I desperately want to get a tummy tuck. My husband said I should try to tone my stomach before. Is that even possible? (Photo)

I know I have to lose weight before surgery. I want to lose at least 20 lbs. He thinks I can work out to flatten my stomach and that might be enough. I feel like I have no stomach muscles at at. I've had 3 kids and gained all the weight in my stomach. He's nervous about me having surgery, and I am too but I'm sick of looking like this.

Doctor Answers 17

Exercise and tummy flattening

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Thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.
Exercise will be great in preparation for future surgery. Weight loss is not going to solve the skin laxity after your weight loss. 
Finally, make sure that you have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Wishing you the best in your journey

Best Possible Tummy Tuck Outcome

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It looks like you would benefit from a full tummy tuck to address loose skin, excess fat tissue, and abdominal muscle separation.

Diet and exercise can definitely help, but if there is muscle separation a tummy tuck would be the only way to repair that separation. You may or may not achieve the toning you want to achieve through exercise alone if there is muscle separation, but you still want to attain and maintain your weight-loss goal prior to surgery to attain the best possible results following a tummy tuck.

All surgery comes with risk, and a tummy tuck is no different. Be sure to speak with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your goals and your specific options.

Best wishes!

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Toning muscles before a tummy tuck (a bdominoplasty)

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Having kids can be really hard on a gal's body.  The babies can stretch out the stomach (rectus muscles) on each side of the belly button and multiple births make it worse.  Of course, the goal is to get down to a good, stable weight with improvement in your strength and fitness.  But sometimes my patients still have the separated muscles and no amount of core workouts can push them together that final distance. The skin can also be too stretched out and after weight loss, it can be loose and floppy. This is where the tummy tuck comes into play. It will repair the muscles and remove the excess skin.  These are things that diet and exercise cannot do.  Visit with a board certified plastic surgeon early to set some goals and then do a regroup visit in 6 months.  Sometimes just setting the goals is helpful.

Tummy tuck

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Currently you are not a candidate for a tummy tuck. You need to lose a significant amount of weight through diet, exercise, or weight loss surgery to lower your BMI to less than 30 otherwise your risks are too great. 

Weight loss program before a tummy tuck

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Thank you for the question and the photo. Exercise combined with a weight loss regimen is always advisable prior to having a tummy tuck. In order to guarantee individualized medical advice, however, I would recommend scheduling a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon for an in-person examination. Based on the information you provided, a full tummy tuck should be most effective in correcting excessive skin, muscle separation, and bulging of the upper abdomen. As always, an in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon would be the best way to assess your needs and obtain reliable medical advice. Best of luck! Dr. Michael Omidi.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

I desperately want to get a tummy tuck. My husband said I should try to tone my stomach before. Is that even possible

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Significant weight loss combined with exercise to strengthen the abdominal muscles will help but they will not correct the potential loose skin you would have if you were successful with the weight loss and the exercise.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

I desperately want to get a tummy tuck. My husband said I should try to tone my stomach before. Is that even possible?

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Weight loss before you undergo a tummy tuck is of significant value but you will not be able to tighten the muscles and tissues that have been stretched by your pregnancies.  Make every effort to get to a healthy and maintainable weight before undergoing anesthesia and surgery for the best results.
Good luck and enjoy your results,
Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Tummy tuck or weight loss/toning to get a flatter abdomen?

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     Both your husband and you are correct.  Muscle toning and weight loss will help to diminish the fat not only hanging on your belly but also reduce the internal (visceral) fat that would allow you to have a flatter tummy.  However, the tummy tuck is necessary after the weight loss to remove the excess hanging skin that cannot be improved through weight loss alone.  Good luck.

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Should I try to tone my stomach before tummy tuck.

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You may not be able to achieve good muscle tone, but to get the best that tummy tuck has to offer you should try to reach a goal BMI through a weight loss program. This will make the skin laxity issue a bit worse, but after the tummy tuck you will be far better off.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Desperately want a tummy tuck

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Thank you for the question and the picture.    I encourage you to loose some weight before surgery,  however you will not be able to tighten the loose skin or repair your muscle weakness with exercise.Make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon for consultation.   I think you are an excellent candidate for this surgeryand that you can get a dramatic correction.    Good Luck

Richard Rosenblum, MD
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 66 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.