The tummy tuck is the gold standard when it comes to achieving a toned, flat stomach. Whether postpartum or post-weight loss, the tummy tuck is an integral part of repairing the abdomen and recontouring the body. If you’re curious about a tummy tuck, however, it’s normal to wonder about what really happens during your procedure. One important and relatively common step during a tummy tuck is repairing the abdominal muscles, but it’s not the case with every tummy tuck procedure. In your personal consultation Dr. Power will discuss whether muscle repair may be needed to achieve your goals.  Here is what you should know first.  

What is Muscle Repair During Tummy Tuck?

A traditional tummy tuck addresses loose skin and fatty tissue of the stomach, both above and below the belly button.  One goal of tummy tuck surgery is to remove stubborn fat and excess skin from the abdominal area.  It’s also common during pregnancy or weight gain for the underlying abdominal muscles to stretch and separate to accommodate fat or a pregnancy. This is called diastasis recti.  The size of this gap between the abdominal core muscles varies between individuals.  Unfortunately it cannot be reversed through diet and exercise.  In addition to creating a bulge of the abdomen, it may also lead to decreased core strength and potentially other symptoms, including back pain and urinary incontinence in postpartum women.  During a tummy tuck, these muscles can be tightened and sutured back into position for long-term benefits.

When is Muscle Repair Necessary?

Pregnancy or weight gain are not always indicators that you’ll need a muscle repair.  The need for muscle repair is usually determined by Dr. Power after reviewing your history and clinical examination.  Postpartum women are generally candidates for muscle repair, although this is not always the case.  Your candidacy depends on the amount of muscle separation regardless of the cause.  A tummy tuck can still address lax skin and stubborn fat whether muscle repair is required or not.

Maintaining Muscle Repair Results

If you opt for muscle repair during your tummy tuck, it’s important to maintain your results.  Although muscle repair is effective at flattening the abdomen and allowing for better toning and muscle building through exercise, it won’t prevent future stretching if you gain weight or become pregnant again in the future.  This means the best candidates for a tummy tuck are those at a healthy BMI (less than 25-30) and who have stabilized their weight loss and healthy lifestyle for at least six months.  Another important consideration for maintaining your results is waiting until you have finished having children as future pregnancies would result in more stretching.  A tummy tuck won’t prevent you from carrying a full-term pregnancy, but you would likely need a revision surgery to maintain your results if you become pregnant after your tummy tuck.

Schedule a Consultation

A tummy tuck is one of the most effective ways to transform your abdomen and repair stretched muscles. To meet with Dr. Stephanie Power and learn more about the right procedure for you, we invite you to contact our Toronto office by calling or filling out our online form.

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