How Do I Know if I Need a Tummy Tuck? (photo)

How do I know if I need a tummy tuck or if my issue will resolve itself after i reach my weight goal? I am 47 and had 2 c sections in my 20's. I need to lose about 30 pounds. I am very active and I excerise with running, weight training and yoga. Will my activity level fix my tummy issue?

Doctor Answers 12

How do I know if I need a Tummy Tuck?

Conratulations on your weight loss and physical fitness!!

If there is loose skin which hangs down over your clothing after weight loss you will likely need a Tummy Tuck if you want a "Tight Tummy."

Although the skin may well tighten after weight loss and loss of Fat from under the Abdominal Skin, significant loose skin or Abdominal Laxity usually requires a Tummy Tuck to create a tight appearance to the Abdominal area.

Younger age, fewer pregnancies, physiocal fitness and a healthy lifestyle all can improve the ability of the skin to tighten.

However, Abdominal Skin that hangs over clothing after weight loss usually requires a Tummy Tuck to create significant tightening of the Abdomen.

Needing a tummy tuck and other information

From your photos, you clearly have excess skin and are significantly above your ideal body weight. If you are very interested in pursuing a tummy tuck, it would be very prudent for you to lose as much of this excess weight as possible prior to surgery. How much weight that would be can't be ascertained via online communications.

You may also want to seek a consult with one or more board certified plastic surgeons in the near future. This will help you better map out your future.

Realize that no one necessarily needs a tummy tuck. You could benefit from it for aesthetic reasons.

Good luck. 

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Will I need a Tummy- tuck?

Dear Jackie,

It appears from your photos that you have excess skin in your lower abdomen. After you reach your goal weight you may find that you have looser skin, and is very likely that you will benefit from a tummy tuck to get rid of the excess skin and tighten your abdominal muscles to give you a flatter stomach. This may be combined with liposuction to contour your waist.

Best of luck with your weight loss! 

Dana Khuthaila, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Tummy contouring

After you have lost your weight, you will likely benefit from a tummy tuck or an extended tummy tuck +/- liposuction of your waist/flanks.   

A tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty) is a very popular cosmetic surgery procedure. A tummy tuck can be an effective tool for shaping and sculpting the body for better body appearance and improved self esteem.

Sometimes no amount of diet and exercise can create a flat tummy.  Tummy tuck plastic surgery actually tightens abdominal muscles and removes excess fat and skin from the stomach area to create a tighter, slimmer, smoother belly.  A tummy tuck can be combined with other procedures such as liposuction of your waists or flanks (i.e. love handles) to fine tune your result

Patients choose abdominoplasty cosmetic surgery for a number of reasons, including:

Excess abdominal skin following weight loss; Weight gain (beer belly or spare tire) from a sedentary lifestyle; Abdominal fat that is resistant to diet and exercise; Stretched stomach muscles from pregnancy; Desire for a thinner profile; Desire to look younger and fitter; Desire to fit into clothes better.

I recommend you visit with an ASPS member plastic surgeon to further explore your options and to find out if you are a candidate for this procedure.

Best of luck.

Dr. Basu

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

Tummy tuck after babies and weight loss

Thank you for your question.  After your weight loss, you would likely desire the benefits of flat tummy and muscle tightening offered from a tummy tuck.  While "need" is not the right word, it may definitely be something you want.

You will know for sure if six months has gone by after your weight loss and the skin and sag has not "snapped back." I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Tummy Tuck After Weight Loss

You are definitely doing things in the right order, getting your weight down first. While no one really "needs" a tummy tuck, it is the only way you can get a youthful flat, tight abdomen after the changes you have had from the pregnancies.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy Tuck or ....?

Dear Jackie516,

First, great job on getting started on your weight loss.  That is the first step.  Try getting closer to your target weight before proceeding with any surgery but you certainly should consult with a plastic surgeon who is board-certified sometime in the near future who can guide you on the timing of any procedures.  From your photos, while yoga and running are great exercise, they cannot tighten stretched and loose tissues and skin, something that will require a tummy tuck to achieve the goal you desire.

Keep up the good work and best of luck!

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Do I need a Tummy Tuck

Based on your pictures, you will definitely need a tummy tuck.  The real question is one of timing.  As you lose more weight, you may develop even more looseness to your skin.  I think you should continue your diet and exercise program until you reach your desired weight or until your weight loss stabilizes.   At that time, treat yourself to the procedure as a reward for your hard work.  By waiting, you will get the maximum benefit from the procedure as it relates to your final shape.

Keep working hard.

Don W. Griffin, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Tummy Tuck "Needed"?

Thank you for the question and congratulations on your exercise  and weight  loss program.

Although no one necessarily “needs” a tummy talk, it is very likely that you will benefit from this operation once you reach your long term weight goals.

Based on your side view photograph,  you currently have “excess" skin and adipose tissue  that folds over the undergarment. This may be exacerbated by the C-section scar.  Unfortunately, this area will not improve despite your best efforts. On the contrary, ironically, you may find that you have additional loose skin  once you have reached your long-term stable weight.  A tummy tuck procedure will be necessary to remove this redundant skin and adipose tissue fold.

It is also very likely that,  with your history of pregnancies and weight gain/loss,  some degree of muscle laxity/separation is present.  A tummy tuck procedure will be necessary to correct this issue as well.

I hope I am not being discouraging;  you should continue on your admirable exercise and weight loss program.  When the time is right, visit with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons for consultation.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Tummy Tuck or No Tummy Tuck

Its great to know that you are trying to get in shape and healthy without surgery.  Go for it.  Worst case scenario you find that things don't look exactly the way you want them to.  You really won't know for sure until you reach your ideal body weight and fitness level.  As long as you continue to see improvement, continue without surgery.  Once you feel like you have plateaued, then seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck.

Albert Dabbah, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 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.