Loose Skin, Muscle Separation or Fat? What is Wrong with my Tummy?

I gave birth a year and a half ago. I gained over 60 pounds with my son and he was a 9 lb baby. Since then, I've lost all the weight plus some but my belly still looks horrendous. I still have some extra fat around my belly/hips, but what will happen when I lose it? Why does my belly hang when I bend over? Is this loose skin(I have a lot of stretch marks)? Is it muscle separation? Fat? And what kind of procedure do I need to fix it?

Doctor Answers 14

Post partum belly

The answer to your question is probably all of the above.There is loose skin,extra fat and weak muscles.The stretch marks will not go away You could have a full tummy tuck and have your muscle repaired along with some liposuction but I would first have all of my children and then consider corrective surgery.

Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

After Pregnancy

Based on your photo, it appears to be a combination of Loose Skin, Muscle Separation and Fat. An in person examination will be helpful. Consult in person with 3 board certified plastic surgeons to understand your options, and choose the surgeon/surgical plan that best meets your needs/objectives.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Midsection After Pregnancy and Weight Loss

Muscle separation and loose skin will remain even if you lose weight.

A tummy tuck can help. However, if you would like to try the nonsurgical route, you can try laser skin treatments or micro needling to firm up the skin. Unfortunately results tend to be less predictable and can take longer to achieve. Best of luck!

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Tummy Tuck yields nice abdominal contouring results

You'll have a great result with a tummy tuck procedure. You'll very likely lose a portion of the tattoos that are along your groin - but the tradeoff will be a substantially improved abdominal contour. Liposuction will not work for you - you've got too much loose skin.

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Tummy tuck

Based upon your photos, it looks like you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck.  The loose skin will be removed and the diastasis will be tightened.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

VIDEO (Click "more" below) which tummy tuck surgery is best for you?

I have prepared a video discussing a variety of the different tummy tuck procedures. It is my opinion that you will need the full tummy tuck. See the description to understand what is done to the skin, fat and muscle.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews


Hi Levismama,

If you do not plan on having any more children , I would recommend a LipoAbdominoplasty with repair of the muscle separation.   Your photos are extremely helpful in assessing you condition.  Visit with a local Plastic Surgeon in your area for the specifics involved with this type of surgery. 

Todd B. Koch, MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Loose Skin, Muscle Separation or Fat

If you have read all the expert's postings than you can see you need a full tummy tuck with muscle repair at the least. There are 7 of us stating this. Seek in person opinions from boarded surgeons in your area, North Carolina. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl J. Blinski, 305 598 0091

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

BEST Operation for ME - Tummy Tuck or Liposuction

As usual, I fully agree with Dr. Rand. You are a IDEAL candidate for a Tummy Tuck and if your are not planning on having other children and do not smoke you should have a fantastic result. A woman's uterus (womb) is generally smaller than the size of her fist. Over the 9 months of pregnancy the uterus gradually assumes the impressive size of a large oblong watermelon which pushes everything out of its way. It ALWAYS both stretches the abdominal muscles and splits and separates the 6 pack (rectus) muscles to the sides. As a result, when you lean forward the separation and stretched muscles cannot hold the intestines in andyou get what I refer to as a "positive Hammock Sign". When sitting this translates into the dreaded pooch that women haste and would not allow themselves to be photographed from the sides due to it. The solution? Tighten the abdominal muscles and correct the muscle split as part of a well done Tummy Tuck. This is the operation which would give you your "Before Baby Body" back.Accept no substitutes! Good Luck. Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

You need a tummy tuck

Clearly you need a tummy tuck, simple as that.  Don't be fooled by any of those who tell you that you can get it all with laser liposuction, you will be incredibly disappointed by the result as you will still have muscle laxity and extra skin which is loose.  A TT will give you a nice flat abdomen.  Not a mini TT either...

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.