Like other plastic surgery procedures, the old-fashioned tummy tuck has evolved. In its simplest form it can still correct small bulges in the lower abdomen and muscles stretched out by childbirth. But now, when combined with extensive liposuction and thigh-lifting, the tummy tuck can completely restore a figure that has lost its shape and tone after multiple deliveries, C-sections, or other surgeries.

Fat deposits that have settled in the hip and thigh areas (“love handles” and “saddlebags”) often combine with lower abdominal fat to create the proverbial “spare tire.” Traditional abdominoplasty incisions stop well short of correcting these problems, and liposuction can help only up to a point.

The newer, more advanced, lateral tension abdominoplasty allows for extensive lifting of the thighs and buttocks, as well as total removal of love handles and the folds of tissue above them. The procedure restores a true waistline and tightens the abdominal muscles. The abdomen can then be sculpted with liposuction to give definition to the muscles.

Abdominoplasty not only restores (or creates) a curvaceous figure but makes it easier for people to lose weight and keep it off. Removal of fat tissue gives them an increased motivation to diet. Some patients report having gone down three to four dress sizes following a tummy tuck.

While not a substitute for liposuction in removing larger fat deposits, Endermologie , which stimulates the breakdown of fat cells, can very effective in enhancing the results.


The patient must practice diet control and maintain an exercise plan. Surgery can be performed once the patient is within ten to fifteen percent of the ideal weight for her height.


Recovery involves gradual mobilization over the two to three days following surgery. The patient must wait up to one month before returning to strenuous activities.

Mini TummyTuck

Mini tummy tucks only remove the skin below the belly button and under most circumstances do not surgically involve it. They involve shorter scars than full tummy tucks usually and heal much faster. Muscle tightening, when necessary, is restricted to the muscles of the lower abdomen.

Mini tummy tucks are normally combined with liposuction of the full abdomen for very effective body contouring, and work best when there is minimal skin excess above the belly button. The scar from the skin removal is discretely placed in the fold above the pubic area and hip bones; it can often be hidden under small bikini bathing suits or under garments. In a mini there is no belly button scar. Love handles can be removed with liposuction as the inner thighs all using the mini scar.

Many patients are good candidates for mini tummy tucks, a consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon will be the best way to determine if you are. If you are within 10 percent of your ideal weight with no distention of your upper abdomen, and don’t have multiple skin folds above your belly button you should inquire if this procedure works for you. Skilled plastic surgeons are doing more with less and the combination of mini tummy tuck and liposuction can have dramatic and permanent results.

These procedures are done as an outpatient usually in two hours or less, they require much less anesthesia than full tummy tucks, and are very safe. Most patients are active the next day recover at home, and return to work in about a week. A support garment (light weight) is worn for 1 to 2 weeks, after which exercise is allowed the results are visible very early.

What is the Procedure for a Tummy Tuck?