Why Won’t Situps Get Rid Of My Loose Stomach Skin?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I need to remove excess skin from below my belly button and lift my breasts. I breast fed all four of my children and had a set of twins that stretched my stomach out tremendously. I have tried situps but they won’t take care of this loose skin.

A: Multiple pregnancies, particularly twins, push the skin past its elastic deformation limit. In  essence, it snaps the rubber band nature of the abdominal skin forever relegating many women to loose and often floppy skin that is seen the most between the belly button and the pubic areas. The surest sign of permanently lost skin elasticity are stretch marks which represent incomplete tears in the skin. This is like making little snips partially through a rubber band, it weakens or eliminates its elasticity. You are correct in stating that exercise is not going to tighten skin, nor will weight loss. This is a surgical problem that will require skin excision and underlying muscle tightening, a perfect description for a tummy tuck. Whether your tummy tuck would be a partial (mini-) or a full tummy tuck I can not say without seeing pictures of you. But my guess would be that after four children, a full tummy tuck with maximal skin removal is likely in order.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana