How to tell if muscle repair is damaged? (Photos)

Hello I am 8 months post op from full tummy tuck and lipo suction with muscle repair. Recently I decided to take a pole dancing class with a friend and stupidly tried this upside down pole move where you flip upside down on it like a hanging lower leg raise essentially. The day of I wasn't sore or anything but today I'm sore and have this sharp nagging pain around my belly button. Is there anyway to tell if I damaged anything? I've attached recent before and after images.

Doctor Answers 5

Muscle damage

Based upon the photographs, it certainly looks like the muscle repair is completely intact. I might add I think you had a very good outcome as a result of the surgery. I think if there was truly a muscle tear, you would see a bulge in the abdominal tissue. I do think muscle spasm can cause pain  or perhaps some scar tissue was torn while exercising which caused  a localized inflammatory response. Good old-fashioned rest and anti-inflammatory drugs will probably be a benefit


Fayetteville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Did I damage my abdominal muscle repair with recent exercising?

Thanks for the question.  Your muscle repair should be very well healed by now, and I would not think that you need to be concerned about this at this time.  You may be sore, but that should be all.  By the way, you appear to have a very nice result in looking at your pre and postoperative results.  Congratulations!  If you have any concerns, always contact your Plastic Surgeon.
Frank Rieger M.D.  Tampa Plastic Surgeon

How to tell if muscle repair is damaged?

Thank you for sharing your question and photographs.  After 8 months your muscle repair is fully healed and your soreness is likely the result of having over exerted your muscles like after a workout in the gym.  It is impossible to tell through pictures if anything has become damaged, however, so if you have felt or seen any changes in your appearance, seek out your surgeon for an in-person exam.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Post op pain

At this point in the healing process, the body is almost completely healed and there is little risk of damaging your muscle repair by exercise. There are two possible explanations for the pain you are experiencing. The first and most likely is that your muscles are sore following your workout and you can take ibuprofen to help manage the soreness from your workout.  Depending on how your muscles healed, the soreness can feel slightly different than traditional soreness from exercise.  Another explanation is that this is a nerve pain.  Nerves take a long time to heal and this can sometimes cause the pain that you are experiencing as they fully heal. Give it some time and this should resolve itself.  If the pain does not go away in a few weeks or gets worse please contact your plastic surgeon to determine their recommendations.

Nagging pain

After eight months, it's unlikely you did any significant damage to your abdominal wall repair. However, it is certainly possible to have unusual aches and pains due to the scar tissue created by surgery. Usually these improve with rest and time.

Mark Sisco, MD
Northbrook 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.