Is a tummy tuck really necessary or can I achieve a flat stomach with lower ab exercises? (Photo)

Doctor Answers 22

Is a tummy tuck really necessary or can I achieve a flat stomach with lower ab exercises?

Exercise, a healthy lifestyle, and sensible diet all play a role in maintaining health. You could exercise all day long, 7 days a week and not achieve what you want. The skin and muscle are stretched and no amount of exercise will regain your  figure. Modified and mini tummy tucks can produce a significant improvement in the appropriate candidate. With the extent of the tissue looseness that is apparent in your photos, a full tummy tuck and liposuction will achieve a better cosmetic result. 
Following the advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you what to do based on very limited 2 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

La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tummy tuck is necessary

Based on these photographs you appear to be an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck with muscle reconstruction.  This will flatten the muscles, reconstruct your core muscular corset, revise the belly button, eliminate the stretch marks from the belly button to the pubic hairline, and remove the loose skin and fat of the anterior abdomen.

Tummy tuck

Thank you for your question and pictures.  Yo u look like you are doing a good job exercising.  However, not all skin and muscle respond to exercise the same.  That said, you might do well with a mini tummy tuck and maybe some lipo.  Be sure to see a Board Certified PS for your consultation.

Ramiro Morales, Jr., MD
Pembroke Pines Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Loose skin

Loose skin will not improve with diet or exercise.  Usually only excision will help. How much it bothers you is up to you to decide if you want it treated.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Is a tummy tuck really necessary or can I achieve a flat stomach with lower ab exercises

Thank you for your question. Based on the picture your loose skin require surgical excision. Exercise alone will not address loose skin. Please consult with a board certified PS for evaluation

Is a tummy tuck really necessary or can I achieve a flat stomach with lower ab exercises?

From your pictures, it appears that your biggest issue is with loose skin. That being the case, it will not improve through exercise and would have to be physically removed. A healthy diet and exercise will help tone the whole body, but will not help any in the way of loose skin. Unfortunately as we get older our skin loose its elasticity and cannot regain what it once was. Visit a board certified plastic surgeon for an in person consultation to see what you tummy options might be. You could probably get by with just a mini tuck. 

Lawrence Bundrick, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Candidate for Tummy Tuck

When patients have experienced extreme weight loss due to diet and exercise, #gastricbypass surgery, or #stomachstapling  or #lapband surgery, there will be excess body skin that needs removal. In order to correct this problem many patients will need a #TummyTuck surgery, #panniculectomy, or #abdominoplasty.   This is becoming a highly requested procedure among patients who wish to rid themselves of excess skin and tighten muscle in their abdominal area. This procedure can be beneficial for women with loose skin and stretch marks following pregnancy, and patients who have undergone significant weight loss. Women and men who have excess skin and/or fat around the abdomen which does not respond to diet and exercise are candidates for abdominoplasty. Many patients complain that they cannot flatten their abdominal muscles through exercise, which also means a tummy tuck may be right for them. Abdominoplasty candidates have excess abdominal skin which may sag, a disproportionate or protruding abdomen, weakened or separated abdominal muscles, or excess fat concentrated in the abdomen Other tummy tuck patients may recently have lost a lot of weight and need to have excess skin and tissue removed. Many women choose to have an abdominoplasty following pregnancy. Older patients may be candidates for a tummy tuck due to reduced skin elasticity. If you believe any of these conditions apply to you then a consultation with a local certified plastic surgeon would be a good idea to determine the best procedure for your desired results. 

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Exercise and Flat Stomach

Thank you for your question.
Exercise does wonders for muscle tone and fat reduction, however you can't exercise your skin.  I always encourage my patients to stay fit, and if there is some aspect of their body that they can't seem to change through diet/exercise, then surgery is a great option at that point.  Best of luck!

-Dr. Dan Krochmal
MAE Plastic Surgery
Northbrook, IL

Daniel Krochmal, MD
Chicago General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Do I need a tummy tuck?

Thanks for your inquiry and I do not like to place a ceiling on anyone's personal drive to get fit.  It is unlikely however that skin you are holding can be eliminating by exercise.  See a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss.  

Tummy tuck

Hello and thank you for your question.  The best answer to your question would come from an in-person consultation with a full history and physical examination.   Based on your photograph alone, you have skin laxity and therefore are a good candidate for a tummy tuck with liposuction.  This can be done through a low and short incision, all completely below the bikini line.  Your muscles can also be plicated resulting in a flat abdomen.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 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.