What is an abdominoplasty with muscle repair postpartum?

As the uterus grows during pregnancy, the abdominal muscles also start stretching to accommodate the fetus. The appearance of stretch marks on your belly area is a natural suggestion that your skin is being overstretched, which is not the case inside the body. The two main panels of muscles down the middle of the abs start separating during pregnancy and delivery due to the strain caused by continuous stretching of the abdominal area. In some cases, the outstretched abdominal muscles will retreat to their original place and in some cases, they will not.


The procedure


If possible, your plastic surgeon will make the main incision under the ‘bikini line’ so that the scar is concealed as possible. However, this cannot always be done in every patient and usually depends on the extent of the surgery.

  • Hernia: During the procedure, your surgeon will repair any abdominal hernia that may be present.

  • Length of Operation: A complete tummy tuck usually takes from two to three hours. Liposuction, if performed, may lengthen the procedure.

  • Liposuction: Some patients may benefit from liposuction performed during the abdominoplasty. Liposuction can improve the contour of the reconstructed abdominal wall, hips and thighs (see the Society’s pamphlet “Liposuction – a guide for patients”, available from your surgeon).


What will it do?


Diastasis recti is a surgical method of bringing the separated abdominal muscles back together.


It can be performed either singly or in conjunction with abdominoplasty in cases where surplus fat and skin are to be removed. In severe cases of diastasis, there could be the presence of an umbilical hernia which will be corrected during the procedure.


Once a general anesthesia is administered on the patient an incision will be made between the navel and the pubic area horizontally.


Skin and tissue that are above the abdominal fascia will be undermined and raised to the navel. Another incision is created around the umbilicus to free the umbilical stalk. The dissection of the abdomen and subsequent elevation will continue until it approaches the base of the rib cage.


To provide enhanced support to the separated abdominal muscles, these will be joined together using non-dissolvable sutures at varying depths. Upon completion of the strengthening of the muscle, the umbilicus will be reconnected to the outer skin; the abdominal skin will be drawn back to the pubic area, and incisions will be closed with the help of sutures.


Is it right for me?


Abdominoplasty with muscle repair postpartum is a highly individualised procedure and may not be suitable for everyone. Always talk to your Specialist Plastic Surgeon before making a decision. Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will assess your condition and general health, and plan the treatment that is best suited to you.


Abdominoplasty is not suitable for people who are:

  • Not able to have an anaesthetic

  • Prone to bleeding tendencies or have poor healing ability

  • Too high risk of having surgical complications


Abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Keep in mind that while the results of the procedure are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For that reason, you may be asked to consider delaying the procedure if you are:

  • Planning to get pregnant again, as the result of the surgery may be lost


Abdominoplasty may be a good option for you if:


  • You are physically healthy and at a stable weight

  • You have realistic expectations

  • You are a non-smoker or have stopped smoking

Expectations of surgery




Will I have scarring?


Scars are the inevitable result of any invasive surgery. Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will endeavour to minimise scarring and to keep your scars as inconspicuous as possible. By locating incisions in easily hidden sites, scars will be along natural skin lines and creases, and will usually fade with time.

Will I need revisional surgery?


In most cases, abdominoplasty does not need to be repeated. However, as with all surgical procedures, revisional surgery may be necessary to correct minor irregularities.

What are the costs of this procedure?

Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Prices can vary widely between Specialist Plastic Surgeons. Some factors that may influence the cost include the surgeon’s experience, the type of procedure used and the geographic location of the office.


Costs associated with the procedure may include:


  • Surgeon’s fee

  • Hospital or surgical facility costs

  • Anaesthesia fees

  • Prescriptions for medication

  • Post-surgery garments

  • Medical tests


We welcome any questions you may have regarding fees

Abdominoplasty procedure video

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