What is the best procedure/treatment option for saggy skin and diastasis after pregnancy?

I have had 3 children, 2 of which I had polyhydramnios during pregnancy, which caused my stomach to stretch much more than it should have. I have saggy skin and also diastasis. I am physically fit and at a healthy body weight, so I do not feel like I need any fat removal or body sculpting. What is the best course of treatment for these conditions? Are any of the treatments covered by insurance? Can I expect full use of abdominal muscles to return?

Doctor Answers 18

Solutions for saggy skin and diastasis

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On the surface, this is an easy one. The only solution for loose skin and muscle weakness is a tummy tuck. It's obvious that you take great care of yourself and that will make a huge impact in the quality of your end result.

What gets a bit more complicated is how that tummy tuck would be refined for your specific case. There are a lot of different approaches to the abdominoplasty and almost everyone who does it, does it slightly differently. In general the procedure is the same across the board:  Skin is removed, the muscle is repaired and the skin is pulled back down as tight and flat as possible.  But there are some recent advances that make the procedure a bit easier to tolerate and recover and that, in my opinion, provide better results. The two most obvious are the use of Exparel (A numbing medicine that is injected into the muscle and skin and lasts for three days) which helps your ability to be up and about the night of your surgery, and the use of drainless techniques.  Certainly, good surgeons can do the operation well without these tools but I think they make the process better and more easily tolerated.

All of this is to say that your best answers will come from a consultation. Find someone in your area who will spend time with you, listen to your concerns, build a plan specific to your body and your concerns, and who does so in an office where you feel welcomed and comfortable. If that's not your first consult, keep looking until you feel good about your decisions, even if those decisions are to not have surgery.

Dr. Pyle

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Treatment for Saggy Skin After Pregnancy

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You need a full abdominoplasty.All of your excess, loose skin will not be able to be removed.The muscles can be tightened and you can expect full use of them in the future.

Richard J. Beil, MD
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Best procedure for sagging skin

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I recommend a tummy tuck with muscle tightening for your diastasis. Most of what would be removed would be skin and I don't believe any liposuction would be necessary.

Thank you for sharing your picture!

Melinda Lacerna, MD FACS

Loose skin

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Patients who have loose skin and minimal fat fall more into the category of massive weight loss patients and are a unique category of tummy tuck candidates. Loose skin often stretches out after the tummy tuck and may appear loose again several months following surgery. 
A full tummy tuck can provide tightening of the rectus abdominus muscles as well.
Consider a board certified plastic surgeon who is a member of ASAPS and one listed in Smart Beauty Guide.
Dr. Claytor

What is the best procedure/treatment option for saggy skin and diastasis after pregnancy?

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Thank you for posting your photos and your questions.  With the amount of sagging skin and the diastastis of your abdominal muscles from pregnancy, you would be a good candidate for a tummy tuck.  You should expect full use of the abdominal muscles to return once you are healed.  Your plastic surgeon will be able to fully explain the surgery possibilities and give you an in-depth recommendation for surgery.  Most insurance companies do not cover cosmetic surgery. Best wishes. 

Jeanette Padgett, MD, FACS
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tummy tuck

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You are the perfect person for a tummy tuck. You just have too much skin. No matter how much you exercise that skin will never go away. 

The muscle repair should give you a flat tummy with some hour glass shaping to your sides. It should be perfectly functional. 

Dr Rodger Shortt
Oakville Plastic Surgeon
Asst Clin Professor &
Director of Cosmetic Surgery Training
McMaster University

Rodger Shortt, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Saggy skin and diastasis

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Hello. From your photos and history I think that you would benefit from scull tummy tuck. The excess skin will be removed and the diastasis repaired. Consult with a BCPS. 

Saggy skin and diastasis treatment options

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Hello, if you have very loose skin on the upper and lower abdomen plus a diastasis, the most effective treatment may be a full tummy tuck.  A plastic surgeon could evaluate your abdomen in person and confirm the best option.  Abdominal muscles do tighten after pregnancy but a significant diastasis may not resolve.

Saggy Skin and Diastasis

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I would recommend, based on this information, that you consider a Tummy Tuck. Part of that procedure includes repairing the rectus diastases, which is the separation of the vertical rectus abdominal muscles. That also helps with the loose sagging skin. I will be happy to meet with you in consultation to discuss these options in person as well as risks and benefits, etc.
Take care,
Dr. Howell

Tummy tuck

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Thanks for sharing your story.
Looking at the images and reading your story you would be an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck.
1) to tighten the separated muscle
2) to remove the loose skin.

Not sure of the insurance policies in your country but I am sure your local plastic surgeon can guide you.

Good luck.

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.