Do I Need a Tummy Tuck to Get the Flat Abs That I Have Been So Desperately Trying to Get for the Past 6 Months? (photo)

I eat right, work out 5 days a week and my stomach always sticks out and no definition. I love the rest of my body but having 2 kids really put a toll on my abdominal muscles. I used to be a size 24 inch waist and now a 31. I weigh 124 and the rest of my measurements improve with diet and weight training. After my son I had a hernia that was repaired. My muscles are separated by about an inch, it was larger but exercise did help improve it. Is this as good as it gets?

Doctor Answers 7

"I eat right, work out 5 days a week and my stomach always sticks out and has no definition"

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I wish I had a dime for each time I heard "I eat right, work out 5 days a week and my stomach always sticks out and no definition". Every Plastic surgeon hears it several times a day.

The fact is that a pregnancy permanently stretches the abdominal muscles, splits/separates the six pack (rectus) muscles and permanently stretches the skin. Unfortunatelty, despite all the hype out there we have no magical way to correct all this damage and transform your body back to its Before-Baby measurements and appearance without surgery.

A Full Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) would
- take in all muscle looseness in the process correcting any muscle separation and hernias
- would narrow your waist, restoring an hourglass figure
- would lift a sagging Mons pubis to a more youthful position
- remove all stretch mark damaged skin from below the belly button
and depending on the Tummy Tuck technique, could lift sagging thighs and correct cellulite dimpling along the anterior thighs.

With your figure, you should have a GREAT result.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Need a Tummy Tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You've done all the right things and have great results to show for it. However, some changes that come with pregnancy and aging won't get better with diet and exercise. No one "needs" a tummy tuck but it may give you a flatter tummy and eliminate most of the stretch marks. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Tummy tuck for stretch marks and muscle separation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question and the photo. Based on what you describe and show, yes,a tummy tuck would help flatten your tummy, tighten the muscles by bringing them back together and get rid of the majority of your stretch marks. See a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.  I hope this helps.

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

Do I Need a Tummy Tuck to Get the Flat Abs That I Have Been So Desperately Trying to Get for the Past 6 Months? (photo)

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Based upon your description and posted photo I might recommend an endoscopic muscle tightening with a minimum skin removal mini TT. But in person evaluations are always best. Seek 3 boarded PSs in your area. 

Flat abs

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Child bearing often beats up a womans body, especially the abdominal area.  The skin and muscle get stretched.  Based on your description and photo, you have done a fantastic job of getting your body back in shape.  Congratulations. 

I do not think there will be much more improvement with diet and exercise, alone.  Tummy tuck with some liposuction of the waist will help you achieve the results you desire.  The muscle can be tightened and some (but not all) of the stretch marks removed.

Consult a board certified plastic surgeon in your area.  He or she will be able to give you specific advice.


Michael S. Hopkins, MD (retired)
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Dear Lori,

You should be commended and applauded for the appearance of your body after two term pregnancies.  It is obvious that you have worked very hard to get the best possible abdomen that you could get without surgical help.  A tummy tuck would indeed tighten you up somewhat more and remove some if not all of your stretch marks.  However, it would come at the expense of scars, a long recovery and a financial commitment.  Only you can decide if you need the tummy tuck.  Consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon may answer your questions a little more specifically.  Good luck!

Tummy Tuck Candidate?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the question and picture.

You should be congratulated on the appearance of your abdomen; you have obviously worked hard after the 2 pregnancies.

Unfortunately,  I doubt you will see much improvement without some help from your  friendly well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Based on your description and picture I think you will be a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery.  The results of the tummy tuck surgery will be optimized after the hard work you have already done.

Best wishes.

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.