Possible to Do Muscle Repair Without a Tummy Tuck?

My insurance company approved me for diastasis rectify repair but said I was not approved For the abdominalplasty, is it possible to do one without the other and get good results?

Doctor Answers 6

It is possible, but likley not recommended

The safest way to perform muscle plication tightening is through an open approach (Tummy tuck incision).   This allows the surgeon to place sutures around the muscle safely and securely, without injury to the bowel.  If you have excess skin, then it is best to remove it at time of the muscle repair.   This is the most optimal approach to the "mommy lift" around the belly, which is usually a true abdominoplasty.    You can probably work wtih your plastic surgeon and insurance company to get the optimal approach by separating the time/procedures so that a "cosmetic" portion can be charged separately from the "diastasis repair."

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

6Pack (Rectus Abdominis) Muscle repair without Skin Removal

It is extremely uncommon for a woman to have significant Rectus muscle separation (Diastasis) without ALSO having skin excess. The forces inside the belly that push forward and split the muscles cause stretching, stretch marks and skin excess as well.

If the muscle repair is NOT accompanied by a taking in and removal of all excess skin the result would be a flat tummy with a lot of visible rolls of loose hanging skin. Not an attractive picture.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Muscle tightening usually involves skin removal and tightening as well

Almost always if the muscles have been stretched, so has the skin, and your best result will be a standard abdominoplasty which removes the excess skin, tightens the muscles, and usually includes liposuction for the hips, waist, and back areas, and the upper abdomen. This should give you your best overall contour.

Michael D. Yates, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Tummy tuck with muscle repair only

Please specify what you mean by good results.  IF you have excellent skin tone with great elasticity but have a diastasis, then repair may produce an excellent outcome. IF however, you have numerous stretch marks then tightening the muscle alone could acutally make your stomach look worse.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Diastasis repair

About 99.9% of patients who have post-pregnancy rectus diastasis also have some extra skin.  Unless you also address that with the TT you won't get the best result.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Muscle repair without a tummy tuck

Yes it is possible but very difficult to technically preform. It is an Endoscopic recti repair. Cost is $10,000, recovery 3 weeks of non muscle excercise. But return to work in 5 days.

From MIAMI Dr. B 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

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