Abdominoplasty with diastasis repair (special case)? (photos)

I am a mother of two with loose skin but no fat whatsoever. My skin is directly on top of my muscles and less than 1 cm thick if I pinch it with two fingers. Unfortunately I've been told I have to undergo the same procedure as someone who wants a "tummy tuck" minus the liposuction but that I would have a faster recovery. I'd like to know if that is the case and how log would recovery take. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 12

Reverse abdominoplasty

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This may be a bit unorthodox but is a well described procedure that works on a select group.  Depending on how well defined your lower breast fold is, an incision can be hidden there that can result in an upward lift of the abdominal wall skin.  it would correct that excess skin fold on the mid abdomen that your photo shows.  Again, it is a bit unorthodox and an exam is necessary to determine if you are a candidate but if you are, it could improve your abdomen with less downtime.  

Abdominoplasty with diastasis repair (special case)?

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Each case has individual healing issues. On average at least 3 weeks is needed for full recovery. But in person evaluations are ALWAYS best. 

Tummy Tuck

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Dear MarieNoelle,

Thank you for your question.  Based on the one photo you would get a nice result from an abdominoplasty (or Tummy Tuck).  In order to remove the excess skin a cut is required regardless of the amount of fat you have.  As for the "faster recovery" - this is based on a patient to patient basis.  Everyone is different so be careful when planning your surgery because you do not know how you personally will recover.  It is always best to get more than one opinion and make sure you feel comfortable with your PS.  Make sure they are board certified.

Best of Luck!

Elsa M. Raskin, MD
Greenwich Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck

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Yes, it looks like you have some skin laxity and muscle separation.  These are exactly the things that are fixed with a tummy tuck.  Because you are slender, you will tend to get a nicer looking contour, and have a quicker recovery, than someone who needs liposuction added to their TT procedure.

Abdominoplasty with diastasis repair?

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Hi MarieNoelle.  If you are not comfortable with your first recommendation, you should always do more research and seek a second opinion.  Find a doctor who you are comfortable with.  My opinions are only based on the photo you have attached with your concern.  An Abdominoplasty would be your best result regardless if you have fat or not.  This procedure tightens up the diastasis recti muscle on the inside thus creating a flat tummy. It will also remove any excess skin in the lower abdomen. If you have a good medical history and take good care of yourself post op, than your recovery period should only be a week to two weeks.  However, he patients recovery period varies as to their daily activities.  

Shelby Brantley, MD
Jackson Plastic Surgeon

Abdominoplasty with diastasis repair (special case)?

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Thank you for the question. The recovery experience after any given operation will vary significantly from one patient to another; for example, some patients need two to three days of postoperative pain medications; some patients require several weeks of pain medications.

Since you considering undergoing a major operation which again involves a significant physical AND emotional recovery ( often underestimated by surgeons and patients alike), a few words of advice may be helpful:
1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself) and that you have realistic expectations. Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life situation. You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.
2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.
3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.
4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.
5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina of your caretakers.
6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.
7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.
8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).
9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the emotional swings that you may experience.
10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.
11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.
I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes.


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Your photos demonstrate a considerable amount of loose skin and probably some muscle laxity. To achieve the optimal result in my opinion, you will need a traditional tummy tuck which include muscle tune up and removal of all of the loose skin. In my experience, most women with that operation can resume conditioning exercise by four weeks after surgery. I supervise a gradual resumption of graded exercises based upon one's tolerance. This begins at 7-10 days after surgery, or once a woman can stand up straight and lift a few pounds with free weights. Then, we proceed as long as one can manage the physical activities, and finally, once a woman can perform sit-ups or crunches, then it's off to the gym again!

Tad Grenga, MD, FACS
Suffolk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Abdominoplasty with diastasis repair (special case)?

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Tummy tuck would likely produce your best result.  I would search for the board certified plastic surgeon who you feel is most likely to give you the best results and who performs hundreds of these procedures each year. I would look at patient reviews as well as before and after photos on that surgeon's website.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA


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I do believe that you would benefit from a formal abdominoplasty. 
This means that the fascia overlying the muscles will be tightened.  Then the excess skin should be excised. 
Your recovery should be shorter.  You do not need liposuction.
And the expense should be less than an abominoplasty on someone larger than you.
I hope this helps!

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck

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From your photos you only need to have a skin reduction.It looks like your muscles are firm.This will make your recovery alot easier.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 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.