Tummy tuck muscle repair may have separated (Photo)

I am 7 weeks post op from a breast augmentation and full tummy tuck. Since surgery I have this pain on my top ab where the tighten happen and it just does not go away. I have brought it up to my surgeon and he's mentioned I am still healing. My question is may I have possibly tore my muscle repair and how will I know. I am not swollen anywhere or have any other pain only in my upper abs to the right near the muscle repair. It is constant except If I make a sudden move I get this sharp pain. Help

Doctor Answers 9

Pain after tummy tuck

Thank you for asking about your mommy make-over.

  • Your surgeon can examine you to make sure the muscle is separated.
  • Your pain may be from tight muscles or from a suture or an irritated nerve.
  • You can ask your surgeon to do a nerve block in the area -
  • If it is an irritated nerve, sometimes a single temporary block leads to permanent improvement in the pain.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

What to Expect Following a Mommy Makeover

The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction.   

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks. #Healing will continue for 2-3 months following your #Augmentation #Mastopexy procedure. There may be some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation will be abnormal. Scars will also be changing. But, it can be up to one year see your final result. Your doctor may require you to move or massage the implants within the breast pockets during the #postoperative period. #Textured implants do not require breast massage. You will be informed about this at your post-operative visit.
Also, the two breasts commonly heal quite differently so #asymmetry is not unusual. One breast may swell more, feel more uncomfortable, or have a different initial shape. After complete #healing, they will be more similar and natural. You must have patience, but if this causes concern, ask questions of the doctor or the nursing staff.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Tummy tuck muscle repair may have separated.

Thank you for sharing your question and photograph.  At seven weeks your tissues are still tight and having intermittent episodes of swelling.  It would be uncommon to have torn your muscle repair or rectus muscle and more likely this is continued healing.  I know waiting is difficult but allow your results more time to mature.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Tummy Tuck Repair and discomfort

At 7 weeks post Tummy Tuck I believe you can still be healing. If you didn't have an injury/fall/accident it's unlikely you have damaged or torn your internal sutures. I would give it more time and keep in contact with your surgeon for follow ups. Best of Luck. 

Robert Heck, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Torn Muscle Repair

Thank you for your picture.  It is unlikely that you have torn your muscle repair.  It is not unusual to have pain, swelling near or over the area of muscle plication.

Have I torn my muscle repair?

Tthank you for your question.  It's difficult to know based on your picture and your description if you have torn the muscle repair.  It would be very unlikely this early in your recovery to experience an actual tear of the muscle. This is usually associated with much more swelling and or bleeding.  The sutures used for the muscle repair are generally permanent, and it is much more common to stretch the connective tissue overlying the muscle  then to tear the actual muscle.  Please follow your surgeons recommendations and taking it easy for another couple of months before doing any type of core exercises. 

John L. Clayton, MD, PhD, MPH
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Muscle spasm vs repair tear

Thank you for the question and photo.  It is hard to know just from the photo and description as to what is occurring.  It is far more common, however, to have a muscle sprain or spasm as opposed to muscle repair failure.  I would definitely follow your plastic surgeons advice for now.

Good luck with the remainder of your recovery.

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Mommy makeover recovery

If you have spoken with your surgeon and it was determined that it's part of the healing process, then that is most likely what it is.  It takes 3-6 months to heal from the surgery and areas of tenderness are common.  If you did not have an incident you can point to where you feel you may have injured yourself (for example a fall), then it is likely part of the healing process.  Continue to monitor the situation and keep your surgeon informed of your progress and concerns.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Mommy Makeover /Breast Augmentation/Breast Implants/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/Tummy Tuck/Liposuction/BBL

I appreciate your question.

I would recommend that contact your surgeon to discuss your concerns at this time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 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.