Other Options when Rectus Muscle Repair Doesn't Work?

I had tummy tuck with muscle repair 3 months ago, and my post op abdomen hardly looks any different from my pre op. I have no excess fat; I am very slim. My plastic surgeon says there is no separation of the rectus muscle but is going to open me up again to see whats going on.

If a rectus muscle repair does not flatten the tummy, are there other repairs that might be beneficial? For instance, can the transverse or obliques somehow be repaired or strengthened to pull a tummy flat?

Doctor Answers 2

Multiple options exist to fix this problem

There are several causes for having a protuberant abdomen:

  1. Increased intraabdominal content: Large omentum,liver etc...
  2. Weakness of the abdominal wall muscles with generalised decreased tone.
  3. Divercation of the recti muscles.

Plication of the recti will only help the last aetiology. Generalised atonia will benefit from muscle training and in severe cases plication in addition to mesh placement.

The first aetiology must be excluded in all cases. I have seen some of my patients with this diagnosis. In general they are thin, had multiple kids etc.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

There are options for recurrent rectus diastasis

There are a few other options called the separation of parts technique.

You may require the use of mesh to support and hold the repair.

Lastly, I personally believe tat core strengthening excercises are highly beneficial for maintaintng and improving the results of rectus diastasis repair.

Discuss these options with your surgeon or seek a consultatiion at a university setting. It is important that other causes for the bulging be excluded such as liver disease, ascites, megacolon, etc.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 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.