It is well known that multiple pregnancies, twins or triplets can cause significant stretching of the stomach wall and stomach muscles in some women. Some of these women go on to have persistent back pain because some of the core muscles that support the back no longer work in an effective and efficient fashion. It seems that at least in some of these women, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) can realign the stomach wall muscles and eliminate the stomach wall laxity that contributes to the lack of support. We have seen significant improvement and most often complete elimination of back pain associated with these conditions after abdominoplasty surgery.
Initially if someone had suggested that a tummy tuck can be a cure for persistent back pain, I would have been highly skeptical. However, over the years I have performed a number of tummy tucks on women who had developed back problems after pregnancy as described above. Interestingly, virtually all of these women had either significant improvement or complete resolution of their back pain.
A Case Study
Recently, I performed a Mommy Makeover on a woman who had had triplets. She was not overweight but the pregnancy had caused significant changes in her body. After pregnancy she had developed nearly constant back pain. She had taken over the counter medications, undergone physical therapy, acupuncture, and on occasion even narcotic based pain medications to control her back pain. She is a part of an internet forum of women who have had triplets and several of them have similar back issues. She asked for a tummy tuck (as well as a breast lift) to improve the appearance of her stomach and she hoped that it might also help her back. While I was confident of an improved look for her stomach, I made it clear that I had only a marginal hope that a tummy tuck would offer any improvement to her back pain.
This mother of triplets is now 6 months out from her tummy tuck. Not only is she pleased with the cosmetic improvement of her stomach, she has in addition not experienced even one day of back pain since the surgery. Although this result may not be typical, she informs me that many of the women who participate in her triplets forum have had the same experience.
What’s the Verdict?
Clearly more research is needed to determine if there is a consistent improvement in back pain after a tummy tuck. It’s definitely a topic of discussion in certain forums and social posts, and has helped some women who have significant stretching of their stomach wall muscles. What a great situation – at least some women can benefit both cosmetically and improve their back pain from a tummy tuck.