I Am Terrified of Surgery. Will a Non-surgical Option Work for Me? (photo)

I am 34 years old. 5 feet and 125 lbs. I have had two 9 pound babies and I'm done! Even with diet and a personal trainer, my stomach won't go down, my belly button is sticking out, and the skin is loose and wrinkled. I know a tummy tuck would repair these issues; however, I am TERRIFIED of surgery. Just thinking about it gives me panic attacks. I would like to know if there are any non-surgical ways to reduce my issues. This is taking a HUGE toll on my self esteem.

Doctor Answers 11

Afraid of Surgery

Unfortunately, surgery is likely to be your only solution.  It is normal to have concerns about consenting to an elective procedure.  You probably also have some concerns about complications that could take you away from your children and, perhaps, about vanity and spending money that you could spend on your children.  These are normal thoughts that I hear about daily.  Only you can come to terms with these issues.  My recommendation is to take the first step and speak with a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in this type of surgery.  See what your options are, discuss the risks and your concerns and then take some time to think it over.  Don't rush to a decision but do keep an open mind.

Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Can non-invasive approach help post-pregnancy tummy?

Unfortunately, your abdomen does need a tummy tuck and non-invasive measures will only reduce the size of your bank book. Rather than dismissing surgery, see a board certified plastic surgeon. Discuss what about the surgery terrifies you (pain, anesthesia, recovery). Perhaps you will discover that some of your fears are unfounded and that you will be more comfortable undergoing surgery than you think now.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

A full tummy tuck with abdominal wall tightening would provide the best results


Thank you for the photos.  Let me first start out by saying that anxiety toward surgery is normal and surgery itself should not be taken on lightly.  With that said, you have the opportunity to achieve a fantastic before and after result.  Abdominoplasty is a safe procedure, especially when performed by experienced plastic surgeons.  There are no non-invasive procedures that would result in any meaningful repair of your abdomen following your pregnancies.  Take some time and give it some more thought but a full tummy tuck will be your best result option.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Bulging tummy

Do I think a lot of abdominal exercises will work no.But you cantry abdominal exercises but I think you will need a tummy tuck which we do all the time as an outpatient.going to a board certfied pl;astic surgeon is quite safe.If exercises don't work I think you'll have yoiur answer.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

When only a tummy tuck will do

With the nine pound babies your skin and muscle has stretched, and a small umbilical hernia has developed, so sorry, only a tummy tuck will do. You can work with a trainer and live your life safely the way things are. But your are quite right in that the repair will do a great deal of good for you and your self esteem.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

I Am Terrified of Surgery. Will a Non-surgical Option Work for Me? (photo)

There would be many unhappy plastic surgeons out there if there were a nonsurgical option to correct your tummy!

I recommend you find a capable, compassionate and experienced aesthetic plastic surgeon and place your trust in that person.

We strive to make your surgical experience as easy as possible.

Your surgeon may put you in touch with someone who has had the surgery and can tell you about their recovery.

Good luck!

Eric Pugash, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 140 reviews


Surgery is the only solution to correct the degree of abdominal skin laxity and excess.  You should have a great result with a standard tummy tuck.  Find a reputable Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area and you should do fine.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Surgery is the only option when you are ready

You have severe diastasis recti and umbilical hernia. The other issue is the loose skin that has lost elasticity. Surgery will be the only option when you are ready.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Nonsurgical skin tightening will not work but don't have surgery if you are terrified

Thank you for your picture and photographs.

I am offering you my sincere advice.Based on my experience nonsurgical skin tightening will not give you a significant result and I urge you to save your money.

Although you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck, I would advise that you do not have surgery if you do feel terrified.

Deciding to have a tummy tuck is a very significant decision and you should only make it if you are comfortable with the idea of having surgery and with a plastic surgeon home you feel complete competency in.

Other options besides a tummy tuck.

Unfortunately, the amount of excess skin and abdominal protrusion is correctable only with a tummy tuck. Although exercise and a healthy diet can improve muscle tone and fat distribution, they cannot improve the sagginess of skin. I would recommend consulting with your plastic surgeon and asking to speak with patients who have gone through this procedure before so that perhaps some of the fear can be resolved.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 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.