Is a tummy tuck my only option? (photos)

I'm a 36 year old mother of 2. I'm 5ft7in 159lbs. After reading many reviews and suggestions I'm curious if a tummy tuck is my only option to remove the fat and tighten my skin. It seems as if all lipo procedures available may not tighten my skin much. Also what are the cons to traveling if I'm not confident in the doctors in my area?

Doctor Answers 10

Dr. Felipe Amaya recommendation

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It is difficult to evaluate your case looking at your pictures, but it seems that Liposcupture will be the best option to achieve a flat abdomen, accentuate your waist and eliminate fat from your back.

Tummy Tuck - Am I A Candidate?

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Thank you for your question and photos. You appear to be an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck. The skin excision and muscle tightening could give you an excellent contour as well as improve the tone of the anterior abdominal wall. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person examination to discuss the specific details of the procedures. Ask to see before and after photos to get an idea of what can be achieved. Hope this helps!

Is a tummy tuck my only option?

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Based on your photos and given you have had children I would recommend a tummy tuck for the reason that this will remove excess fat, tighten the abdominal skin, and repairs separated abdominal muscles which is common after having children. It will also remove the stretch marks below your belly button. Please do your research and consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon. 

Best of luck. 


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Tummy tuck/tightening/many options/loose skin/stretch marks/travel

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Thank you for your photos and question. There are many options for you. Best would be is in-office consultation to evaluate your skin and abdominal wall laxity, amount of overall fat, and a thorough medical and obstetrical history along with physical exam, and review your options and the trade-offs.

Based on the photos, if you desire to remove the stretch marks, tighten the abdominal muscles, and achieve the most contouring results, tummy tuck would be a great option.

Most important is finding the right surgeon.  Its not uncommon to travel for the surgeon who patient feels comfortable with.  We have patients come from as far as Europe, Asia and the Middle East to get their surgeries.  Pros and cons will be different for each patient.

Make sure you have a thorough consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience in this procedure. Check her/his experience, credentials, reviews, before and after photos, and have a quality consultation.

It is preferred for your surgeon to be member of "American Society of Plastic Surgeons" and ideally member of "American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery". This means they have been evaluated by the society and recognized that the focus of their practice is high volume and quality, honest aesthetic plastic surgery and they adhere to a code of ethics.

All the best,

Options for a tummy tuck

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Dear H Renee,

A consultation in person is the way to go.   We have many patients like yourself that don't have a large amount of loose skin but are unhappy with what they have and are stuck deciding if they should have a tummy tuck or not.  There are a few things we can do to determine whether it is a good choice for you by determining exactly what your goals are, what specifically is bothering you, what kind of results you are looking for and generally looking at some before and after pictures of people yourself who underwent tummy tucks.  

Although non-surgical options are helpful in providing some improvement, my guess is that you will not be satisfied with it.  

Feel free to come in and visit our office.  I think you will be able to make a better decision after a thorough consultation.  

Dr. Michael Omidi

Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty/ Reverse Tummy Tuck/ Liposuction/Muscle Plication/ Fleur de lis Abdominoplasty

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Thank you for your question.

From your photos, you appear to be a very good candidate for Vaser Hi definition liposculpture with fat grafting to the buttocks. You should get a great result from liposculpture, giving you a more contoured and hourglass shape with better projection to your buttocks.

I have done many body contouring procedures and specialize in Vaser Hi Definition liposculpture. Vaser Hi Definition body sculpting requires extensive specialized training. I am one of few surgeons in the United States that was personally trained by Dr. Alfredo Hoyos, the surgeon that developed this technique.

Vaser Hi Definition liposuction uses the concepts of negative and positive spaces in relation to the underlying bony and muscle anatomy to define areas such as your six pack and create an athletic looking physique.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Dr. Schwartz
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute

Is a tummy tuck my only option?

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There are a variety of tummy tucks that can produce a good cosmetic result in the appropriate patient: a mini tummy tuck, a modified with an umbilical float, or a variety of a full abdominoplasty, all of which may, or may not, include tightening of the muscle and liposuction. Generally if there is significant loose skin above the umbilicus (belly button), a full tummy tuck will result in a greater correction and better outcome.

Liposuction alone, no matter which type, may diminish the fat but will will not tighten the abdominal muscles that are stretched from pregnancy nor will it tighten the skin.improvement in a patient with your anatomy.

Keep in mind that following the advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you exactly what to do based on two dimensional photos without examining you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not be in your best interest. I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Is a tummy tuck my only option

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Hello and thank you for your question.  I think that you could get a very nice result with liposuction of your flanks and abdomen and fat injections to the hollow areas of your buttocks.  You abdomen will look better although not as good as a tummy tuck, but the would be no scar. You can get all the above with an abdominoplasty as well.
60% of my patients are from out of time. The biggest hassle is getting someone to come with you. Otherwise there do not seem to be many obstacles to destination surgeries.
Peter Fisher M.D 

Options exsist but they are not as effective.

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A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) would appear to be your best option by far.  An examination would be needed to confirm the approach to the procedure as there are several versions of this operation.  Noninvasive procedures such as Thermage have limited capacity to tighten skin and liposuction while very effective in your case to contour your love handle area would not be able to help reliably with your abdominal area.  The good news would appear to be that your recovery would be enhanced by what appears to be good muscle tone and a limited separation between your rectus muscles.   

Is a tummy tuck my only option?

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Thank you for the question and pictures. I think you have done a very nice job, probably through diet and exercise, with your physique after two pregnancies.    Unfortunately, nothing short of a full tummy tuck operation will achieve an outcome that you will be pleased with.  Please do not waste your time/resources on "noninvasive" modalities.
Generally speaking, the “ideal” patient for tummy tuck surgery is one who has completed pregnancies, is psycho socially/emotionally/financially stable, has an excellent social support system surrounding him/her, is capable of arranging enough recovery time, does not smoke and has reached a long-term stable weight.

As long as you are able to remain close to your plastic surgeon and comply with postoperative follow-up instructions, traveling for surgery is generally not a problem. I hope this, and the attached link, helps.  You will find a separate page, on the same website, dedicated to "fly in" patients.
Best wishes.

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.