How Effective is Oblique Stitching in a Tummy Tuck?

Hi there. Last year i got a mini abdominoplasty done due to mass loss of weight and noticing i still had a distended stomach. However my stomach is still lax and distended and i'm not happy with the surgery. I am now booked in to get my oblique's stitched up soon. I'm just curious as to how effective it really is. In my opinion my obliques do seem to bulge a fair bit. But will getting them stitched closer help stop my abdomen from protruding?

Doctor Answers 7

Mini tummy tuck usually does not plicate the wall

You have had a previous mini abdominoplasty and still have bulging.  The most crucial part of the abdominoplasty is fascia tightening, which you apparently did not undergo.  Suturing the fascia is not a routine part of the mini tummy tuck.  You need to see a plastic surgeon who does fascia plications.

Best of Luck,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 223 reviews

Mini tummy tuck

If you had massive weight loss you likely were a better candidate for a full tummy tuck. I have never seen a massive weight loss patient who was a good candidate for a mini.  The good news is that a mini tummy tuck can be converted to a full one. This may be a better option for you. I can't imagine that oblique tightening is going to have that much of an effect on your result.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Full tummy tuck for full results. Mini tummy tuck can fall short.

The disappointment you are experiencing is likely from having a mini tummy tuck instead of a full tummy tuck.  Oblique suturing at the time of full tummy tuck can be beneficial. I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 183 reviews

Revision surgery after a tummy tuck is sometimes required

It's hard to tell without examining you, but if you have significant looseness of you abdomen after a tummy tuck you may have to be re-tightened from top to bottom.  This does involve a full tummy tuck, but in order to get a much flatter belly this is sometimes required.

Not happy with miniabdominoplasty

You really need to get some more opinions from plastic surgeons before committing to this further surgery. Stitching your obliques is unlikely to work. More likely, as has been said below, given your history a miniabdominoplasty may not have been the procedure of choice in the first place. I strongly suggest you seek some more opinions before making any decision to have more surgery at this time. Good luck.

How effective is oblique stitching in a tummy tuck?

Thank you for your question. You stated that you have had a "mass loss of weight" and that you still have a "distended stomach" after your surgery.   Given this situation I suspect that the reason you are dissatisfied with the results of the mini abdominoplasty is that you were not initially a good candidate for this procedure. You probably needed a full abdominoplasty.  I doubt  that you will obtain a good result with just suturing of the obliques since this is not going to address your main problem(s) and i seriously doubt that you would notice much of a difference. You need to have  the amount of fat, the tone of the muscles and the amount of excessive skin properly evaluated.   I would recommend that you seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. 

Donald M. Brown, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Can be effective

Generally speaking, the area of greatest stretching - and resultant laxity - in the abdominal wall is the space between the two rectus abdominis ("sit-up") muscles.  When a separation occurs this is called a "diastasis".  This is the area of primary focus in muscle-tightening during tummy tuck surgery.  I am assuming this was addressed at your first surgery.  If it was corrected as much as possible and the repair is intact, then one must suspect that there is laxity in one or more of the other muscles in the abdominal wall - the obliques being the most likely.  These can be tightened with a plication procedure, and this can be very effective. 

Another possibility exists for your dissatisfaction.  Sometimes we see residual fullness in the abdominal wall from localized excess fatty tissue in the central abdomen.  This can be treated effectively with liposuction



Robert Stroup, Jr., MD, FACS
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 18 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.