Do I HAVE to Have a Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I am 24 and have 2 kids. Over the past year or so I have gone from 250lbs down to 162lbs with a final goal of 150. Also I am 6' tall. I have severe stretch marks from pregnancy and now terrible loose skin from weight loss. Getting healthy and skinner has actually made my already low self esteem worse. My husband is deployed and I have no family here. Is there any options for the stretch marks or the Loose skin other than a tummy tuck since recovery is going to be impossible with my kids?

Doctor Answers 11

A full Tummy Tuck will give you the best result

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Thank you for your question. From your photographs it appears that you will need a full Tummy Tuck.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, experienced and has an excellent reputation in your community. Arrange for friends or family members to stay with you for the first few days after your surgery.

Do not waist money on laser is, ultrasound or other nonsurgical options as they will not work.

Tummy Tuck Criteria

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Because of the weight loss and pregnancies, your skin has lost elasticity, become expanded, and lost underlying support of the deep tissues.  There are no other surgical or non- surgical modalities (e.g. liposuction, laser liposuction, Vaser, Zeltiq, Ulthera, etc...) that can attain the same level of improvement as an abdominoplasty in your situation. In fact, you'd probably see little to no change with most of these other techniques/devices.

I recommend you not spend your money on these things and wait until you can get an abdominoplasty.  Be sure to visit surgeons that are certified by the ABPS and are members of the ASAPS.  Your results in the right hands will be transforming.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Do I HAVE to Have a Tummy Tuck?

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Based upon the posted photos you are a excellent candidate for full Tummy Tuck with muscle repair. Seek in person evaluations. 

Tummy tuck

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Hello and thank you for the pictures.

Considering the weight loss history and two pregnancies  with the obvious skin laxity and redundancy as showed clearly from the photos. Add to that, the expected muscle weakness from the pregnancies, unfortunately the only option here is full tummy tuck operation.

Good luck

Fatema S. Alsubhi, MD
UAE Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck is the only real option for loose skin and stretch marks

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Tummy tuck is always an elective procedure but for significant skin laxity and stretch marks, especially after substantial weight loss, there is no real alternative that will give any worthwhile results.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Tummy tuck?

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You have significant skin laxity and a tummy tuck will give you the best result.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

No Tummy Tuck Alternatives

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The simple answer is that you have no alternative but a tummy tuck. The combination of loose skin and stretch marks means that only a wide excision can improve your abdomen. Do not pursue any lesser options as they will not work. The time for a tummy tuck may be better in the future so the wait will be worth it

Tummy tuck will elminate excess skin

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Thank you for your question.  A tummy tuck will improve the appearance of your abdomen, eliminating a lot of the excess skin.  There is no other procedure or treatment which will do this.  The part of tummy tuck that leads to what some consider to be a lengthy and somewhat difficult recovery is the muscle tightening, NOT the skin removal.  We can assume that after 2 children, your rectus muscle is probably separated and you would benefit from having this sewn back together, which is what hurts.  However, you do not have to have the muscle repaired.  If you do not repair the muscle you can still have an acceptable result and a fairly quick and easy recovery.  In some situations I have to tell my patients that without the muscle repair they just will not be happy with the result.  In those situations, we wait until the time is right to do the surgery, keeping in mind the post-op recovery.  Only an in-office examination can help determine if you absolutely need the muscle repaired or not.  If you do need the muscle repaired, ask your surgeon about using a muscle relaxant medication post-op.  This reduces the post-op muscle spasm which is the source of a lot of the discomfort and will help a lot. Even though the discomfort is controlled, you still should not lift heavy things for 6 weeks post-op and this is the stumbling block for many young mothers.  Have a consultation to find out your options.  And thank you and your husband for your husband's service. 

Tracy Pfeifer, MD

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Do you have to?

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You don't have to have a tummy tuck, but you sure are a good candidate and nothing else will make your tummy flatter.

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

Need a Tummy Tuck?

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Congrat's on the weight loss!


Based on your pictures, a tummy tuck is your best option for improvement. Nonsurgical treatments will result in a very minimal improvement and (in my opinion) would not be worth the money.

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