Why Does my Stomach Do This? Do I Need a Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I am a 32 year old mom of 3, 5'3", 115 lbs. Two big babies and one smaller, all csections. My stomach after baby #3 (who is 1 now) has never returned to "normal" for me. It looks decent when I'm standing up straight. But, it does a weird thing when I bend over and I'm not sure if this is diastatis, the fascia being stretched out? I also got an umbilical hernia with pregnancy #3. Do I need a tummy tuck to get my flat stomach back? Do I need lipo Or do I need to work my butt off in the gym?!?!

Doctor Answers 11

Tummy tuck

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A full tummy tuck will help resolve these issues!

A tummy tuck can be done as a solitary procedure. Many times the results are enhanced by adding liposuction to the hip and love handle area. A tummy tuck is also done in combination with a breast augmentation in a mommy makeover.

Please find an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and member of the Aesthetic Society using the Smart Beauty Guide. These Plastic Surgeons can guide you on all aspects of facial surgery, breast augmentation and body procedures including tummy tucks or mommy makeovers!

Your tummy looks great you don't need surgery

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Thank you for your question and photographs. From your photographs your tummy looks great. I would avoid any surgery which will create scarring and really not improved you much. Continue your work out in the gym.

How to fix these tummy creases?? Ask Dr Ellen

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Hello Momofboysx3,

Hard to believe you've had 3 kids- you look great!

Midrif Region:  It looks to me that you have a little bit of lax skin in the midrif region where you see some creasing when you bend from side to side, or forward.

Answer:  Not much you can realisticly do about this short of some type of tummy tuck and hernia repair. However in your case, the enemy of good is perfect...you would trade off a tighter midrif for  a longer pelvic scar and a vertical incision somewhere between your belly button and the lower horizontal scar.  I'm not a fan of the floating umbilicus.

Lower Abdomen:  Modest fullness, very modest fullness, which only a consultation could properly identify as muscle laxity or a thin layer of fatty tissue.

Answer:  A physical exam.  Should lipo be the answer, the trade off is a reduction in the fatty volume with a high risk of contour irregularities because you are so thin.  If tummy tuck is the answer, you could do a modified tummy tuck at which time the muscles are tightened to reduce any fullness that is contributing to your lower fullness and your CSxn scar would be removed and the hernia would be repaired.  This would not effect your midrif skin laxity and would leave a longer scar at the pelvis.

Thanks for asking!  Dr Ellen

Ellen A. Mahony, MD
Westport Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Will a Tummy Tuck Help?

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There is no substitute for an exam but from your photos it does not appear that liposuction would be beneficial.  Also, a mini tummy tuck will only help the lower part of your abdomen and not the upper part that is bothering you.  I think a full tummy tuck could address your issues but would result in a vertical incision in the lower tummy from release of the navel.  An umbilical float procedure may be appropriate but this limits the amount of skin removal to avoid bring the navel too low and the abdomen.  Obviously a consult with a board certified plastic surgeon (preferably several consultations) would help you to understand your options and the trade-offs involved with surgery.

Richard Kofkoff, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Why Does my Stomach Do This? Do I Need a Tummy Tuck?

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No, if you feel uncomfortable, a liposuction can improve your abdomen, but you need gym to improve your muscle.


Spanish translation provided by doctor:

No, si se siente poco confortable, una lipoaspiracion puede mejorar su abdomen, pero usted necesita gimnasia, para mejorar sus musculos.

Maria Cristina Picon, MD
Argentina Plastic Surgeon

Why Does my Stomach Do This? Do I Need a Tummy Tuck? (photo)

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You are kind of in a tough spot! Not bad enough for a full blown TT(you look great standing straight up) but not a candidate for Lipo, and a Mini won't tighten the upper part of your tummy that relaxes when you bend over...Find a surgeon that does a Belly Button float procedure! It may tighten a bit of the upper tummy skin, would fix the hernia and tighten your muscle all the way up!

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Tummy tuck vs. Liposuction

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After three pregnancies you have maintained yourself admirably. Exercise will continue to enhance your physique, but will not correct a small umbilical hernia or remove excess skin. You certainly do not need nor would benefit from liposuction. A mini tuck would not improve the laxity above the belly button, so to obtain the flattest abdomen a full tummy tuck would be best. Also the umbilical hernia is easy to fix at the same time.

You Have Loose Skin, A Mini Tummy Tuck Can Fix This

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First, I have to say that your stomach looks fantastic for a mother of 3! Judging from your pictures, it seems to me that you don’t have much fat on your stomach. However, it does seem that you have excess skin, which hasn’t been able to snap back to your post-pregnancy body contour. As a result, it’s loose skin that you’re most likely affected by rather than anything else.  A tummy tuck can remove this excess skin. You most likely would only need a mini tummy tuck, since the problem is minor and it’s mainly just the lower part of your belly that’s affected. Liposuction can’t tighten loose skin and neither can exercise. Good Luck!

Abdominoplasty vs mini Abdominoplasty

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Dear Jules,

congrats on keeping this shape after three pregnancies. Few patients are good candidates for a mini abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).  Based on your picture is seems like you are a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck.  In this procedure a small incision is made encompassing the C-section scar that you currently have and a small amount of skin is removed from the lower part of the abdomen. Your umbilical hernia repair can be performed at the same time.  Best of luck. 

Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, and Umbilical Hernia Repair

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    I am not sure I would recommend tummy tuck or liposuction.  Working out may be all that you need.   The hernia can be repaired.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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.