Remove Excess Skin and Fat Inplace of Tummy Tuck?

After gaining almost 80 pounds during my pregnancy and giving birth to a 10 pound baby, I have stretch that have faded to white and loose skin around my belly button (the stretch marks around my belly button are actually slightly raised) my stomach hangs only slightly because i've been dieting and exercising but the wrinkling bothers me so bad!! I'm 24, 5'6, 165 pounds, size 9 in jeans (because of my stomach). I dont want muscle repair. just want the fat and wrinkles gone! avg. $$?

Doctor Answers 19

Abdominal Contouring


Based on your history and photo, I believe you will benefit the most from an abdominoplasty +/- lipo of the waist and hips.  But I'm not sure why you do not want tightening of your muscles?  Not treating your muscles would be like buying a car without an engine...

A tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty) is a very popular cosmetic surgery procedure. A tummy tuck can be an effective tool for shaping and sculpting the body for better body appearance and improved self esteem.

Sometimes no amount of diet and exercise can create a flat tummy. Tummy tuck plastic surgery actually tightens abdominal muscles and removes excess fat and skin from the stomach area to create a tighter, slimmer, smoother belly. If, like many other patients, you are interested in an overall body rejuvenation, tummy tuck can be combined with other procedures such as liposuction. If you have excess in your waist/hips (ie love handles), you will likely benefit from adjunctive lipo during your tummy tuck.

Tummy tuck

It sounds like a tummy tuck would be a good procedure for you at this time; however, if you are planning to lose anymore than 20#, then wait.  The average cost (including OR and Anesthesia), without liposuction, is generally between $8,000 and $9,000 (depends on the length of surgery).

Shahin Javaheri, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Skin Only Tummy Tuck

You can have just the excess skin removed but tightening the muscle is helpful in allowing more lax skin to be removed in addition to flattening the tummy.  Also without muscle repair the tummy will remain pouchy.

Dr. ES

Tummy Tuck Best Solution for Excess Skin

Tummy tucks are generally the best solution for excess abdominal skin following pregnancies or massive weight loss.  Looking at your photos there are no other reasonable options to deal with the amount of excess skin that you have.  You could have the procedure without muscle repair but your result would definitely be better with the muscle repair.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Remove Excess Skin and Fat Inplace of Tummy Tuck?

12 answers, 11 recommend some form of muscle tightening. Only 1 say it is OK to just remove fat & skin without muscle repair. So you need to consider the responses and decide if you want a 2/3's operation or the full correction. No matter what we, the experts, say it is your final decision. I agree you need muscle repair but would I only just remove the skin/fat? Yes. if you need to sign a release or pre operative informed consent saying you fully understand the limitations on results. Yes, healing time only slightly shorter as is the fee. Happy Holiday From MIAMI Dr. Darryl J. Blinski

Don't skip the muscle tightening in a tummy tuck

The only way you will get a nice flat abdomen is to address all the causes of the bulge you have now.  This requires muscle tightening and skin and fat excision.  Don't skip this as you won't get as good a result.

Tummy Tuck and Muscle Tightening

The tummy tuck helps with three problems on the abdomen after pregnancy. 

1) Loose Skin - Excess and loose skin are removed with a tummy tuck, there is no other way to get any significant tightening of the abdominal skin.

2) Excess Fat - The majority of excess fat on the abdomen is found below the belly button. When the lower abdominal skin is removed, this fat is taken away with it. Lateral fat (around the sides) can also be safely removed with liposuction at the same time as a tummy tuck.

3) Loose Muscles - Bulging of the entire abdominal wall is caused by muscle laxity. This allows the guts to fall forwards and make the belly look round.

In most cases all three need to be done for optimal results. Before ruling out muscle tightening, it would be best to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area, and see what the risks and benefits will be for you.

I've included a link below that reviews many of the common questions about tummy tucks, and a video (part 1 of 3) about tummy tuck surgery.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

You need a tummy tuck

As the others have pointed out you need some sort of tummy tuck. Whther you choose to have muscle plication to flatten the stomach more is your decision. I find that I do a muscle plication on 95% of the tummy tucks I do, because part of the problem is the bulging. If you are theredoing a skin only tummy tuck, the muscle plication is easy to do, and if you want it later you have to do the whole operation all over again. If you suck in your stomach and it looks a lot better to you than just letting it all hang out then you probably really do need muscle work. Good luck in your choice!

Victor Au, MD (retired)
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Skin is not like Shrink Wrap!

Unfortunately, there are no magic ways to make skin shrink, If we had these we could eliminate face lifts, thigh lifts, breasts lifts, etc. We would love to have a tool for this but it doesn't exist. Lasers, etc may provide slight improvement, but you need more than that. A tummy tuck, possibly without the muscle repair can be done (skin only tummy tuck) but my guess is that you would not be pleased with the result. See the links and videos below for correction of loose skin bellys.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Tummy tuck without muscle plication.

I too have offered this procedure when recovery time and cost is an issue. I don't believe it is "cheap" but it does provide a service based upon the patients desires and not the surgeon's. Although a formal tummy tuck would be the most appropriate, a skin only abdominoplasty will remove the extra skin and stretch marks. As long as you realize the specific benefit and are willing to forego the muscle repair, it is much better t than doing nothing.

Timothy Fee, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 50 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.