Muscle Repair Vs Fascia Tightening

When have a tummy tuck procedure done what is the difference between muscle repair and fascia tightening and which has the best results?

Doctor Answers 11

Muscle repair vs fascial plication in tummy tuck

The terms muscle repair and fascial tightening are generally, although somewhat incorrectly, used interchangeably.  Weight gain/loss and pregnancy stretch out the abdominal muscles and the fascia which covers them (a tear in the fascia on the abdomen creates a hernia).  During a tummy tuck, the fascia running down the middle of the abdomen is tightened (plicated), bringing the two rectus muscles (the “six pack” muscles which run from the ribs to the pelvis) back toward the midline, their normal position.  The muscles themselves are not sutured.  Depending on the patient’s needs and the surgeon, fascia located over other muscles on the front of the abdomen may also be tightened, to improve the cosmetic result.  

Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Muscle repair with tummy tuck

Muscle repair and fascia tightening during a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty are two terms for the same procedure. During pregnancy or weight gain the abdominal fascia is stretched, which stretches the abdominal muscles apart. This causes upper or lower abdominal bulges. By plicating or tightening the fascia the muscles are brought back together, giving an enhanced contour. I often perform triple plication, not only correcting the rectus or six pack muscles, put also the oblique muscles, which translates into a more defined waistline.

Frank Agullo, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 141 reviews

Muscle Repair Vs Fascia Tightening

These are terms that on the surface can be interchangeable. But in the pure sense they are different, at least to me when speaking to another colleague. Facial tightening is a technique where the whitish layer covering the rectus muscle is plicated or imbricated by suturing techniques. Like making a fold in a cloth or a huff on a pants. Vs medically defined muscle repair is an incision of the fascia and a reapproximation of the muscle itself, or a transfer of muscle by rotation. Than a closure of the incised fascia. But if a patient asks it usually means they just want to know if the surgeon is doing "something" to the rectus. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Muscle Repair Vs Fascia Tightening

These are both terms for the same thing. Different surgeons frequently use less than scientifically accurate terms to convey what they do so that it can be understood. In fact, what we do is take up the slack in the heavy tissue covering (fascia) over the muscle that was stretched during pregnancy, from weight gain, etc. This is usually the area between the rectus muscles (the diastasis) but can be the fascia elsewhere. I frequently also tighten the infra-lateral fascia to give a smoother look. Nothing is really done to the muscle. We simply tighten the tissue that encases it.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews


They are one and the same.  These are 2 terms used to correct the diastasis (separation) of the abdominal muscles during an Abdominoplasty.

Todd B. Koch, MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Muscle repair vs fascia tightening which one is better.

The fascia is the white fibrous tissue covering a muscle. It also extends to the end of a muscle . In the abdomen the fascia of the rectus muscle are sown together across the midline from the pubis to the sternum (chest bone). This is what you are referring to as muscle repair. But it could also be called fascia repair. Sometimes in addition to this procedure the external oblique muscles are tightened on each side to give better definition.

Farhad Rafizadeh, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Muscle Repair vs. Fascia Tightening - Which One Is Better?

Muscle repair and fascia tightening are the same thing.

Fascia is the covering of muscle.  Fascia is strong and will hold the suture, and when two pieces of fascia are pulled together, it is a very strong repair.  Muscle, on the other hand, is easily torn apart by tight suture, therefore when you tighten the fascia in a tummy tuck, you repair the muscle separation (rectus diastasis).

The midline between the right and left segments of abdominal muscle is known as the Linea Alba (white line).  This white line is spread during pregnancy to allow the uterus to come forward prior to delivery.  At times, the separated muscles repair themselves after the first pregnancy, rarely after the second, and almost never after the third pregnancy.  This separation of muscles and a thin, stretched out Linea Alba between the two muscles allow the bowels to come forward.  Therefore, the visual pooch after pregnancy is very often a stretched out white line and bowels pushing out between the two sides of the rectus muscle.

When the fascia is brought together from side to side, this fascial tightening brings the muscles into a functional position, and therefore fascial tightening equals muscle repair.

Muscle Repair Vs Fascia Tightening

Surgeons have different preferences for terminology. However, muscle repair and fascia tightening tend to be the same. Consult with 3 board certified plastic surgeons to understand your options, and choose the one that best meets your needs/objectives.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Muscle Repair vs Fascial Tightening in Tummy Tuck

A muscle is covered with fascia and the proper muscle tightening procedure performed in a tummy tuck involves placing sutures in the fascia overlying the muscles. The muscles do not hold tension well so the fascia is the "strength" of the abdominal wall tightening. 

Best of luck,

Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Muscle repair vs fascial tightening

the simple answer is that they are probably the same thing.  muscle tightening is a term that people understand . fascial imbrication tends to get a lot of blank looks.   good luck

Jonathan Saunders, MD
Newark Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 64 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.