Can the Muscle Be Repaired Without a Tummy Tuck?

I have been on prednisone for 5 years which deposited fat in my abdomen thus pushing my belly out more and more. I now have a rectus diastasis that is painful to me. All of this developed after having a cough for 7 weeks. I am 71 years old and would like to have this repaired because of the pain. Is this possible?

Doctor Answers 5

Rectus Diastasis Repair without Tummy Tuck

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First your surgeon has to determine if you have rectus diastasis or an actual hernia of the abdominal wall.  Second, because you have been on Prednisone for several years and gained intra-abdominal fat as well as external fat, it may be difficult to repair the weakness of your abdominal wall with your own tissues meaning you may need mesh.  Technically, tightening of the rectus fascia can be done endoscopically or through a small lower abdominal incision.  But given your age and medical issues, potential risks of any procedure must be weighed against the potential benefits.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Rectus diastasis repair

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Yes it can be done and with a cosmetic low incision. I have done this a number of times using endoscopic techniques. While I do this as a cosmetic procedure patients also get the functional benefits as well. It take about 2 hours and is an out patient procedure. Good Luck!

Gregory T. Lynam, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Muscle Repair without Tummy Tuck

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An exam should be able to determine what would be best for you.  Diastasis can be repaired without a tummy tuck.  Its also possible you may have a hernia.  A general surgeon should be able to answer that for you after an examination.  Diastasis usually does not cause pain.

Albert Dabbah, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon

Can the Muscle Be Repaired Without a Tummy Tuck?

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It is possible to repair the diastasis without a tummy tuck, but a problem may occur with buckling of the abdominal skin when the muscles, which have attachments to the skin, are drawn together. 

Typically, there is not pain associated with a diastasis, and it sounds like you have had this for years without trouble. You might do well to consult with your primary physician so that the possible causes of your pain can be narrowed down. Doing a larger operation that would not address your symptoms would not be in anyone's interests. Thank you for your question, and best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Muscle can be repaired without a tummy tuck...

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Muscle and anterior abdominal wall can be performed without an abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck". This can be performed in two ways. One way to repair the anterior abdominal wall is to make an incision just below the belt line, similar to a mini-tummy tuck. This can allow direct exposure to the anterior abdominal wall and allow for abdominal wall repair. Another way to repair the abdominal wall is with a laparoscope. This would require several small incisions made on the anterior abdomen and then your abdomen is inflated. This allows excellent exposure and visualization of the abdominal wall. Special instruments are introduced into the abdomen and the abdomen is repaired from the "inside". Due to your age and prednisone history, this may be a better surgery. However, you must find a specialist. There are a few surgeons who perform the abdominal wall repair in this fashion.

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 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.