answers. Examination and allowing time to go by may well be the only way to provide a better answer, since no surgeon would re-open an abdominoplasty unless there is conclusive proof of need to re-operate, such as for hematoma or infection. The latter is not at issue here, but tearing the muscle repair is the concern, and only examination and time will give the answer.

As to estimating the chances of damage, without more back-and-forth discussion and examination, this would be a total guess. The fact that your pain was gone in 5 minutes is probably a good sign, More severe damage would likely cause continued symptoms. An expanding lump or bruise could be sign of a hematoma, which could be bleeding caused by the trauma of your fall. Other than that, anything unusual that you didn't notice before would warrant a call to your surgeon or the answering service.

Good luck and best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Fall After Tummy Tuck

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It is very unlikely you caused any major damage from your fall. You may have caused some tenderness from a "pull", however; at 3 months the muscles are essentially healed. Most repairs are typically healed by 6-8 weeks post op. Tenderness from tummy tucks can last for a few months after sugery. If your tenderness continues, please contact your surgeon for follow up. 

Robyn Watts, MD
Richmond 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.