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Tummy Troubles… What are your options?

Are you unhappy with your ‘jelly belly’ and want to beat the bulge? We discuss both your surgical and non surgical options when it comes to achieving a flatter stomach area.

If you’re unhappy with your stomach area you’re not alone. Last year
saw an overall increase in Tummy Tuck and Liposuction surgeries being requested. It was not only females requesting to surgically enhance their stomach area, but the Tummy Tuck procedure was the most requested male cosmetic surgery in 2016.

With so many diets, fitness regimes and non surgical treatments on the market all promising to give you a washboard stomach, we discuss if they will actually work and what your surgical options are when they don’t!

Could your tummy bloat be down to your lifestyle choices?

Bad diet and lack of exercise can have an impact on the size of your
stomach, but it can also be determined by outside factors such as you may also have gained excessive weight in that area and although you have done the hard work to lose it, you’re be left with sagging excess skin. Aging and collagen loss of the skin can also leave your once taught stomach area appearing fine and crepey.

If you have had abdominal surgery such as a caesarean you may have had damage caused to your internal stomach muscles meaning that no amount of diet and exercise will help in achieving the toned stomach that you desire.

What are your surgical options when it comes to achieving a flatter stomach area?

This will depend on the individual’s specific needs that can only be
determined by a qualified cosmetic surgeon who will recommend depending on your individual needs the procedure that will give you the best result.

The two most popular procedures use to achieve the flatter stomach that you desire are Tummy Tuck and Liposuction. They are very different procedures, but can achieve similar results depending on the patient’s specifications.

Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck Surgery usually requires carefully positioned incisions to allow the removal of excess skin and fat deposits, in order to minimise scarring and provide you with as tight and flat a stomach as possible. The scar is discreetly placed as low as possible below your hip line, and there will also be a fine scar around the rim of the belly button. Although the scar is visible within the first few weeks, it fades quickly so that it’s hardly visible. Due to the excess skin being removed, you are often left with a totally flat stomach.


Liposuction is a procedure in which the stubborn fat areas are literally sucked out of your body. If you have attempted to shift the excess weight through diet and exercise or there is still an area of fat that just won’t budge (for example, just below your belly button) then liposuction could be the right procedure for you. It is important that your plastic surgeon assesses your suitability for it because if you have very little skin tone and your skin has lost its elasticity, then aggressive liposuction to the area can leave you with unsightly loose skin or appearance of cellulite. Liposuction can be performed in conjunction with skin tightening of the tummy area to eliminate sagging excess skin.

Watch our video by Aesthetic Fellow Plastic Surgeon Rohit Seth, for more information on all the surgical procedures of the stomach area that Bella Vou can offer.

Can diet and exercise help to eliminate the tummy bulge?

This depends on what is causing your stomach issues. If it is down to diet and lack of exercise, then by limiting your intake of certain foods that are the main culprits when it comes to bloating and exercising more regularly you could see a reduction in boating without having to go under the surgeon’s knife. There are also medical conditions to consider that maybe causing underline issues and we would always recommend that you visit your General Practitioner if you have any concerns.


If you are attempting to achieve a flatter stomach through exercise you will need to focus on fat burning cardio as well as muscle toning exercises, but if you have excessive excess skin or your stomach has been damaged through abdominal surgery it is unlikely that this alone will give you the outcome you desire. We would recommend you talk with your surgeon on what would be realistic in terms of your results through surgery.

Bloat inducing foods to avoid in vast amounts

Beans, lentils and pulses

Different kinds of beans in bowls

We all know the rhyme about baked beans and it didn’t come about for no reason. These little pods are packed with protein, but they also contain sugars and fibres that are not easily absorbed by our bodies. This means that when they reach the large intestine, your gut bacteria take the lead and feast on them. The process often leads to gas and can cause your tummy to balloon, not to mention cause embarrassment when the gas they create needs to escape!

Broccoli, cabbage and kale

Fresh cabbag, fruit and veg

These are classed as cruciferous vegetables, and contain raffinose. This a sugar that remains undigested until bacteria in your gut ferment it, which produces gas and, in turn, can make you bloat. They are also high in fibre and vitamins, so we recommend eating them in moderation as opposed to illuminating them from your diet.

Wheat and dairy

With more people showing symptoms of intolerances towards these food groups every year it’s no surprise that they make the list when it comes to stomach bloating culprits. If you’re concerned that you may be suffering from a food intolerance, we would recommend that you discuss this with a nutritionist or your general practitioner. Cutting out food groups without guidance from a professional may result in you becoming nutrient deficient.

Your bloating may be caused by an underline medical condition

There are a number of medical issues that can cause your tummy to bloat so we do not advise that you ignore them. Serious conditions such as cancer can sometimes present as stomach bloating alongside other symptoms, so we would strongly advise that you see your general practitioner to discuss your concerns if you develop consistent, painful or ‘out of character’ bloating.

Medically reviewed by

Amir Nakhdjevan Profile

Amir Nakhdjevani

Last Updated: September 29, 2017

Published On: September 29, 2017

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