Muffin Top Following Tummy Tuck Surgery: What is it?

A muffin top refers to the protuberance of the upper abdomen which results in a convex upper abdomen and concave lower abdomen. This is in contrast to the more desirable abdominal shape characterized by a concave upper abdomen and gentle convexity of the lower abdomen. This is an example of a patient who underwent a tummy tuck with muscle repair by another surgeon, who post-operatively demonstrates a muffin top. 

Tummy Tuck Muffin Top Orange County


Muffin Top after Tummy Tuck: How Do You Get It?

The question that I get routinely by patients consulting me for a revision tummy tuck is what happened?

In order to appreciate how this complication arises, we have to review the anatomy and surgical maneuvers used during tummy tuck surgery. Following elevation of the skin off the muscles, the muscles are repaired by plicating the muscles in the middle like a corset.  This vertical tightening of the muscles is performed both above and below the belly button.

A muffin top can be created if the muscles above the belly button are tightened less than the muscles below the belly button. Optimally, the muscles above the belly button should be tightened just slightly more than the muscles below the belly button in order to provide you the desirable concave upper abdomen and slightly convex lower abdomen.

Tummy Tuck in Orange County

A second cause of the muffin top can occur despite appropriately placed tension on repaired muscles. The muffin top deformity in these patients is caused by thinned out muscles and their lining. What occurs is that following muscle tightening, the increased tension can make the muscle and their lining stretch out again. The medical terminology for thinned out muscles is muscle attenuation. Unfortunately, it is not possible to tell if your muscle repair will hold until after your surgery.

Fixing the Muffin Top after a Tummy Tuck Surgery

How to fix the muffin top is two fold. If improper muscle tightening is the cause, then a revision tummy tuck will require resetting the proper tension so that the upper muscles are tightened slightly more than the bottom muscles. If the muffin top is resulting from muscle attenuation, then you will require a Tri-modality repair, which will not only tighten/repair but also reinforce your entire abdominal musculature, thereby eliminating the potential for further muscle stretch.   

Tummy Tuck Procedure Newport Beach

48 year old mom with identified muscle attenuation who tolerated the comprehensive Tri-Modality repair during her tummy tuck in order to avoid the muffin top deformity post-operatively.

Ready for your Tummy Tuck in Orange County?

Are you struggling with a muffin top following a tummy tuck surgery? Contact Dr. Mowlavi for a free consultation to see how you can revise your tummy tuck in Orange County. We have offices in Newport Beach or Laguna Beach.