Could Muscles Have Relaxed After Tummy Tuck?

I am 6 weeks post FTT with diastasis recti & umbilical hernia repair. My abdomen is still very swollen. I still wear my compression garment w/a tight binder 24/7 & am constantly sucking in my stomach. I spent $12,000 on this & am worried that this is my permanent result.

I haven't lifted anything heavy, drink lots of water, eat no sodium, work from home at a computer & have a live-in nanny who takes care of my kids. Could my muscles have relaxed? Will this go down? I see my PS next week.

Doctor Answers 10

Tummy tuck with muscle repair

I understand your concern.  It is possible for a muscle repair to become somewhat lax because of a number of reasons including inherent weakness or thickness of the rectus muscle, too much stress on the repair (can be unintentional, for example with a bout of coughing) or technical limitations. Your surgeon should be able to test the integrity and position of the muscles easily and advise you. 

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews



Your muscle repair could have relaxed or you might have some swelling and/or excess fat remaining in your lower abdomen. Let thing settle and heal for at least 6 months before considering additional surgery to improve the result. It might get better on it's own before that.


Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Muscles Relaxed after Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question and pictures.

The fullness you have in the abdominal wall  area is either muscle laxity, adipose tissue, or seroma ( fluid collection). Exactly what is going on should be determined by direct physical examination ( examining you in the upright, supine and flexed positions).  Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,484 reviews

Swelling after tummy tuck

It is difficult to evaluate from photos alone.  It is possible that you have swelling or a fluid collection called a sero,a.  It is also possible that the rectus diastasis repair has failed or stretched. You need to discuss this fully with your surgeon and he should be able to determine the correct course of action.

David Nicholas Csikai, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Diastasis Repair

Just based on your photos, it is impossible to give you specific advice or make a diagnosis.  You may have fluid collection or failure of the diastasis repair.  You should definitely discuss this with your surgeon.  


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

After tummy tucks

You may definitely want to ask your surgeon if your abdominal wall was tightened with sutures. I have found that one row in the mid line of the tummy may not be enough. However, a fluid collection may also be a reasonable cause. Going back to your surgeon will help you answer your concerns. 

Sean T. Lille, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Could Muscles Have Relaxed After Tummy Tuck?

Based solely on the posted photos you could have: 1. seroma, 2. ruptured muscle repair, 3. in adequate muscle repair, or none done, 4. combination of theses. Best to see your chosen surgeon or obtain second opinions. Best of luck. 

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

Muscles relaxed after TT?

it is possible but I'd suggest you wait for at least 6 months to let the swelling all go down. Then talk to your surgeon about your results. When you see your surgeon next week, have them check out the area as well for a better assessment.

Michael Constantin Gartner, DO
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

Swelling after surgery

Swelling can take months to resolve. Without a before photo, it would be difficult to say how your results look at this point. However, I think you may want to wait about 4-6 months before you judge your results. By that time, most of the swelling should have resolved so you’ll have a better idea of your results.

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Swelling 6 weeks after tummy tuck

Thank you for your question. Your photographs seen to show a nice result after your abdominoplasty.

Although failure of the muscle repair is a possibility my guess is that your swelling will continue to improve.

Please be certain to see your plastic surgeon and ask if evidence of failure of the muscle repair.

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.