Is a Six Pack After Abdominal Muscle Repair Possible?

After having abdominal muscle repair would the muscles still be able to contract and tone to form a six pack?

Doctor Answers 10

You can rock six-pack abs after tummy tuck!

Hi Christina3927: Muscle repair during tummy tuck repositions the abdominal muscles into the midline and back to their working position so that your ab workouts will actually do something. Once fully healed and released by your surgeon for full body building, you can work on building your abs and reducing your body fat percentage so they will show thru. One of my patients returned to see me a couple of years after her tummy tuck with musle repair, proudly showing me her champion body builder photos from competition! So you can do it! Is it a huge amount of work and commitment......absolutely! Good luck! Dr. H

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

A six pack after muscle repair?

During an abdominoplasty, usually a mid-line muscle repair is performed. This repair targets a condition called diastasis where the muscle is separated after multiple pregnancies. The repair does not affect the function of the muscle and it is still possible to form a six pack with exercise after and abdominoplasty. 

S. Ozan Sozer, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 191 reviews

Six Pack After Tummy Tuck

Yes, it is possible to contract and tone your midsection to get the six pack you want. You just need to make sure you wait for at least six weeks after your surgery before you start strength training again, and please start slowly.  

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

6 pack after tummy tuck?

Tightening the muscles in an abdominoplasty could more accurately be described as "bringing the muscles closer together", with a resultant tightening effect. 

The physiologic function of the muscles is typically unaltered. So, after adequate postoperative recovery, one should expect to be able to resume core workouts. Which should then allow the patient to develop and define their rectus abdominus muscles, giving them their "6 pack"

William A. Wallace, MD, FACS
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

A six pack after a tummy tuck is possible with extreme dieting

Once your muscles are tightened after a tummy tuck and the excess skin is removed, you will have a good chance at achieving a "six-pack" abdomen. However, for the muscles to become visible, you will need to get your percent body fat down to a very low number with strict diet and exercise. You may even need to consult with a personal trainer and/or dietician for some guidance.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 377 reviews

Is a 6-pack Possible After Tummy Tuck

A muscle repair in a tummy tuck restores the position of your rectus muscles by closing the gap between them. This procedure alone will not give you a 6-pack. The key to a visible 6-pack is having very little fat between the skin and muscles of your abdomen. Liposuction will help but usually needs to be done as a separate procedure after you have healed from your tummy tuck. However, doing liposuction so close to the skin surface increases the risk of surface irregularities. Diet and exercise is the other option but you would have to have a very low body fat percentage (probably less than 10% in women), and this is very difficult to sustain even for bodybuilders. The truth is that few people over the age of 25 can keep a visible 6-pack, and most of them are on magazine covers.

Joseph Fata, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

It helps. So do good genes.

Yes, it is easier to have a six-pack after abdominoplasty with muscle repair because some of the fat has been removed over the muscles, so that any definition you have will be more visible.  Also, the muscles are realigned in the midline so the six-pack will not be pulled to the side.  Whether you can have a six-pack depends also on your body weight (or more precisely your BMI), abdominal muscle tone, and genetics.  Some people can never really develop a six-pack because they don't have well-defined tendinous intersections to their rectus muscles.  "Sculpting" with liposuction does not create a six-pack, as is sometimes claimed.  Getting a six-pack is hard work, but a tummy tuck, if you are a candidate, will make it easier if you are genetically favored.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Six Pack Following Tummy Tuck

It is certainly possible to have a six pack following a tummy tuck.  Typically the muscles are tightened to restore a normal muscle (rectus abdominis) position.  Usually the limiting factors for having a six pack are the thickness of the superficial (subcutaneous) fat and the size of your abdominal muscles.  Diet and exercise are the best ways to achieve this before or after your tummy tuck.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Six Pack After Tummy Tuck

Dear Christina3927,

A tummy tuck that includes tightening of the abdominal muscles as well as removal of extra and fat can help flatten and sculpt your belly. Your abdominal muscles should be able to contract normally after you recover, unless you also have a hernia, which is a more complex condition. The presence (or absence) of a six pack depends mostly on the amount of fat (and skin) over your muscles, as well as the size of your muscles. If you are very thin and/or muscular, then a six pack may be visible.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD

Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

6-pack Abs After Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Dear Christina3927:

If you can see the definition of your rectus muscles before your tummy tuck, you should be able to see them afterwards. The muscle tightening comes from sutures placed in the facia, the tough case that surounds the contractile part of the muscle. The muscle itself is not cut, so after about 6 weeks recovery, you can normally go back to your abdominal exercises. Once the abdominal wall swelling resolves, the 6-pack reappears.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 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.