Does a Tummy Tuck Without Muscle Repair Make It Less Invasive or Dangerous?

Doctor Answers 20

No Increased Risk with a Tummy Tuck

A muscle repair should not increase the risk of a tummy tuck.The question is whether or not you need one done. If you need it, simply do it. Most women benefit from muscle tightening after having children.  However, there are some women with just a skin problem who do not need a muscle repair.  If a woman is still having children, but wants a tummy tuck, i would be less likely to tighten the muscles.  

Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Less discomfort during recovery

It may be less invasive because the muscles aren't treated. Usually, a primary source of discomfort during tummy tuck recovery is muscle separation correction. 

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Muscles repair or plication during tummy tuck adds no morbidity or risks if done properly

The approximation of the muscles of the abdominal wall or plication are intended to strengthen the abdominal wall and correct the bulge (protrusion of intraabdominal contents) and weakness of it caused by physiological and anatomical changes during pregnancy or obesity with subsequent weight loss . This is a procedure that does not increase the surgical time significantly or produce negative physiological alterations if done properly. In short the realization adds no morbidity or risks but if not done the results may be adversely affected

Jose Luis Acosta Collado, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Does a Tummy Tuck Without Muscle Repair Make It Less Invasive or Dangerous?

If you are having a full tummy tuck and do not need a muscle repair, there will be less discomfort after the surgery and the recovery will be faster.  Since the procedure is not really a dangerous one, I would not say that it is necessarily less dangerous.  Although we tighten the muscle fascia, we do not cut through the muscles or the fascia, so the muscle repair is not really more invasive...we do not dissect down to any area that is not already exposed by the tummy tuck without the muscle repair.  If the muscle repair is not needed, don't do it.  If protrusion of the tummy is partially due to the muscle and fascial stretching (for example, from pregnancy) and you do not repair it, you may be disappointed with your result.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Does a Tummy Tuck Without Muscle Repair Make It Less Invasive or Dangerous?

Thank you for the question. The tummy tuck procedure typically involves plication  of the abdominal wall muscle that have spread during pregnancy or weight gain/loss.  IN MY OPINION, omitting  this part of the procedure for the vast majority of patients who present for consultation will  possibly or likely leave them with continued abdominal wall laxity and, in my  opinion, a less than optimal result.  Make your decisions carefully…

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Tummy tuck minus Muscle Repair

I occassionally perform an abdominoplasty without muscle repair, and that is because some patients don't need it. their abdominal wall has snapped back after pregnancy. If the muscles have not come back together, you will continue to have some bulging of your abdomen unless this corrected. This part of the procedure adds little to the risk and only about ten or fifteen minutes additional time.

Howard N. Robinson, MD (retired)
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Muscle tightening is an important part of a Tummy Tuck

Hi there-

Repair of the muscle damage caused by pregnancy or weight gain and loss is important in the achievement of the best outcome possible, and should not materially increase your risks related to the procedure.

Significantly, it is important for you to also understand that if you were to look for a surgeon willing to do a tummy tuck on you without tightening your muscles, you will find one, only to realize (assuming that you are having a tummy tuck because you need a tummy tuck to look your best) after surgery that your don't look anywhere near as good as you hoped, or as good as other women who had a more complete tummy tuck.

In other words, repairing the muscles should not increase your risks, and omitting this important detail will put you at risk of being unhappy with your outcome.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Tummy Tuck without the muscle repair

A tummy tuck without the muscle tightening is like buying a car without the engine.   To truly restore your abdominal contouring after having kids, most women need the abdominal muscle repair (tightening) to flatten your tummy wall and reverse the post-pregnancy changes.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

Muscle repair

To obtain the best result from a tummy tuck a muscle fascia plication is always required (almost always),  although theoretically possible to have a patient who does not require muscle plication (muscle repair), in 14 years of doing abdominoplasties, I have never seen one patient whom will not benefit from this part of the procedure.

If a physician is telling you to have the abdominoplasty without the plication, i will recommend you to seek a second opinion, it is very important you see several postop pictures specially on the lateral view, to see if the laxity of the lower abdomen is improved or continue to have the problem


Victor M. Perez, MD, FACS
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

A tummy tuck without muscle tightening has less pain after surgery.

Thank you for your question and the photos.

A tummy tuck without muscle tightening has less pain after surgery.  Most women that need or want a tummy tuck usually benefit from the muscle repair.

To be sure, see two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery. I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 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.