What Can I Do to Get The Waist I Had Before Children? I Don't Want a TT, But My Muscles Feel Loose. (photo)

If I get lipo on my back and tummy will i look ok(not saggy)? I have 1 11mo son. I began 140-150 and was 216 when pregnant and down to about 180-185 now, I fluctuate back and forth when bloated. I am not sure the reason my belly feels loose. might have separation in muscles? I definantly would love to avoid a TT.I love my curves and dont want to be super skinny. I wouldnt mind losing 20 lbs because its hard to find jeans however. I just want that tiny waist I had before the baby.

Doctor Answers 12

Lipo versus a Tummy Tuck

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Dear Sophia1990,

you do not mention your age ( 22 y.o. for 1990 ? ) neither if you are finished with having children.

If you are young and think you will have more children in the next future, then I would tell you to only consider Diet and exercise ( which is always healthy anyway ) and liposuction around your mid-section.

Liposuction will not cut skin, nor tighten the belly muscles, but will help redefine your waist better and flanks, where I can see you have some fatty deposits. you do not need to touch the hips, therefore keeping your curves.

with liposuction, you will not need to miss any days from work, nor taking care of your son.

once you are finished with pregnancies, then you can consider a tummy tuck which you will need, since the picture already shows a separation of muscles ( diastesis ).

you should consult with a Board certified Plastic surgeon.

Good luck,

Florence Mussat, MD

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Can I avoid a tummy tuck.

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That thank you for your photographs and for your question. 

You're already on the right track by using diet and exercise to help regain your figure.  Unfortunately, as a consequence of childbearing it seems from your photographs that you have significant skin laxity and even significant separation of the abdominal wall muscles.  These muscles separate during pregnancy as the uterus enlarges.

Diet will make you thinner internally which is always good,  but that will not take away the laxity of the abdominal muscles or the loose skin.  In fact, as you do everything correctly and return to your ideal weight you will likely find that the abdominal skin becomes looser.

Never let anyone push you into surgery, but given your photographs, ultimately if you're looking to restore your figure a full tummy tuck with muscle tightening would probably be your best bet.  As you approach your pre pregnancy weight you'll be doing yourself a great service because if you do embark upon tummy tuck a slender patient will generally see a better and more lasting result and also have a safer surgery.

Whether you embark upon tummy tuck or not you may wish to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon simply to learn more about your options.

I hope that this answer helps and I wish you the best.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Lipo vs. Tummy Tuck- Consider how you got here...

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Hi there-

First of all, let's understand a few things...

  • ALL women who need a tummy tuck to look their best would prefer to be able to look that good through a lesser procedure. Unfortunately, even in 2012, things that seem too good to be true, still are.
  • Your current appearance occurred as a result of pregnancy (with stretching of your muscles, separation of the connective tissue between them, and stretching of your skin beyond it's ability to recoil- hence the stretch marks)
  • There is no way that ANY liposuction machine would be able to correct these problems
  • If you wave a bit of money in the air, you will have no trouble finding surgeons willing to say whatever they think you want to hear, and it will only be after they have your money and you have had surgery that you realize what I have told you is correct- that you need a tummy tuck to look your best.
  • All women who pursue plastic surgery do so in order to look their best. Many months from now, if you compromise the procedure (because you don't want the procedure really necessary to achieve your best outcome), you will most likely not remember that you asked the surgeon for a small procedure without scare- but you will definitely remember that you paid money and underwent surgery, and are STILL unhappy with your appearance.

It is therefore (in my strong opinion) not in your best interests to have ANYTHING done until and unless you are ready and able to have the procedure that is truly likely to safely give you the lovely outcome you will be happy with over the long term- a tummy tuck.

The truth is that short cuts never pay off in plastic surgery. 

Liposuction for abdominal fat

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It appears as though you're a good candidate for ultrasonic liposuction. However, you may still have some hanging skin afterward that might require a tummy tuck to remove completely.

Smaller Waist Without Tummy Tuck?

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Diet and exercise are your best options if you want to avoid a tummy tuck. Once you get close to your goal weight you may want to consider some liposuction for sculpting but you will have even more loose skin. If you are finished having children you might want to rethink the possibility of a tummy tuck, it is one of the highest satisfaction rated procedures that women have done.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

I Want My Pre-Baby Waist!!

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Dear Sophia1990,

   Your pictures are very helpful, thank you. There are two questions I would ask you if you were my patient. 1) How close are you to your goal weight? and 2) Are you done having children? Depending on the individual, I would recommend that you be within 20 lbs. of your goal weight before considering any surgery. It seems like you are on the right track with diet and exercise and should continue with this whether or not you actually choose to pursue surgery. If you have not finished your family, then I may suggest liposuction around your abdomen, hips and flanks as a way to improve your shape. This will not remove any of the loose skin or tighten your abdominal muscles. If you are finished with your family, then in my opinion, the best surgical option (results wise) would be a tummy tuck with liposuction to your hips and lower flanks. I have not seen your pre-operative photos, but I would guess that this option would get you closer to your "pre-baby waist" than liposuction alone. Be sure to consult with only board certified plastic surgeons if you are considering surgery. Good luck to you and your son.

Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Liposuction islikely your best option.

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Your photos are appreciated.  First things first.  Continue to lose weight until you are at your ideal weight.  This will cause your waist to become somewhat smaller.  Then you must decide how much you wish to avoid a TT.  If a TT is completely out of the question, then liposuction of your abdomen and flanks will further reduce your waist but you may have to accept looser skin on your abdomen.  If this is OK then this would be a good choice.  However, if your muscles are separated internally (and this is the cause of your protruding belly) and you can't live with some looser skin  then a TT with flank liposuction would be needed.  This would flatten your abdomen, remove any loose skin from your abdomen and narrow your waist.  This gives you the best chance of getting back to the waist you wish.  Also consider that you should be done with all childbearing before considering this type of surgery as another pregnancy could ruin the results of the surgery.

Pre-baby waistline

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While it's always difficult to tell completely from photos it looks like a tummy tuck would be the best choice to remove extra skin/fat and tighten muscles. I would probably wait until you are not planning additional children. The ideal TT patient is within 10-15 lbs of their goal weight so diet and exercise will help. Liposuction alone will probably just leave you with more loose skin and won't address the buldge in your muscles from pregnancy. Best of luck, Dr Kerr

Repairing the damage to your body after pregnancy

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Liposuction can help with isolated areas of accumulated fat, but cannot fix the damage that has occurred from pregnancy. Most women who have had a pregnancy have stretched out muscles and frequently separation of the rectus muscles called diastasis. This cannot be fixed by exercise and abdominoplasty is the best treatment. Loose skin and stretch marks can also only be removed by surgery. There are several varieties of abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) depending on how much loose skin needs to be removed. The standard abdominoplasty removes the most skin and involves an incision from flank to flank and an incision around the umbilicus. Lesser amounts of loose skin can be removed by what is called a modified abdominoplasty where there is a much shorter incision and no incision around the belly button. The mini tummy tuck is good for tightening loose muscle but does not remove a significant amount of loose skin. A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon will help you understand all the options available.

John Squires, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Weight loss first then tummy tuck after pregnancy

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A tummy tuck is designed to do what you cannot accomplish on your own with diet and exercise or with liposuction. If there is muscle separation (called a diastasis) then it is not correctable with any specific exercise regimen, and if the skin has been stretched it will not tighten up with exercise (or lipo.) No one wants to have a tummy tuck but people who need it are usually happy they did.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 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.