Now That I'm Lost Weight I Can Feel my Abs and What Appears to Be Muscle Separation. Is This Possible?

Is it possible for you to describe what I should be feeling and looking for? Also I see all sorts of tummies on the site with different outcomes. I've been told by one surgeon that you should lay on your back and if your stomach area lays flat (as in even with your ribs) and does not protrude you should get flat results. (Please excuse me if I quoted the surgeon incorrectly.) Is this true?

Doctor Answers 4

How you can tell if you have a muscle separation (rectus diastasis)?

This is a common condition with women after pregnancies, but I've seen it in men and women not previously pregnant as well.

1. Lie on your back flex upward about 2 inches. Put your hand between your abs - is there a gap? This is a rectus diastasis (muscle separation)

2. Do you notice that your abdomen is super flat in the morning, and by evening you can't wear a dress to dinner because you have a gut or look pregnant?

3. Do you have to constantly hold in your abs or you look fat/pregnant?

I hope that this helps! If you don't have a clear diastasis, but your muscle seems a bit lax. then you should try a core strengthening program first (pilates, barre, yoga) before resorting to surgery.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Predicting A Flat Tummy Tuck Result

It is certainly possible that you are feeling a diastasis in the rectus muscles if you are thin enough. It is not an accurate statement that if one looks flat when they lay down that they will always appear that way after a tummy tuck. They are numerous anatomic structures that can account for an abdominal protrusion, not all of which can be changed by surgery. It is probably a more accurate statement that if you can feel a rectus diastasis then you are thin enough that your tummy tuck result will be flat afterwards.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Weight Loss and Tummy Tuck

People lose weight differently some lose it all and some not as completely in the abdomen. You could be feeling the edges of the muscle on each side of the mid line. You can also cough and see if the bulge gets bigger. One of the main surgical goals of anabdominoplasty is to reconstitute the abdominal wall and to recreate a strong and continuous abdominal musculature to improve the contour and support the back. A couple of months after the procedure I have found that two things happen, The skin flap is less swollen, and there is no pain with activity and the patient starts using the abdominal muscles more comfortably. This results in a greater tone and a further improvement in the contour. It is difficult to judge results on website pictures because patients come with different skin tightness and quality and the post op pictures shown are at different phases of healing, and there is lack of  standardization.

M. Vincent Makhlouf, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Muscle separation appeared after weight loss

If you have had any pregnancies it makes perfect sense that you might feel a muscle separation or diastasis after weight loss. While is is true that your tummy tuck result will never be flatter than what appears as you recline, it is not possible to say that your abdomen will always be flat after tummy tuck. A flat abdomen demands a certain amount of poise, posture, and tone. Anyone can protrude their abdomen or slouch after tummy tuck but the look isn't good.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.