The primary goal of tummy tuck surgery is to improve the appearance of the abdomen by removing excess loose skin and fat. An integral part of most tummy tuck surgeries is to repair the abdominal muscles that have been damaged or weakened via pregnancy, weight gain over time. So how do you know if you will need muscle repair during your tummy tuck procedure? In this blog post, Newport Beach plastic surgeon Dr. Rob Kessler shares more information on muscle repair and when it is recommended.

About Muscle Repair

The abdominal wall is comprised of two large parallel bands of muscles that meet in the middle of the abdomen. During pregnancy, the growing uterus stretches the abdominal muscles, causing them to separate (a condition known as diastasis recti). A similar effect occurs when an individual gains a large amount of weight. After pregnancy or weight loss, the muscles return to their pre-pregnancy or pre-weight gain state, although some laxity will remain, creating a bulge or “pooch” in the abdomen.

To correct this separation, the muscles will need to be sutured together. During tummy tuck surgery, sutures are placed in the fascia (connective tissue) of the abdominal muscles, pulling them into a tighter position. Once this is completed, your surgeon will remove excess skin and, if necessary, fat via liposuction. Generally, repairing loose abdominal muscles produces better tummy tuck results. Without retightening the muscles, abdominal wall laxity will remain, causing a small bulge to remain even after tummy tuck. By repairing the muscles and bringing them closer together, a flatter abdomen is achieved.

Is Muscle Repair Necessary?

While muscle repair is an integral part of tummy tuck surgery, it is not always necessary. Most women who have had at least one pregnancy benefit from muscle repair, as do individuals who have gained or lost a large amount of weight. Patients whose abdominal muscles have not separated but have stubborn fatty bulges on the abdomen may be better suited for tummy tuck paired with liposuction. Dr. Kessler can determine if muscle repair is needed during your tummy tuck consultation. During your consultation, Dr. Kessler will go over your medical history and physically examine your abdomen to determine whether you could benefit from muscle repair.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Kessler

If you’re interested in getting tummy tuck surgery in Newport Beach, or the other body contouring procedures Dr. Kessler offers, schedule a one-on-one consultation. Please call 949.644.6544 today.

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