What Can Be Done to Flatten my Tummy? (photo)

I'm almost 31, 5'7" and currently approx 175lbs. As a teen/adult, I've been anything from 135-210lbs and my body has always been the same shape - large, hanging rolls on my belly and large upper arms and thighs. I work out and I eat well, but I can't flatten my stomach no matter what I do. I have not had children, but I do hope to have some in the future. What procedure(s) should I have done for the best results? I worry about a tummy tuck with future pregnancy but lipo may not be enough.

Doctor Answers 11

What Can Be Done

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Liposuction will be a poor choice with the amount of overhanging skin that is present. Liposuction will only remove fat, and is ideal when excess fat is the sole problem. A tummy tuck will also address excess skin, and can tighten the abdominal wall, thus lessening the bulge. 

A TT will not prevent you from having a normal pregnancy, but if your stretched out skin doesn't recover, you may face another one.

Best option is to discuss with a plastic surgeon, who will be capable of offering whatever is best.

When you are 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 you for your question, best wishes.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon


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If you exercise and eat right you may want to go to a physician run weight loss center for help in reducing the fat of your abdomen. They can help with diet, and check hormone levels, which can affect weight loss if not in the proper range. As far as your abdomen is concerned, I think you will eventually need a tummy tuck if you want a flat abdomen. Liposuction and/or weight loss will probably leave you with loose skin, and you may want a tummy tuck to address that. Liposuction alone will not do what you are looking for, and you will not be happy.

What to do?

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Based on your photos, you look like you very well may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck.  That would definitively take care of that loose skin problem, which would not be fixed by liposuction.  If you are thinking about a future pregnancy , it would be possible to do the "skin-only" type of tummy tuck, where the muscle plication is not performed.  

All the best!

Flattening your tummy

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You seem to be an outstanding candidate for an abdominoplasty.  This will remove the extra fat and skin that hangs in the lower portion of your abdomen.  The addition of a little lipo around your flanks will really help refine the procedure.

You should certainly see a local plastic surgeon to at least get well educated about your options and answer your questions.

Liposuction will flatten the abdomen but will not eliminate loose skin.

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The photograph demonstrates a significant amount of subcutaneous fat in the abdominal drape. There is however a redundancy of skin that will not be ameliorated by liposuction or any laser, ultrasonic, or radiofrequency treatment. The only solution would be surgical removal (abdominoplasty).


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You are an ideal candidate for liposculpture with fat grafting to enhance and reshape your buttocks with a secondary tummy tuck to flatten out your abdomen.

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

What Can Be Done to Flatten my Tummy?

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Based upon the excellent posted photos you need a full TT. Liposuction will not correct the extra skin envelope. 

Best options for flat abdomen

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From your photographs, you appear to be someone that would benefit from an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) with liposuction of the epigastric (upper abdomen) region, flanks and back (under the bra strap).  Liposuction of your lower abdomen alone may leave you with some loose hanging skin based on the appearance from your photos.  However, this being said, there is no substitute for obtaining an in person examination and consultation with an American Board of Plastic Surgery certified plastic surgeon.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction of the Abdomen, Flanks and Back

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   I would start by liposuctioning the abdomen, flanks, and back to the limit of 5 liters.  Then, you would heal from that for 3 months and then do a tummy tuck if you want.  If you want to wait for the tummy tuck until after having children, that is fine.  Another alternative would be to perform tummy tuck with liposuction of the flanks and back.  There are a lot of options.  Find the board certified plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of liposuction and tummy tuck procedures each year. Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Body contour for abdomen

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Since you are on the high side of your weight fluctuation, you may want to lose weight first to get down to your goal weight. Based upon that follow-up exam will determine what could work for you.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.