Is Tummy Tuck Without Muscle Repair Possible for Weight Loss Patients?

I've lost over 100 lbs. and want to get rid of this extra skin. I also want children. I've read about women who've gotten pregnant after a Tummy Tuck experiencing sharp abdominal pain and stretching because of the muscle repair.

I want my pregnancy experiences to be as normal as possible. Is having the Tummy Tuck without muscle repair an option? How much say does a patient have in this procedure?

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Doctor Answers 20

Finish having children before tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question. You will likely not need muscle repair if you have not had children yet.

However most plastic surgeons agree that you should finish having children before having your tummy tuck. If you have children after your tummy tuck you may lose the benefits of your tummy tuck.

Tummy Tuck vs Panniculectomy

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Tummy tuck is mainly to improve shape and contour by plicating your core tight then redraping the skin. Without the core thightening (muscle repair), its not a tummy tuck, but a panniculectomy (skin and fat resection).

Muscle Tightening Not Necessary for Tummy Tuck after Weight Loss

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I usually do not do muscle tightening in patients who have an abdominal pannus removal if they have not had children.  Even if you have had children, the choice is yours as whether you want muscle tightening or not.  If your surgeon refuses, find another surgeon.

Tummy tuck without muscle tightening

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Congratulations on your weight loss!  Yes, it is possible to have a tummy tuck without tightening/sewing your muscles.  Since you haven't been pregnant yet, you may not need muscle tightening.  And since you've lost over 100 pounds, you may have a great result by removing the loose skin only, but it's difficult to evaluate you without seeing a photo or seeing you in person.


I suggest you visit with at least one board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your situation in more detail, and I wish you all the best!

Tummy Tuck Without Muscle Repair for Weight Loss Patients

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Congratulations on the weight loss. It is possible to perform abdominoplasty without muscle repair. In person examination and consultation would be important to determine if this would be recommended for you. Consult with 3 - 4 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons to review your options.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Does tummy tuck require muscle repair

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First, congratulations on such a significant weight loss!  The need for muscle repair is dependent on whether the diastasis rectus muscle has been stretched or spread.  Theoretically, that might not be the case regardless of your starting weight.  This is related more frequently to childbearing.  In terms of patient say in how to proceed, if the muscle is spread, then abdominoplasty without the muscle repair will only achieve a partial result and I would not advocate that you undergo such a procedure.  Generally, I would recommend that, if you plan to have children in the near future, you should delay the surgery until after giving birth.  If what you need is removal of a hanging skin apron, or panniculus, this is a possibility. 

Tummy tuck after weight loss

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with a 100 lb weight loss I can say that the muscles of your abdomen are likely split apart. They are usually repaired during a tummy tuck, but they do not have to be. The problem is that if the muscles are loose, then the intra-abdominal contents will push forward against your skin and give you not as dramatic of a degree of improvement. I have had a number of women that have had a tummy tuck and went on to have a successful pregnancy, with no difference in the pain, compared to their prior pregnancies. If you get pregnant after a tummy tuck though, your tummy tuck and muscle repair will likely have to be redone. In your case, the second option is just to remove the loose skin over your lower abdomen by performing a panniculectomy. In that case only skin is removed, no muscles are tightened and you will not have any fear of the muscle repair causing any more pain that you would have had without them. It is not as good of a cosmetic improvement though, so you need to be honest with your surgeon about your expectations.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy tuck after weight loss

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Congratulations on your weight loss! 

There are times when a patient will request NOT to have the muscle work and as long as the patient understands  the pro's and con's of their choices, I don't see why they can't have a say in this decision.  You may end up with a beautiful result just by removing the excess skin. I would have to examine you and talk to you regarding your goals before deciding.

By the way, I have had patients who get pregnant after tummy tuck surgery and muscle repair without harm to the patient or the really the decision is up to you.

I suggest clear communication with your surgeon to decide what is best for you.

Best Wishes.

Tummy tuck without muscle repair

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If you have not had children then the need for muscle repair is somewhat unlikely.  It would be perfectly acceptable for you to request no muscle repair with your abdominoplasty in anticipation of becoming pregnant some time in the future.

Wishing you all the best.

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck without muscle repair

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Yes, one is able to perform a a full abdominoplasty without repair or your muscles (rectus diastasis). However, the surgeon would only be treatinng the soft tissues effects of post weight loss (skin and fat). In specific indivduals this leads to very good results. The muscle repair helps sculpt your waistline and help makes your abdomen appear "more flat".

Arthur M. Cambeiro, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 210 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.