How Would One Get Rid of the Pouch Left After Pregnancy Weight is Lost?

What are the benefits of having a tummy tuck versus tummy lipo to correct a pregnancy tummy pouch after weight loss?

Doctor Answers 12

Liposuction isn't recommended usually if there's a lot of sagging skin and diastasis recti

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Pregnancy often causes the skin to become loose and it may also cause diastasis recti, a condition that involves the separation of your abdominal muscles. These issues can't be fixed with liposuction. You'd have to get a tummy tuck to remove the loose skin and repair the muscle separation. I often perform liposuction at the same time as a tummy tuck to further contour the body. 

Tummy Tuck V. Liposuction for Mommy Makeover

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Liposuction is a great procedure for improving the contour of your abdomen and hips if you carry excess weight in that location.  A tummy tuck goes further in inproving abdominal shape because it removes stretch marks and excess skins and allows the abdominal wall to be tightened.  The decision of which is best for you depends on a number of variables including your preferences and goals for the plastic surgery.  If you have a lot of post pregnancy changes then liposuction is likely to be a disappointment. A tummy tuck will get you a tighter result , but is more recovery and has the trade-off of a scar.  An in person consultation with a highly qualified plastic surgeon will help you decide for yourself. 

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Lipo versus tummy tuck after pregnancy

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Liposuction addresses fat and can tighten skill a little. If you have a pouch after pregnancy that hasn't gone away in a year, then it probably won't go away.  A tummy tuck is your best bet to tighten the tummy muscles and get rid of the pouch left after pregnancy.

Best of luck. I wish you well.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Tummy tuck after pregnancy?

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Pregnancy stretches skin, muscle, and abdominal connective tissue. Liposuction addresses only fat. Tummy tuck is the preferable choice for restoration of a flat, fit appearing, sexy abdomen.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Lipo or tummy tuck after pregnancy "pouch"--which is best?

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Congratulations on losing your pregnancy weight! Now you have  a "pouch" and wonder if liposuction or tummy tuck is needed. This is a very common question, and it occurs because many women have the incorrect notion that liposuction somehow "tightens" the loose skin after excess fat is removed. If the amount of fat is minimal, and the elasticity of the skin still normal or near normal after pregnancy weight loss, then liposuction can provide a nice improvement.

However, the vast majority of women who ask this question have stretched abdominal wall tissues (the fascia or "gristle" layer around and between the six-pack muscles) and loose skin, NOT excess fat. Some have excess fat also, but removing some or most of the fat via liposuction (any kind or variety, including those "marketed" as tightening skin--SmartLipo, ultrasonic lipo, etc.--while removing fat) only EMPTIES the skin, making it looser and more wrinkly, not smoother and tighter.

Only a tummy tuck can tighten the abdominal wall muscles back to their pre-stretched position (the muscle repair or rectus plication), AND remove the excess skin and often many stretch marks, resulting in a flatter, smoother abdomen. This is "news" to so many women I see every week that it is no wonder there is always some doctor who will sell gullible patients the latest lipo gimmick, the newest external skin tightening procedure, or fat removal injections or other "less-invasive" options. Most of which work minimally.

So, what you really need is a consultation with an ABPS-certified plastic surgeon who can examine your exact anatomic needs and give you proper advice as to which of these two options (or often a combination of both) may be best for your best result. Don't be surprised if a tummy tuck is recommended, for that is what the majority of women need when they are done having babies! Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Abdominal pouch

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If you have a pouch after child bearing it is most likely a combination of fat and skin which mnore than likely would be amenable to a tummy tuck. An exam would give a definitive answer.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tummy Tuck VS. tummy Lipo to correct pregnancy tummy pooch ("Mommy Tummy")

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"The solution" would depend on what makes up YOUR Mommy Tummy or pooch. Generally speaking, pregnancy results in permanent stretching and splitting of the 6 pack muscles AND in permanent stretching and occasionally splitting, of young skin (resulting in the cracks known as stretch marks).

A Full / Standard tummy Tuck - will flatten the tummy, reduce the waist to a more feminine hour glass figure, remove ALL excess skin and depending on the technique can lift a sagging Mons pubis and lift and smooth sagging anterior thigh ("cellulite")

Liposuction - removes excess fat under the skin. It will NOT significantly tighten skin and is used as a "finishing" contouring procedure.

If you have:

Exccess Tummy Skin - No Excess Fat - You would probably best be treated with a Tummy Tuck

Excess Fat - Minimal excess skin (only below the belly button) - Liposuction woth a Mini-Tummy Tuck may be the procedures best suited for your situation

Excess Tummy Skin and Excess Fat (with a BMI under 30) - you may require BOTH a Tummy Tuck and liposuction.

Since these operations are highly dependent on your individual examination and cosmetic goals, it is best you consult one or several Plastic surgeon to understand your options.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Abdominoplasty vs. liposuction

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There are 3 components to the abdominal wall-muscle, fat and skin. What you see from the outside results from these 3 components. Liposuction only affects the fat component. The more the fat component contributes to what you see the more effective liposuction is. If the fat component contributes very little and what you see is due mostly to lax muscle and/or extra skin liposuction will be of little or no benefit. Tummy tuck is the most effective way to address the muscle and skin components. That is why you need face to face assessment by a qualified surgeon before proceeding with surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction after Pregnancy and Weight Loss

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In most cases patients, who have had a pregnancy and subsequent weight loss, have three problems contributing to the tummy pouch.  First, there can be remaining subcutaneous fat.  Second, there often is excess stretched skin.  Third, the abdominal wall, made up of the underliying muscles and connective tissue is also stretched.  If the problem is solely of excess subcutaneous fat and the tone of the skin and muscles are good, then liposuction alone may be a good option.  If, however, the skin and muscle wall has been stretched  and lost its tone, then the tummy tuck (abdominoplasty will be a better alternative.  In many cases, I combine both a tummy tuck and liposuction for my patients who have had pregnancy and weight loss.  Best wishes. 

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction

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Your question is a very common one. It is important to understand these are two operations with different goals and different results. Think of it as one operation, liposuction, that is less of everything - less money, less scar, less pain, less risk, less recovery and less results. The tummy tuck is more of all these things. That does not mean liposuction is bad, but if you need the tummy tuck, liposuction just won't do the job. The important difference has to do with the skin. If it is too loose, liposuction will make it worse by taking out the supporting fat. That's where the tummy tuck is important. And the tummy tuck can also improve any muscle separation left after a pregnancy.But if there is good elasticity in the skin and the only problem is a little fat pocket, then liposuction is the right operation. I'm not sure many patients can examine themselves and know which alternative would work best so be sure and see an experienced and board certified plastic surgeon. And look at pictures to be sure the scar locations are where you are comfortable with them.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 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.