Does it look like my muscle repair was unsuccessful as there is still a 2 finger gap?

I had muscle repair no liposuction and one inch of skin removed 12 weeks ago. Does it appear my muscle repair was unsuccessful judging the before and after photos as the 'gap' is still the same width? There is still a 2 finger gap when lying down and is apparent when I stand up.

Doctor Answers 5

Unhappy With Muscle Repair

Hello and thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear that you do not see any results from your procedure. If you still feel there is too much loose skin in the area where the surgery should have been performed then it would be best to visit your surgeon and have the area examined to make sure that your procedure was performed as desired for the final results you wanted. Good luck!

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Does it look like my muscle repair was unsuccessful?

Thank you for sharing your question and photographs and I am sorry that your current results have not been what you anticipated.  It is difficult to judge from pictures alone, especially as you likely have remaining swelling from surgery.  That said if the gap between your stomach muscles is the same after surgery as it was before it appears that either the muscle repair was unsuccessful or was not performed tight enough.  Talk to your surgeon to voice your concerns, they can best determine your results by feeling your abdomen.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Got a Gap after a Tummy Tuck!!

Tummy tucks with partial skin excision and no incisions around the belly button are called mini tummy tucks or modified tummy tucks. When patients do not have enough excess skin to need a Full Tummy tuck then they may be a good candidate for a mini or modified tummy tuck. 

The difference between the two procedures is that a Mini Tummy Tuck is dissection and advacnement of the lower abdomen after removal of skin and fat from BELOW the belly button and LEAVING the belly button attached to the abdominal wall. Often patient who are good candidates for this have little to no anatomic issues above the umbilicus and that area of the belly is left undisturbed except for some possible liposuciton if indicated. 

Now the Modified tummy tuck is a procedure that is also known as the "float" abdominoplasty with the umbilicus being released from the abdominal wall to allow access for repair of any rectus diastasis if it exists and then translocating the umbilicus lower as the entire skin flap is advanced inferiorly with the skin excision to make the abdomen flatter and tighter. This often lowers the position of the umbilicus.  

Persistent Gap in the rectus muscle may be a natural post operative result. 


If you have concerns about your outcome, you should address your concerns to your surgeon directly.

Hope this helps.

DR. Ali Mosharrafa

Ali Mosharrafa, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Muscle repair

If your muscle separation is the same as before surgery,  then it likely was not performed.  Best to review with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 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.