Will Lower Back Pain Improve After Tummy Tuck?

I'm getting a full tummy tuck for my "paper thin" fascia, belly button hernia will get fixed, plus skin removal. Although my physical therapist is willing to contest the insurance company to get it covered, (I'm not going to bother; very skeptical it'll get approved) she thinks my back pain will not seriously improve. Every doctor agrees, however, that I have NO core left because of my stomach muscles. My plastic surgeon says I'm one of the most severe cases she has seen. I have no history of back pain before all this and am naturally thin. Does anyone have a similar story where the back pain seriously improved because my lower back finally has a "core" again? I want to be hopeful but not disappointed if NOTHING changes from the back pain aspect of my problems.

Doctor Answers 3

Improving back pain after Tummy Tuck

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The tummy tuck will centralize the stretched and displaced muscles. By bringing your muscles together, the "corset" of muscles around your core is tightened and can alleviate some of your back pain. I have had some patients who report back pain relief after a tummy tuck, but most say there is no difference.

Melbourne Plastic Surgeon

Improving lower back pain with an abdominoplasty

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The   abdominal wall forms a cinch around the lower abdomen giving some support to the lower back.  Clinically I see many patients who report that their back pain is improved following an abdominoplasty.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tummy tuck can relieve back pain

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An preliminary report published in 1990 suggested that Wide Abdominal Rectus Plication (aka the WARP abdominoplasty technique) produced some back pain relief in 24/25 patients treated.

However, this has not been substantiated and should not be the primary reason you seek abdominoplasty .

If i can explain. Your spine depends on a delicate balance between your stomach muscles and back muscles. When your stomach muscles are weak you may have an abnormal posture which creates excessive back discomfort.

Think about how it feels on your back when you have been sitting "Indian-style" for a while.

This is the reason orthopedic surgeons and spine surgeons will often prescribe a course of physical therapy to strengthen your abodminal muscles. It is also why Pilates and Yoga core strengthening exercises can improve minor back pain. I perform Pilates after a long week of surgery and I find dramatic relief from back strain.

The muscle rearrangement that occurs with abdominoplasty can enable you to use these stomach muscles in a more normal fashion and improve back pain but it should not be the sole reason you seek surgery.

In fact, in the early postoperative period, you may experience a greater degree of back pain you feel due to excessive bending forward from your tendency ot releive the pull felt by tightening the skin.

I hope this helps!

Check out this video!

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

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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.