When is Muscle Plication Healing Complete?

Tummy tuck. I have been reading a great deal about muscle plication and repair. While it seems that eventually the fascia heals in a certain position so that the plication no longer relies on the sutures, it's not clear how reliable the end result is. Will the fascia eventually stretch out again with exercise? It's not clear how the stress of exercise is different from the force exerted by intraabdominal fat/pregnancy. When is it completely safe to work the abs? 6 months? A year?

Doctor Answers 1

Muscle tightening (plication) with tummy tuck

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Most plastic surgeons use permanent sutures to perform the muscle tightening (plication) portion of the tummy tuck.  I generally recommend no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 5-6 weeks after a tummy tuck.  After this time period, I clear patients to resume exercising gradually as tolerated.   Can the muscles stretch out again? No,  as long as you maintain your weight and continue a healthy lifestyle.  However, if you gain weight - this can undo the benefits of the tummy tuck.  Hope this helps.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

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