Bloated Look and Hanging Skin? (photo)

I am 39, 5'4", 148lbs with a history of two c sections with some deep stretch marks and some loose skin. When relaxed I can look about 5 months pregnant!! Is this corrected? I feel like even if the fat and skin were removed my belly would still stick out. I exercise regularly but cannot improve this area. Please tell me if the bloating look would be corrected and what type of surgery you would suggest. Thank you!!

Doctor Answers 9

Tummy Tuck to the rescue...

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A tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty) is a very popular cosmetic surgery procedure. A tummy tuck can be an effective tool for shaping and sculpting the body for better body appearance and improved self esteem.

Sometimes no amount of diet and exercise can create a flat tummy. Tummy tuck plastic surgery actually tightens abdominal muscles and removes excess fat and skin from the stomach area to create a tighter, slimmer, smoother belly. A tummy tuck can be combined with other procedures such as liposuction of your waists or flanks (i.e. love handles) to fine tune your result

Patients choose abdominoplasty cosmetic surgery for a number of reasons, including:

Excess abdominal skin following weight loss; Weight gain (beer belly or spare tire) from a sedentary lifestyle; Abdominal fat that is resistant to diet and exercise; Stretched stomach muscles from pregnancy; Desire for a thinner profile; Desire to look younger and fitter; Desire to fit into clothes better.

I recommend you visit with an ASPS member plastic surgeon to further explore your options and to find out if you are a candidate for this procedure.

Best wishes!

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Bloated look of abdomen.

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By your description and photos you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck. This will remove stretch marks below the umbilicus while tightening the laxity of the muscles. The most important aspect in your case is to tighten the muscles as this is the main cause of the "bloated" appearance you are experiencing. 

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

What works best for hanging skin?

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Pregnancy can wreck havoc on your tummy.  It would appear that you have a combination of lax skin and poor abdominal muscle tone.  The skin laxity is seen pretty well on the side view.  Is it realistic to expect that diet and exercise can correct this problem?  The answer is no.  Nor will diet and exercise ever truly flatten your stomach.  The reason for that is that the muscles which are responsible for a flat stomach, primarily the rectus (or 6-pack) muscles are probably stretched out and separated.

A tummy tuck operation would address both of these problems and also the stretch marks that you have below the belly button. 

Help is available, good luck.

Douglas M Hargrave, M.D.

Good tummy tuck candidate

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A tummy tuck would remove your extra skin and tighten your abdominal muscles. This will improve your "bloated" look.

Armin Moshyedi, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon

Bloated Look and Hanging Skin

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You would have a nice improvement with a tummy tuck.

In rejuvenating the abdomen, the goals include:

  • removal of excess skin by excision
  • removal of excess fat by  excision and/or liposuction
  • repairing laxity of the abdominal wall by muscle repair

Although a TT will not remove excess fat from inside the abdominal cavity, I suspect most of the bulging is due to loss of muscle integrity, and that can be improved. An in person evalutaion can help sort that out. 

When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.

Thank your for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck will give you what you want

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You are a great candidate for a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).  The loose skin and stretched out appearance will be corrected by a tummy tuck.  I think you will be really glad you did it.  Make sure to see a board certified plastic surgeon for this.

Bloated Look and Hanging Skin?

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Yes I agree with the tummy tuck + muscle repair to achieve the rersults you desire. Seek in person consults from boarded PSs in your city. 

Bloated Look

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From your photos, you look like an excellent candidate for an abdominoplasty including tightening of your abdominal muscles.  This will correct your excess skin and improve the loose muscle wall that is causing your pooch.

What Type of Surgery for "Bloated” Abdomen?

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Thank you for the question and pictures. Based on information provided, I think you may be an excellent candidate for tummy tuck surgery. The tummy tuck procedure would serve to remove the excess skin and adipose tissue from slightly above the belly button down to the pubic bone.  Muscle plication (repair) will likely be very helpful in your case.

 I would suggest an in-person consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons; ask to see lots of examples of their work.

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.