Should I Get a Tummy Tuck if I Never Worked out to Try to Get Rid of It?

I have had weight loss surgery and lost 75lbs recently and I haven't really worked out 100% like I know I should. However, regardless of this, I have always had a big stomach whether I am heavy or thin it has always been big. Now 2 kids and 2 c-sections later, it just hangs and I hate it. I have about 23lbs to lost to get to goal, when shoudl I get a tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers 14

Working out or tummy tuck

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Will working out make a tummy tuck unnecessary? Well it depends on what the problem is. In a tummy tuck your plastic surgeon will remove excess fat, repair the gap between your rectus abdominal muscles and remove excess skin. If your problem is just weak muscle tone or a little bit of extra fat, then working out may solve your problem. But often previous surgery or childbirth leaves women with loose excess skin or muscles which are wide apart. (This condition is called rectus diastasis). Working out will not solve these problems but they can be successfully corrected with abdominoplasty. Your plastic surgeon will tell you if your problems needs surgery or can be solved by working out alone.

There are 2 components to a tummy tuck

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You described excess hanging skin.  This will not be resolved by any type of workout and needs to be resected.  However, excessive skin is only one aspect of the tummy tuck.  The other aspect which people aren't as familiar with is fascia tightening.  After 2 pregnancies and c-sections, the fascia has been damaged and working out will not change fascia strength.  The most important aspect of the tummy tuck will be the fascia plication and possible reinforcement of mesh.  There are recent articles on abdominoplasties with mesh reinforcement that will help reduce weight and maintain the reduced weight.  This may help you lose the 23 lbs you are talking about.

Best of Luck,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 229 reviews

Exercise or a tummy tuck?

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Great question!  Give the exercise a try, but it's hard to treat a lot of excess skin with exercise.  Good luck!

Tummy Tuck will get rid of the excess skin, and will tighten the muscles

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Working out is great for your health and heart, and it may and will help to strengthen your tummy muscles, but tummy tuck addresses the loose and excess skin one has by removing it, and tightening the abdominal wall muscles by bringing them close together.

You may have very strong individual abdominal muscles, but if they are pushed apart from each other (due to pregnancy or weight gain/loss), you will still have the bulge and weakness in the middle. The only was to fix is by bringing the muscles together in the midline, like a corset. 

And unfortunately, no matter how hard you work out, if there is excess/loose skin in any where on the body, it won't shrink, and it has to be removed for a better contour.

Adil Ceydeli, MD
Panama City Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck after weight loss

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After losing as much weight as you have, no amount of exercising wil get rid of the excess, loose skin you must have.  Additionally, you probably have a separation of the rectus abdominal muscles that run vertically up the middle of your abdomen. No matter how many crunches or sit-ups you do, you will still have protrusion of the abdomen unless this separation is surgically repaired.  Removing the excess skin and repair of the muscle separtion can be done at the same time.

Michael Leff, MD (retired)
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck and working out

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When you have lost the weight you want and your weight is stable for six months, then it is okay to have a tummy tuck as long as medically you are a candidate for surgery.  Working out is recommended but is not a requirement for the surgery. Good Luck.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 214 reviews

Tummy tuck

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You will obtain the best results with a tummy tuck when you are close to your ideal weight.  Most patients after children have laxity of the abdominal wall and excess skin that can only be improve with a tummy tuck.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Tummy tuck works even if you are overweight.

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It sounds like you are pretty close.  You will have a flat  stomach even if you are still somewhat overweight.

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

You need to be seen first

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Depends --- your BMI needs to be below 30. If you have excess skin and not too much fat, you may be a candidate. A tummy tuck has nothing to do with exercising.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Tummy Tuck -Should I Get a TT or Work Out to Try to Get Rid of It?

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Based on what you say you will need a TT in order to get enough of a result.  That being said, it's in your best interest to be at the lowest weight you can reasonably maintain before you undergo a procedure such as this.

There are patients who can get the result they want without surgery - but that almost never applies to people who have undergone weight loss surgery (called bariatric surgery).  In that case, there is simply too much extra skin and fat for it to contract well enough on its own.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. E

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.