Tummy Tuck Only Option for Loose Skin After Lipo and C-section?

I had Liposuction about 10yrs ago on my stomach, thighs, and butt area. Two years ago, I had a baby via C-Section. Now, i'm trying to get down to a healthy weight range. I am 5'3" and weigh 158 lbs. At what weight should I consider treatment to firm up the lose skin on my stomach and thighs? Would 135 be a healthy weight range? Is Tummy Tuck my only option? Please help. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 5

Tummy Tuck Only Option for Loose Skin After Lipo and C-section?

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Thank you for the question. Online consultants will be much specific to without viewing photographs or in-person evaluation. However, some general thoughts may be helpful to you.
For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. The tummy tuck operation serves to re approximate muscles that may have spread with pregnancy and/or weight gain/loss, remove "excess" skin/adipose tissue (often overhanging C-section scars) and further contour the abdominal wall, with tools such as liposuction surgery.
Generally speaking, the “ideal” patient for tummy tuck surgery is one who has completed pregnancies, is psycho socially/emotionally/financially stable, has an excellent social support system surrounding him/her, is capable of arranging enough recovery time, does not smoke and who has reached a long-term stable weight.
Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides.
You will also hear/read about mini tummy tuck surgery. In my opinion/experience, the mini tummy tuck is an operation that produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.
Again, for the vast majority of patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. When the time is right, seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience helping patients achieve the types of outcomes you would be pleased with. You may find the attached link/video, dedicated to tummy tuck surgery concerns, helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes.

Tummy tuck for loose skin.

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It sounds like you need a tummy tuck. I don't think anything else will help.

You don't have to lose weight before having a tummy tuck. The muscles can be repaired and the excess skin and fat can be removed even if you are somewhat overweight. You will still be overweight afterwards, but you will have a flat stomach.

In Manhattan, I find that demanding that a patient lose weight before benefitting by a tummy tuck can be unrealistic.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Solution for Loose Abdominal Skin

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Abdominoplasty is definitely the best treatment for excess belly skin. Your muscle can be tightened at the same time. Noninvasive attempts to tighten skin do not work well in my opinion and are associated with potential problems. You probably will improve your result with a 20 pound weight loss.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck is the solution for loose skin

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Dear Texas Mom,

After children and liposuction, the best way to address loose skin on the abdomen will be a tummy tuck. You already have 1/2 the necessary scar, and the results can be drastic. Do not be mislead by other non-invasive tightening procedures - they might give a minimal change, but I'd be surprised if it would make you happy. (I view them as marketing gimmicks.) If you could achieve a weight of 135, you will get a better result from the tummy tuck, but even at 158, you are a candidate (assuming your weight is stable). Please review my 2 web-pages on tummy tucks. One has a video that shows the changes achieved by morphing before and after pictures (no blood - don't worry), and the other answers your specific questions in detail.

Best wishes!


Options for loose skin after liposuction and pregnancy

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As you said, it would be best for you to be at an optimal weight before having any surgery and 135 lbs is a good goal for you at 5'3". Typically loose skin is best treated by tummy-tuck; however, it depends on how much loose skin you have. Some patients can have an umbilical float tummy tuck, which has no scar around the umbilicus, if the loose skin is confined to below the belly button. If you have very minimal loose skin, some of the skin tightening treatments such as Thermage can work. This is rarely the situation after pregancy but sometimes works in very slender patients.

Hope this helps.

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 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.