Is Muscle Repair with Tummy Tuck Always Necessary?

Tummy tucks are a highly popular plastic surgery in the U.S., with over 130,000 procedures performed in the states annually.

However, as the procedure increases in popularity, there are also more people uncertain of what a tummy tuck achieves precisely, and what it should entail.

In short, a tummy tuck is a procedure administered for either aesthetic reasons, medical issues, or a combination of both. If performed for medical reasons, most patients will require muscle repair. In many cases, muscle repair will enhance the aesthetic results, as well. Some patients will not require any muscle repair during their tummy tuck.

Here, Dr. Farber of Farber Plastic Surgery discusses the different approaches to tummy tucks and whether or not muscle repair will be necessary, according to the requirements of different patients. To learn more about what doctor Farber’s team can do for you, schedule a consultation today.

What is the Goal of a Tummy Tuck?

The tummy tuck procedure has two main goals:

  • Improve the aesthetic appearance of the patient’s midsection
  • Restore the structure and musculature of the abdominal wall

Improve Aesthetic Appearance

Many patients wish to get a tummy tuck because they have unsightly, excess skin surrounding the abdominal region. This is often a result of significant weight loss, leaving stretched skin around the midsection.

A combination of skin removal and liposuction during a tummy tuck assists these patients in achieving a flatter, smoother, more defined, and visually pleasing abdominal region.

Restore the Structure and Musculature of the Abdominal Wall – Diastasis

For some patients, particularly those who have recently been pregnant, a medical condition called diastasis is the primary factor compelling them towards a tummy tuck.

Diastasis is the horizontal separation of the abdominal muscles. The rectus muscles, or the ‘6 pack muscles’, commonly become separated down the middle during pregnancy, and medical intervention through a tummy tuck is often required to reconnect them and restore proper structure to the abdominal wall.

before tummy tuck female patient front view case 2450
after tummy tuck female patient front view case 2450

How Does Muscle Repair Impact a Tummy Tuck?

The main difference between a muscle-repairing tummy tuck and a non-muscle repairing tummy tuck comes in the cost and the recovery time.

Patients who undergo a tummy tuck for purely aesthetic reasons have far less downtime because it is the skin that needs to repair and set itself, not the muscles.

Aesthetic tummy tuck patients that did not receive muscle repair can generally return to their full routines within two weeks.

Conversely, muscle-repair tummy tucks involve the surgeon suturing the fascia, or connective tissue, of the rectus muscles together and pulling them in close to one another. This is a significant change in the muscle structure of the abdominal area. The body requires six to eight weeks to adapt, heal, and set the changes in a permanent, stable fixture.

Will I Require Muscle Repair with my Tummy Tuck?

As we have discussed, whether or not patients require muscle repair from their tummy tuck depends entirely on the reasons behind the tummy tuck procedure.

If the musculature of your abdominal wall has been compromised, such as through diastasis, or by having a weak abdominal wall leading to other medical conditions such as a hernia, then you will need muscle repair.

New mothers may also benefit significantly from a complete abdominal restoration procedure, such as a mommy makeover, which drastically improves both the aesthetics and functional structure of the entire abdominal region.

If, however, you are a patient who has recently lost significant amounts of weight and have excess skin, then it is likely that you will not require muscle repair from your tummy tuck. You will need your surgeon to excise the excess skin, remove some fat tissue with liposuction, and then close the incision and wait for your body to heal over the next two weeks.

As such, muscle repair IS NOT always necessary with a tummy tuck.

In fact, many patients contemplating a tummy tuck will benefit greatly from not having muscle repair, as they will pay less for the procedure and have significantly less downtime as they recover from the surgery.

Nonetheless, an essential step in determining whether or not you require muscle repair from your tummy tuck is consulting a certified, experienced, and credible plastic surgeon.

Dr. Scott Farber of Farber Plastic Surgery consistently provides his patients with the highest levels of customer care and patient satisfaction. To book your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Farber to determine whether or not you will require muscle repair from your tummy tuck, call (561) 503-2700 or fill out his online form.

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