Hanging Belly, Will Cardio be Enough or do I Need a Tummy Tuck?

Will cardio work or is a tummy tuck needed..i have a two year old and a 1 year old. i have lost 20 lbs n the sagging still remains...i am 22 years old...

Doctor Answers 16

To Tummy Tuck, or not...

At 22 you stand a better chance of having your skin shrink with your 20 pound weight loss than someone in their forties. 

However, our skin's snappiness is caused by a protein called elastin.  This is similar to elastic, like in the waistband of streachy pants. 

Having your tummy skin stretch twice from your two pregnancies has probably caused it to lose some of it's snap.  Once the skin continues to hang and hasn't improved for a few months it probably won't any more. 

The real question is if you plan to have more children,  if not a tummy tuck can give you a tight, flat abdomen.  If you do desire more children wait until you're done, the extra skin will stretch easily and hopefully prevent more stretch marks.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Tummy tuck after pregnancy

If the sagging skin and tummy laxity has not improved in one year then it is not likely to improve.  I can't say for sure without a picture but a tummy tuck is likely necessary to correct this for you.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 183 reviews

Cardio or tummy tuck?

Thank you for your question.  This is a very common problem for women following pregnancy.  Given the fact that you are 22 and have had two children I think it would be very reasonable to assume that you could get your body in shape with proper nutrition and exercise.  Having said that if the abdominal muscles have really been pulled apart or your skin stretched too much as the result of  your pregnancy you may very well require a tummy tuck to get the result that you want. I would suggest that when you have accomplished as much as you can by yourself that you seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.  

Donald M. Brown, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

"Sagging" Skin of Tummy?

Thank you for the question.  

Appropriate diet and exercise should always be the first " modality"  used to look and feel your best. Based on your description tummy tuck surgery may be indicated at some point. Ideally this would be done when you have reached a long-term stable weight and after having completed pregnancies.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Concern regarding lax abdominal skin

Without at least some photos, it is impossible to provide you accurate information on your condition. Furthermore, no present weight , height or maximum weight were provided. With that in mind, cardio will not tighten the skin. If you still have lax and hanging skin then some form of tightening procedure may be the appropriate choice for you and among these is a tummy tuck.

Your best bet is to see one or more board certified plastic surgeons in your area.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Exercise or a tummy tuck for hanging belly?

Obviously, exercising and eating healthy is beneficial to losing weight. Excess skin on the abdomen usually will never improve with exercise alone. Considering an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) after you have completed childbearing would be an option.

Donna Rich, MD
Webster Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Tummy Tuck Post-Pregnancy

Congratulations on your weight loss! It is difficult to tell without personally evaluating you, but people who have especially slack skin in their midsection and abdominal muscle weakness need more than what diet and exercise alone can offer. Typical candidates for a full tummy tuck are women with drooping abdomens after pregnancy, women and men who've lost a great deal of weight, menopausal women, or older people with loose skin due to age. In the tummy tuck, the skin from the rib cage down to the pelvic area is tightened, and the navel is moved up and secured in a new position. If you are planning on continuing to expand your family though, the tummy tuck would not be your best option at this point. It doesn't make much sense to tighten things only to have pregnancy loosen them again, so this is something you should discuss with your surgeon.

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Hanging Belly, Will Cardio be Enough or do I Need a Tummy Tuck?

Since no photos posted, I guess you will need a TT to attain the result desired. But if you have not had pregnancies you should consider this as an important decision. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Diet and Exercise are often not enough to create flat belly after pregnancy

Hi there-

Without an exam, it is impossible to say for sure, but most women will not be able to return to a flat belly appearance after 2 pregnancies without a tummy tuck.

Finish your family first- then see a surgeon Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Tummy tuck or cardio for excess skin

Over stretched excess skin is very common after pregnancy, and will not go away with cardiovascular excercise alone.  Pregnancy also stretches your abdominal muscles.  A tummy tuck addresses both the skin and muscle problem and is the best way to fix your sagging belly.

Rondi Kathleen Walker, MD
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 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.