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Will a Tummy Tuck work for me?

Q:

I have had two children and I have lost all of my post pregnancy weight plus some. My stomach is not saggy or flabby. I am down to 110 pounds at 5'1'' tall. It is a flat stomach but when I bend over the skin seems to not have the elasticity that it used to. I also have some stretch marks on my stomach and sides that you can only see when I bend over. What is the best way to fix this, I really don't want a tummy tuck scar and I don't have excess fat for liposuction. Is there any way I can fix this?

A:

This is difficult to answer without an examination. From your description you may be a candidate for a mini-tummy tuck and tightening of the muscles.

A:

If your skin is normal and you have no fat excess, it's difficult that we can recommendate any procedure without a consultation. Please choose an ASAPS plastic surgeon close to your area and schedule an appointment.

A:

Your description seems to be one of normal skin laxity that everyone has when they bend at the waist.  True, your skin may not have the elasticity it had prior to you pregnancies, but if you don't have excess skin, no procedure could be recommended.  Stretch marks are, unfortunately, permanent in spite of claims made that various external treatments can eliminate them.  You best next step would be to contact a board certified plastic surgeon in your area and have an exam so the best option could be suggested to you.

A:

The type of concern that you have would require an in-person examination to see what options if any make sense for you. There are nonsurgical treatments such as radiofrequency but the effects are variable and never as significant as a surgical result.

Richard A. Baxter, M.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Mountlake Terrace, WA

A:

There are a variety of surgical procedures or combinations that can produce good results in patients with abdominal laxity, depending on multiple factors including their anatomy and degree of desired improvement: A mini tummy tuck, an umbilical float modified tummy tuck, a full abdominoplasty.  Each of these produces different degrees of improvement.

Following the advice of anyone who would presume to tell you what to do based on two dimensional photos without taking a full medical history, examining you, feeling and assessing your tissue tone, discussing your desired outcome and fully informing you about the pros and cons of each option would not be in your best interest. Find a plastic surgeon that you are comfortable with and one that you trust and listen to his or her advice. The surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

 

Robert Singer, MD  FACS

La Jolla, California

 

A:

From your description it sounds as though you do not need a tummy tuck.  It is normal to have some loose skin when you bend over and this laxity is necessary for you to be able to stand up straight.

Although it is a very controversial topic there are nonsurgical methods which can provide some benefit although the best nonsurgical skin tightening methods achieve only about 20% of what a tummy tuck will provide.  However the most important thing is that the person performing the nonsurgical method be very experienced and use maximum settings safely. The best today is Ulthera but it is crucial that the operator is experienced, uses effective settings and you will need multiple treatments and 6 months to see an effect. Also you need to be aware of potential complications.

There is one method that in my experience can improve stretch marks.  The method does not remove stretch marks but it will make red stretch marks turn white and it can make chronic white stretch marks smaller.  The following link describes this technique:http://drseckel.com/stretch-marks-removal/stretch-marks-removal-with-new-fractional-laser-resurfacing-treatment/

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