Is a tummy tuck necessary to flatten abdomen and is the scar always that large and dramatic? Are there any other choices?(photo)

I'm a mother of 3 and I could feel my abs coming in under the stubborn "mommy tummy". I workout a lot and have a pretty solid build. Like most women who bare children I have that stubborn layer of fat, stretch marks and that loose skin that makes me very insecure. Is a tummy tuck my only option to flatten my stomach? Are scars typically that large? Any other options for me?

Doctor Answers 12

Tummy tuck options

Possible options for abdominal improvement are liposuction, mini-abdominoplasty, full abdominoplasty and liposuction with abdominoplasty. Normally when patients have significant stretch marks liposuction alone is ususally not the best option. I think the best options for you would be a mini abdominoplasty with liposuction or a full abdominoplasty. These options should be discussed with your surgeon.

Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Tummy tuck

You sound like an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck.  Based on your pictures, you have stretchmarks around your navel.  Stretchmarks indicate to me that your skin has been damaged by excessive expansion - in your case it sounds like this occurred during your pregnancies.  This damaged skin is never going to snap completely back - it doesn't matter how much you exercise, watch your diet or apply creams.  If you want it gone, it will need to be surgically removed.  Scarring is an important consideration - an abdominoplasty does create a scar low on the abdomen from hip to hip and often a scar around the navel - but remember you are trading contour for scar.  Also, in the hands of a skilled board-certified plastic surgeon, the incision is hidden by most underwear and swimwear.

Andrew Jimerson, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 543 reviews

Only a tummy tuck will solve your abdominal problem.

Abdominoplasty scars are certainly lengthy but often times there very acceptable. Asked to see many patients including different stages convalescence.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Is a tummy tuck necessary?

By your photographs it appears that you have stretch marks. Stretch marks indicate that your skin has been torn and damaged in the lower layers. This would prevent your skin from retracting and becoming flat after liposuction alone. You will need either a full or mini abdominoplasty to achieve an optimal outcome.

My simple and illustrated video may help you--learn more about tummy tucks and other body contouring procedures.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Abdominoplasty scar

Thank you for your pictures. Because you have excess skin and fat I believe your best option is a tummy tuck. The scars is typically long but if position correctly and with reasonable healing it should be well concealed. There really no options other than the scar. It is a trade-off for a better tummy a contour

Questions about an abdominoplasty

When evaluating an abdomen several factors must be examined
  1. Skin
  2. Subcutaneous fat
  3. Anterior abdominal wall laxity
  4. Intra-abdominal fat or visceral fat
If your skin has multiple stretch marks then liposuction may not be the best option.  There are modifications of an abdominoplasty but in your particular case a standard abdominoplasty would be the best choice.   This will flatten the abdominal bulge, contour the abdomen with liposuction of the trunk, flanks and posterior hips, and tighten the skin. The trade off is the scar.  This is an individual decision for your to make after you weigh the risks and benefits.  If you want to have a flat abdomen the trade off is the scar that can be hidden by your bathing suit or underwear.  With proper planning the scar can be managed.  Proactive scar care is vital to obtain an aesthetic result.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tummy Tuck

From your photos it seems obvious you could get a great result with a full timmy tuck. The scar aroud the belly button is a very thin and almost imperceptible line. The long lower scar is also a very thin line, about like a pencil line, when the closure is done with the progressive advancement technique. See 2-3 consults and get a look at their postop photos.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Is a tummy tuck necessary to flatten abdomen and is the scar always that large and dramatic? Are there any other choices?

Yes you would benefit from a full Tummy Tuck operation. And yes there is a scar. You need to research this in more detail so you fully understand the possible outcomes... 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Abdominal Surgery Options

There are surgical and non-surgical options to a full abdominoplasty, but that does not mean that they are the best procedure for your situation. When you have significant loose skin and stretch marks, a surgical abdominoplasty is going to make you look the best. With abdominoplasties, the more loose skin present and the higher up on your abdomen that you have loose skin, the longer the incision needs to be to correct the problem.

Don W. Griffin, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Tummy Tuck

Hello and thank you for your question.  Currently, the only option that exists to remove the excess skin and stretch mark of the abdomen is a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).  Based on your photos, you appear to have excess skin and stretch marks above and below the belly button.  With that degree of excess skin, you would be best served with a full abdominoplasty.  

Nicholas Tarola, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.