Do I Need to Have Muscle Repair or Will a Full Tummy Tuck Be Enough? (photo)

I'm a 34 year old mother of 2. I've been debating with the idea of having a tummy tuck for the last 2 years and I think I'm finally going to do it. I am just curious how long the recovery period would be if I did a tummy tuck skin only no muscle repair ? I haven't worked out since my 2nd son was born 5 years ago but having two boys has kept me pretty fit. I am thinking about going back to the gym but not sure if I should wait til after my surgery.

Doctor Answers 12

Do I Need to Have Muscle Repair or Will a Full Tummy Tuck Be Enough? (

This is best answered based on a physical exam.  But based upon the photos I think a skin only TT will give you a nice outcome, and quicker recovery. There will be less discomfort, but full activities will still be limited for six weeks.

By all means, get back to the gym now if you can manage it. All the best.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Do I Need to Have Muscle Repair or Will a Full Tummy Tuck Be Enough?

In person examination is ALWAYS best! My guess is a skin only TT would be a option. Recovery from that is 10 days on average. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Do I Need to Have Muscle Repair or Will a Full Tummy Tuck Be Enough?

       The removal of skin may well suffice in your case.  The goal of the tummy tuck with muscle repair should be to create a normal anatomy.  If you have no diastasis, then muscle plication need not be performed.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Abdominoplasty or Mastopexy First?

Certain patients can do very well without muscle repair. I only do the repair when I feel it will ad significantly to the end result. That cannot be determined without an exam, so get a consultation and discuss your concerns with the surgeon and see what his thoughts are.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy Tuck without muscle repair

Only your PS can assess the need for the muscle repair. Typically the muscles do separate with pregnancy and should be approximated  when doing a TT.  It adds to down time but  also to the result.  In rare patients it can be avoided as it is not necessary. You may be one of those patients. 

Robert Kearney, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Muscle repair needed?

I think you are a great candidate. The muscle repair if needed is a good idea. Recovery not much more involved in someone your size (small). Make sure you discuss the scar location with your doc and make sure it is low. I love the idea of the Exparel that Dr. Rosenblatt suggested and can't wait to try it in my practice. Sounds great!

Joshua B. Hyman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Dont cheat yourself

If the doctor says you need to have the muscles tightened do it, once they are in there go for the best result possible. Also if they use the local pain killer Exparel, you should have no pain for 3 days post op.
Recovery is 1-2 weeks, assuming all goes well. Return to gym after 6 weeks.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Tummy Tuck Procedure

You can certainly have an abdominoplasty procedure without tightening the muscle, but from your side photo, I think you will have a flatter abdomen if you tighten the abdominal wall. While this makes you a little more sore after surgery, it will only impact your activity level for a few weeks, and will be worth it in the long run.

Don W. Griffin, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Muscle repair versus no muscle repair in tummy tuck after pregnancy

The first thing to note is whether you are finished with having your family.  If you think there may be any chance of future pregnancy, I would factor this into the decision to have a muscle repair.  Assuming that this not an issue, the next thing to note is that although nothing here can substitute for a good physical exam in person to assess how weak your muscle wall is and how wide your diastasis, or separation between the muscles, is, it appears from the pictures that you have retained a reasonable tone and contour to your abdomen.  In such instances, I will often give my patients the option to have muscle repair or not.  You must recognize that if you wish a flat, tight tummy, you will only get this with a muscle repair.  On the other hand, if you are only looking to get rid of the loose skin and some stretch marks, and you don't mind some "pooching" of the lower abdomen, then it makes sense to do a skin only tummy tuck.  The trade off here is that you will have a faster recovery and likely be back to full exercise by 6 to 8 weeks as opposed to 10 to 12 weeks or longer for muscle repair.  Just bear in mind that if you are at all on the fence about this issue, it is best to go ahead and have the muscle repair in my estimation, as this is the perfect opportunity to do it, and you don't want to regret not doing it after the surgery.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Muscle Repair with Tummy Tuck Surgery

Thank you for your question and photos.

Generally, after pregnancy, muscle repair is indicated along with tummy tuck surgery.  The most accurate information will be given to you once you have been examined.

I recommend that you visit with well experienced, board certified plastic surgeons who can show you their work.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 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.