Can muscle repair be done without doing a tt?

Doctor Answers 8

Muscle repairs without tummy tuck

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In some cases, an endoscopic repair of the muscle can be performed through small incisions.   Best of luck.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Full muscle repair can be done with a mini tummy tuck

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Using a technique called the umbilical float, a full muscle repair can be done with a mini tummy tuck. This would be considered when there is not much skin laxity in the upper abdomen. Removing a little bit of skin in the lower abdomen would not change the scar. Usually, the muscle repair is the biggest factor in recovery so a short scar technique would not change that.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Muscle repair

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Muscle repair (and by this I am talking about bring your rectus abdomini muscles back together) can be done without a tummy tuck. However the best approach is through an incision placed where a tummy tuck scar would end up, but it would be much shorter than a tummy tuck scar. Normally some skin excision is performed as the same time, even if only as a mini tummy tuck where the belly button is not moved. 

Anthony Barabas, MBBS
Cambridge Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Abdominal muscle repair

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It is possibly to benefit from muscle repair, diastasis recti, without the need for skin removal.

Steven S. Carp, MD
Akron Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Muscle repair?

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Thanks for this question. Muscle repair can be done open or endoscopic but it would be extremely rare to do it without skin removal. I am not aware of anyone doing the endoscopic muscle plication any longer. The repair itself would likely cause the skin to bunch up in the midline and some form of skin removed will be forced - even a possible vertical scar! Best, Dr. Aldo 

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 215 reviews


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You can do a muscle tightening through a lower transverse abdominal incision.  One thing to consider however is that once the muscles are tight, the skin contour may change thus necessitating removal and re-draping of the excess skin. 

Adrian Smith, MD
Jackson Plastic Surgeon

Yes, but why?

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Thank you for your quesiton.

You can have your muscles repaired and it is usually done through the umbilicus. If you need your muscles repaired there is a good chance you have some laxity to the abdominal skin as well. If it is down time and recovery you are concerned, the muscle repair is the most uncomfortable part of the tummy tuck and requires the most restrictions after.  Without any photos it is hard to make any conclusions. Good luck

Francis Johns, MD
Greensburg Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Muscle Repair Without Tummy Tuck

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The short answer is, "yes"...but why would you want to?

In order to gain access to the muscles in order to imbricate them (tighten them) without the use of a tummy tuck scar, one would need to make a vertical incision (up and down the tummy) the way general surgeons do.  This is not really a "cosmetic" approach, so it is not frequently done.

Of course, if you make the long lower incision as in a tummy tuck, you can gain access to do the repair, but in a patient who needs that repair, and has the incision, why not just remove the loose skin, which is typically there in people who need their muscles tightened?

I wrote a blog about repair of muscles for "Diastasis Recti" a while back which includes a short video if you are interested.  I will leave a link below.

Good Luck!

Thomas P. Sterry, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 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.