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Will a skin tuck make a difference?

Q:

I had a healthy 10 lb girl 3 years ago. She came through c-section because she was too big. I now have a diastasis recti of about 2 fingers and a half and a hernia at the level of my belly button despite practicing pilates, cardio, swimming and tennis. I am in great shape except that my belly always looks swollen and the skin is a bit saggy especially when I sit. I would like to know if repairing the diastasis and having a mini skin tuck would be enough, or do I have to have another procedure?

A:

Hi Valerie,

The answer is that yes a repair if the diastasis recti will help you a lot. The part relating to whether a mini tuck or a full abdominoplasty will be necessary will depend on the amount of skin you have especially in the supra-umbilical area. This can be easily assessed during a physical exam done at the bedside. Many times patients would think that there is not really much to remove and you will be surprised that in those patients all the skin from the umbilicus and down will be removed. I would urge you to consult with an ASAPS member to find the ideal solution for your problem because you want to do this procedure right from the first time.

Best,

Shady Hayek, M.D.

Shady Hayek, M.D.
Beirut

A:

without an examination it is difficult to answer your question. I would suggest you get a consultation from a board certified plastic surgeon who performs tummy procedures regularly. If not totally comfortable with the recommendation, get a second opinion consultation.

A:

Without an examination and measuring your excess skin, it is impossible to tell whether you need a full tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck.  Generally just repairing a diastasis will not be enough to keep you from looking swollen and your skin from being saggy.  I suggest you see a plastic surgeon member of this organization for an evaluation.

A:

A mini or modified tummy tuck, with or without liposuction, as well as one of a variety of full tummy tucks that exist can produce a good cosmetic appearance in the appropriate patient. Following the advice from a surgeon or any other website who proposes to tell you what to do without examining you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not be in your best interest. I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

A modified abdominoplasty, which may include the diastasis repair, with a floating of the umbilicus can produce a very nice significant result in many patients. The result depends on the extent of looseness of your tissue above the umbilicus (belly button), since there is a limitation of how much tightness you can get with that procedure and still maintain a normal appearing position of the navel.

If you plan on having additional pregnancies, I would wait until you are finished having children before repairing the muscle diastasis.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

A:

Due to the expansion of a such big pregnancy you will need an Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck. The diastasis will be corrected, and the skin redundancy will be removed.

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