Are there methods get a flat stomach that does not involve expensive surgery? (photos)

I had my son three years ago. I have gotten relatively close to my goal weight and I have solid abs, however I still have this pooch of fat that I can't get rid of. There is NO way I can afford a tummy tuck, the lower end of $3000 is even out of the question. Are there other procedures/methods to help get my stomach flat again?

Doctor Answers 6

Tummy Tuck After Children

Thank you for the pictures and questions. If you have lost the weight you gained during pregnancy and still do not have the same tummy as before it is likely you have rectus diastasis (separation of the rectus muscles) and some skin laxity. If you have any stretch marks then you have some degree of loose skin. Only a tummy tuck can fix the rectus diastasis and tighten up the loose skin. A consultation with an examination of your tummy is necessary to determine if you could achieve a flat stomach without surgery. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon to learn about your options and good luck. 


Draper Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Few good nonsurgical alternatives to a tummy tuck

If exercise could spot-reduce localized extra fat or tighten skin, we would send our patients to the gym instead of taking them to surgery. Also, if there is a muscle separation, no amount of exercise pulls them back into alignment. The risk of trying less expensive treatments that offer a nonsurgical alternative is that they won't do very much and so the value proposition is less even though you spent less. So keep up the exercise and healthy diet, and save until you can have the tummy tuck or better alternatives are developed.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Alternatives to a tummy tuck to flatten the stomach?

After pregnancy many patients have relaxation of their muscles and skin relaxation.  Each of those if present would require a tummy tuck procedure, on the other hand if you have some thickness of the fat padding layer beneath the skin this can be treated with either liposuction (even under local anesthesia to keep the cost down) or with external devices such as the iLipoXcell machine.  This thins the fatty layer but these techniques do not tighten skin significantly so lax skin would remain.  Just an option for you that you might consider after being evaluated in consultation by a board-certified plastic surgeon.  Best wishes. Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Abdominal contour improvements #plasticsurgery

An in-person exam is required to make these decisions - but liposuction or a tummy tuck can flatten and contour the abdomen. Procedures can be financed through CareCredit.

Are there methods get a flat stomach that does not involve expensive surgery?

It can be disappointing when you work that hard and don't get the effect you want. You might start with a trainer to see what can be done in that arena instead of surgery. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Pooch of fat

Nothing substitutes for a thoughtful physical exam to assess your anatomy and determine the cause of the "pooch."  Some mommies simply have stubborn fat, but other times there is also skin excess and pregnancy induced laxity of the abdominal wall.  If however, you simply have a adipose deposits on the lower abdominal, you may want to consider a consultation for CoolSculpting.  This is a non-surgical technology that takes advantage of the fact that adipose cells are more sensitive to cold than other types of tissue.  The device freezes the fat, and the body resorbs the affected cells over about 3 months.  Consider a formal consultation and best of luck!

Larry Lickstein, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 39 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.