abdominoplasty - GraceMed

Almost every tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedure — especially those performed on women that have had multiple pregnancies — tightens separated or weakened abdominal muscles.

The tummy tuck has a 97% “Worth It” rating on RealSelf.

Almost every tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedure — especially those performed on women that have had multiple pregnancies — tightens separated or weakened abdominal muscles. This helps to correct a protruding abdomen and restore an attractive, hourglass-like curve.

But what happens after healing from tummy tuck surgery? Do the muscles eventually stretch out? Does the protrusion reappear? GraceMed addresses the answer to that question here.

What exactly is a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)?

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that improves abdominal shape and contours by removing excess skin and fat while tightening the muscles.  During a full abdominoplasty, the surgeon usually removes excess fat or sagging skin from above and below your belly button and then pulls the remaining skin and muscles tight, making your abdomen flat while creating a new opening and position for your belly button.

Repairing the abdominal wall should be permanent

When the abdominal muscles are loose, they can cause the side profile to protrude and look round. Therefore, repairing these muscles is critical to achieving a beautiful result. During the tummy tuck operation, separated or weakened muscles of the abdominal wall are brought together and stitched into place in a corset-like fashion.

The sutures used in the operation are very strong and durable. They should last forever unless they are surgically removed, and should not tear when the patient coughs, sneezes or laughs. However, there are certain factors that could cause these sutures to break and the abdominal muscles to stretch.

Factors that could stretch the muscles

Straining or lifting during the recovery period: Heavy lifting or strenuous exercise could cause the stitches to break and release the newly tightened abdominal wall. This is why it is important for healing tummy tuck patients to give their bodies time to heal sufficiently. Also, strenuous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for approximately eight to 12 weeks after surgery.

Future pregnancy: Becoming pregnant after tummy tuck surgery can also stretch the abdominal muscles as the tummy grows. Future pregnancies can reverse other improvements to the surgery, too. Women that want to undergo tummy tuck are instructed to postpone surgery until they are finished having biological children and do not plan to become pregnant again.

Weight gain: Gaining a significant amount of weight can stress the abdominal muscles and cause them to expand. A few pounds won’t hurt, but substantial weight gain can reverse many of the accomplishments of a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).

Learn more about tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty procedure here.