Will Muscle Repair Be Necessary?

In the past 5 years I've lost about 75lbs, and I'm finally ready to get a TT. A buddy of mine had one done some years ago and cautioned against getting the muscle repair. I already don't want it b/c of the recovery time and I hate not being able to go to the gym. Are you able to tell from photos if I'll need a muscle repair? When I touch my stomach it feels like my abs are flat underneath. I realize they may not be able to tell until they get in there, but I figured I'd ask.

Doctor Answers 19

Will I need a muscle repair during abdominoplasty?

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You can tell if your rectus abdominis muscles (the six pack) have splayed by tensing them and feeling the gap between them.  You can tense them by lying on the floor and lift your head and neck off the floor and feel your abdomen above your belly button.  Alternatively, you can keep both legs straight and lift them both in the air - this will have the same effect.

Sometimes you can see a bulge in the upper abdomen when you do this, but for more subtle changes, you need to feel it.  As you say, the surgeon will assess it when he or she gets in there but looking at your photos if doesn't look too bad.  As you say, the recovery is quicker if you avoid muscle repair.  Good luck.

Male tummy tuck and muscle repair

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Thank you for the question and the photos. The decision whether you need muscle tightening or not is based on two criteria. The first is your examination finding of separation of the muscles. The second is based on what you want. Muscle tightening does give you a much narrower waist and sometimes a bit more feminine. My advice for you is to see a board certified plastic surgeon and discuss all these options with him/her. I would like to congratulate you on your weight loss and on your effort to stay healthy.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Male abdominoplasties seldom need muscle repair.

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Seldom is repair of the fascia that supports the muscle needed in males undergoing abdominoplasty.  Women who have had children almost always have some laxity that benefits from repair.

Muscle repair and male tummy tucks

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The main cause of rectus diastasis in tummy tuck patients is pregnancy.  The dramatic amount of tension placed on the abdominal can cause small tears and stretches out the fascia.  Thus, men rarely require plication of the rectus fascia (aka muscle repair) during a tummy tuck.  It is true that plicating the fascia can narrow the waist dramatically causing a more feminine appearance.  From your statement and your photos, it appears that a plication will most likely not be necessary.  However, it is impossible to know for sure without an exam

Kelly Gallego, MD, FACS
Yuba City Plastic Surgeon

Male abdominoplasty diastasis

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Congratulations on your weight loss! That's outstanding. Generally, men are less likely to require the diastasis repair than women but the only way to know for certain is to be examined by aplastic surgeon. The operation is easier to undergo without the muscle repair but the goal is always to achieve the best possible result.

Skin Tightening without Tummy Tuck

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Based on your photographs, and in patient's who maintain good skin elasticity (as your photos support) after significant weight loss, an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is rarely indicated. In patients such as this, I generally recommend a non-invasive/minimally invasive approach such as externally delivered laser such as Skin Tyte or internally delivered laser such as Pro Lipo Plus. Of course the most accurate advice is given only after a comprehensive in-office examination and personal consultation.

Male Tummy Tuck.

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It's a really good question you ask about tightening the muscle in male patients. I have a specific view on this issue. In my opinion tightening the recutus abdominus muscles has a very feminizing effect on the waist by narrowiing it. It my male patients we prefer to avoid this. In rare cases it may be necesary. Based on your photos, it does not look like you require it and I would suggest you avoid that maneuver.

Best of luck,

Bernard Shuster

Bernard A. Shuster, MD, FACS
Hollywood Plastic Surgeon

Muscle Repair after Tummy Tuck

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Great question.   It is obvious that your primary problem is skin laxity, not muscle laxity.   However, you are considering an elective cosmetic surgery.   I would not shortcut your result so you can get back to the gym a few weeks earlier.    

Based on your exam, if the plastic surgeon feels he or she can tighten your muscle to provide a narrower waistline and improved contour and result, it may be worth the extra recovery in the longterm.

Bottomline, it is your decision, but I encourage patients to consider all their options and make the most educated decision for the longterm, not always sacrifice a great result for a shorter recovery.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon


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If you had a large weight loss the intraperitoneal component may have stretched your muscles and caused a diastasis. If you do not have one, then you do not need the muscles tightened.

Male tummy tuck

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Hello ~

Its difficult to tell whether you will need a diastasis recti repair without examining you first hand.  In general, the recovery period prior to resuming abdominal/torso exercises is about 8 weeks following a tummy tuck with muscle repair.  Sometimes more.  I think if you're considering a tummy tuck, I would relay your concerns with your plastic surgeon.  

Best of luck ~

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

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.