How to Fix Failed Recti Muscle Repair? I Am Bulging to Lower Right.

I had tummy tuck, happy with results. However, had pulmonary edema in recovery and could not stop coughing and struggling to sit up to breathe. Later it became apparent that the bulging in my lower right abdomen was not fluid. I even used enemas for 3 weeks to keep from straining. The surgeon thinks the stitches to the recti muscles separated above the pubic bone. Ultrasound revealed nothing. Next is a CT scan to confirm. Do I need mesh to get a permanent long lasting repair.

Doctor Answers 3

Tummy tuck complication

More than likely, the sutures that were used to repair the diastasis  have come undone. Also, more than likely the CT scan will not show any abnormality. The rectus muscle repair can be redone,  most likely without the  use of mesh.

I think it would behoove you to be worked out from the medical standpoint to prevent further problems with “pulmonary edema”. This may involve consultation with internist/cardiologist  (who may recommend tests such as echocardiography).

Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Rectus diastasis repair

There are 2 possibilities here. IF the sutures released during the coughing spell the rectus fascia will be intact and a simple repair with sutures can correct this. If the sutures damaged the fascia as they pulled through than you may need mesh to support the tightening of the muscle layer.

Your surgeon should be prepared for both possibilities in the operating room. Based on the evaluation you are undergoing I believe they are considering all the possiblities.

Good luck. I hope this was helpful.

Robert W. Kessler, MD, FACS
Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Re-repair of rectus diastasis

What you are describing is very unusual and sounds like the coughing damaged your result.  If your tissues are good and you have not gained weight and if the next surgery can be done without coughing, it might not need mash.  Your doctor will be the best judge of that.  Of greater concern is why you had pulmonary edema after cosmetic surgery.  Has your health been properly evaluated because that is very much abnormal.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.