Can Muscles Loosen After Tummy Tuck and Muscle Repair?

I had a TT in 09/12 and over roll feel very good about it. My problem is that I still have to suck or tuck my tummy in to achieve that flat look. The loose skin is gone but my muscles feel loose like I have to suck in like I did before surgery. I work out 5 times a week and eat fairly good 1200 - 1500 calories a day. Can muscles untighten after Tummy Tuck and Muscle repair. If so, how is this corrected??

Doctor Answers 8

Can Muscles Loosen After Tummy Tuck and Repair

   If your muscles were plicated after tummy tuck, it is possible for the sutures or the repair to be compromised.  However, examination by your plastic surgeon will be necessary to confirm or refute this.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Muscles loose after tummy tuck

It is possible for your muscle repair to fail after a tummy tuck.  The best thing to do is call your surgeon and have him/her examine you to check the status of the repair.  Good luck.

Sacha Obaid, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Muscle Repair after Tummy Tuck

The primary purpose and benefit of a tummy tuck is to remove excess skin and fat. Muscle realignment can be done but is no substitute for abdominal muscle exercise. The intra abdominal contents may protrude and work against the muscle tightening.

Thomas Trevisani, Sr., MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Tummy Tuck Changes

If your belly was very flat after surgery and then you heard a "pop" and a loosening, then it could be that the suture which was tightening your abdominal muscles broke and in that case, you could have a loosening of your muscles after a tummy tuck.  If you want to fix this problem, you could have a short (45 min) outpatient operation to re-tighten your muscles.  Good luck!

K. Roxanne Grawe, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

Loose abs after TT

A sad and curious question.


I'm not sure exactly how to answer that, as you have not provided all the information that I would like to know.  For example, was your abdomen always loose after surgery?  Did you comply with all instructions after surgery?  Did you ever hear or feel anything pop or tear?

Anyway, things can rip or tear or break in the early post op period ( say 6 weeks after surgery) if you are not careful.  On the other hand, after that, if you warm up, stretch out, and carefully advance your activities, your result should be a life long result.  Correction involves repeat tummy tuck and tightening the muscle layer again.  This will provide the opportunity to visually inspect why your results are not to your satisfaction.

You really need to discuss this with your ps.

Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Can Muscles Loosen After Tummy Tuck and Muscle Repair?

It would be helpful to see some photos to improve the usefullness of any responses we can give. 

If you had some improvement early on that is now gone, it is possible that the repair has broken down, though that is not the only possibility.

In most patients it is possible to "suck in" more than can be accomplished with surgery. Among other things, while "sucking in" you are also raising your diaphragm and increasing the volume in which the intra-abdominal contents can be displaced, A tummy tuck will not raise your diaphragm. 

Although photos might help suggest the possibility of redoing the tightening, better advice will come from your surgeon based upon an in person examination.

Thanks for your question, all the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Is it possible that after a Tummy Tuck your skin could become loose again ?

There are various factors that could contribute to that happening. Some being the first weeks of post-op you didn’t  take proper care and rest and do the minimal activities , having done exercise before time , basically any rough movement that you could have done before your Doctor recommended it was ok to have a normal life again , in that case there is the possibility that a suture popped and the reconstruction of the abdominal wall became undone and that can cause the skin to loosen again. But if nothing of that happened it is unusual for it to happen just like that. However I would recommend for you to speak to your Doctor so he can determine for sure what happened , because we all have different opinions but your Doctor is the only one who knows your case well.

Luis Suarez, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Issues with TT muscle repair

It is difficult to give a reasonable opinion without pictures (before and after).  Over time there can be some relaxation of the muscle repair.  The goal is an improved contour not a permanently "washboard" abdomen.

Dr. ES

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.