Do I Need a Tummy Tuck: Making the Decision

6 Signs That You May Need A Tummy Tuck

Do I need a tummy tuck? Many people have asked themselves this question before going under the knife. In general, if you have one or more of the following issues and you truly want a flat abdomen (not just a less fat version of what you currently have), a tummy tuck will likely be the necessary corrective procedure. Make up your mind by reviewing the troublesome abdominal problems on this list.

1
A Tummy Tuck for Loose Skin

Loose Abdominal Skin
Loose Abdominal Skin. Photo © Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

It's common for skin of the stomach to stretch during pregnancy or when you've gained a significant amount of weight. Unfortunately, oftentimes after you've had the baby or dropped the pounds, the abdominal skin just doesn't bounce back. Instead, it may appear to be permanently stretched out and resistant to change, no matter how many crunches you complete or how much weight lifting you do. If your skin simply refuses to go back to its original shape, it may mean it's time for a tummy tuck. 

Many women, however, mistakenly think that liposuction will solve their stomach woes. After all, the procedure can solve a great many body shape problems due to excess fat. Saddlebags, love handles, banana rolls, muffin tops, kissing thighs, buffalo humps, double chins, cankles, and much, much more can be removed with liposuction.

What liposuction cannot do, however, is fix body shape problems caused by skin that is loose or hanging. This distinction is often not clear to the patient looking for rejuvenation of her abdomen. People often come to a plastic surgeon thinking "just a little bit of lipo" will do the job. It can be quite jarring for a woman who thinks she only needs lipo to hear that the procedure will not be enough to get a flat abdomen. Instead, a tummy tuck is the more appropriate procedure.

How can you tell if you need a tummy tuck? Loose skin is just one sign. Review the other problems tummy tucks can improve below, but, remember, that only a plastic surgeon who evaluates your abdomen in person can make the final determination. Even then, you'd be wise to get a second or third opinion. A tummy tuck, like any medical procedure, comes with risks.

2
Abdominal Crease

Abdominal Crease
Abdominal Crease. Photo © Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

Do you have an abdominal crease? If so, a tummy tuck may help. An abdominal crease is simply a fold in the stomach skin that appears as a result of excess skin on either side of the fold.

3
Belly Overhang

Abdominal Overhang
Abdominal Overhang. Photo © Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

Belly overhang occurs when the skin of the abdomen hangs down. The skin may end up covering the top portion of a person’s underwear or pants. It is colloquially known as a muffin top. This look is unsightly enough that it drives many people to seek out a tummy tuck.

4
Frowning Belly Button

Frowning Belly Button
Frowning Belly Button. Photo © Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

A belly button normally takes on a circular or oval shape. If the belly button appears to be "frowning," it can be an indicator of loose or excess skin and fat. If you want to expose your stomach on the beach or while exercising and feel self-conscious about your navel, a tummy tuck may help.

5
Wrinkled Skin

Wrinkled Abdominal Skin
Wrinkled Abdominal Skin. Photo © Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

Skin that has been stretched out and has not returned to its original form may be crinkled or wrinkled in appearance.

6
Double-Bubble

Abdominal Double Bubble
Abdominal Double Bubble. Photo © Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

If you have two bulges of skin, usually one above the belly button and one below, this can signal that your skin is indeed loose and excessive. Consider a tuck to get rid of the extra skin.

Continue Reading