Would a TT get rid of my sagging abdomen & make me look normal or would I be able to tone up without it in your opinion? (photo)

I'm a 25 year old, single mother of one. I'm currently 5'3 & 159lbs. I've lost a little over 80lbs & my health insurance stated they would pay for the procedure as long as I have lost over 100lbs (19lbs to go) & maintained it for at least 6 months. The pictures show a side by side of me at 245 and now at 159. I just feel like I've worked very hard the last few years to get this far & I don't deserve to have a body that looks like an elderly woman at 25.

Doctor Answers 10

Weight Loss Can Provide Dramatic But Incomplete Improvement

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The problem you describe is a common one with weight loss. You have worked hard to change your life and feel like you should be able to better enjoy your results. The extra skin, however, is preventing that to some degree. I believe that you are well on your way and should keep up the good work. Insurance companies, however, do not tend to pay for an abdominoplasty, which is a cosmetic procedure but will sometimes pay for a panniculectomy. Unfortunately, a panniculectomy has different goals and are not usually aimed at getting the level of result that one can achieve with an aggressive tummy tuck. I would encourage you to find out exactly what your insurance company will cover.
Aside from that, when your weight is at goal, and when you maintain it for 3 months, your result would be expected to be excellent. You seem to be the type of patient that I, as a plastic surgeon, feel fortunate to be able to help. Be proud and keep fighting the good fight.
Dr. Pyle

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 121 reviews

Tummy tuck after weight loss

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Thank you for your question and photographs.

Congratulations on your weight loss.  You look fabulous and should be very very proud of your accomplishment.

Continue to lose weight until you reach your goal.  Following that a tummy tuck should give you an excellent result if performed by an expert board certified plastic surgeon.

It is important to understand that the best tummy tuck result occurs after you have lost enough weight that you primarily have loose abdominal skin without more than an inch and a half of excess fat beneath the skin.

Solutions for abdominal laxity

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Congratulations on your transformation, keep up the good work.  Once you have reached your goal you can make a consultation to evaluate your abdomen.  From the fotos it is hard to determine what procedure is best.  Usually when  there is loose  skin around the belly button a tummy tuck is required to correct it.  A tummy tuck does require a longer scar and usually is performed after you are done having children.  Insurance will usually not cover this procedure.  

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TT at young age

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First of all congratulations for the courage and determination of loosing all that weight. You have to be very proud of yourself. 
You are a perfect candidate for a tummy Tuck on order to get rid of the saggy skin on your abdomen and sides and also I would do a tight muscle repair to get a flat abdomen and a beautiful tapered waist. 
Once the skin has lost the elasticity and got flaccid there is no way to make it tighter: no lipo, no laser, no massage, no exercise, not even losing weight will help. 
So feel encouraged. You will be loving your results. 
Dr. Cardenas 

Would a TT get rid of my sagging abdomen & make me look normal or would I be able to tone up without it in your opinion?

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A tummy tuck would remove loose skin and would tighten the muscles.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon who performs hundreds of tummy tucks and body contouring procedures each year. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Abdominoplasty options

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With your weight loss and pregnancy you would be a good candidate for an abdominoplasty.  I am not certain about insurance coverage for this procedure despite your significant weight loss.  Time to be evaluated by an experienced plastic surgeon to discuss you options.  

Tummy tuck after weight loss

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With only 1 child at age 25 your skin quality appears reasonable. With another 19lbs weight loss it will become more loose,  and even with exercise the skin will remain loose. 

While liposuction may flatten the area, a tummy tuck would be necessary to tighten the skin and underlying muscles. 

In Canada I don't think you would qualify for a panniculectomy, and in truth you would not be satisfied with the cosmetic outcome of that procedure, which is meant to be functional only. Be sure you discuss the difference with your surgeon.

Would a TT help your belly?

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Looking at your photos, a TT would likely lead to a significant improvement in your overall shape of your midsection.  Excess skin and fat would be removed and your belly muscles will be tightened.  Make sure you consult with a board certified PS here in the USA.  I agree with Dr. Kim in making sure that you understand that insurance may cover a panniculectomy, but they will not cover a formal TT.  Good luck

Gaurav Bharti

Tummy tuck

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You would be a good candidate for a tummy tuck procedure once you have achieved your ideal weight and the weight has been stable for a few months.  However, most insurance companies do not pay for a tummy tuck but they will cover the cost of a panniculectomy after massive weight loss.  A tummy tuck and panniculectomy are different procedures even though the scars are similar.  A panniculectomy wedges out the hanging skin without moving the position of your belly button and there is no muscle tightening.  You may want to verify with your insurance company that they will cover a tummy tuck and not a panniculectomy.  

Would a TT get rid of my sagging abdomen & make me look normal?

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Congratulations on your significant weight loss thus far; you should be very proud of this  accomplishment. Yes, the tummy tuck operation will be the best option when it comes to improving the abdominal wall contour.  This operation serves to remove excess skin and adipose tissue as well as re-approximate the abdominal wall muscles that may have spread with pregnancy and/or weight gain/loss. 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 who has reached a long-term stable weight.
I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

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.