1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Reverse Tummy Tuck

By

Updated August 05, 2012

Reverse Tummy Tuck

Yellow line indicates incision for reverse tummy tuck.

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

What is a reverse tummy tuck?:

A reverse tummy tuck, also known as a reverse abdominoplasty, is an aesthetic surgical procedure that removes excess, loose skin from the upper abdomen. The traditional tummy tuck addresses the issue of loose skin of both the upper and lower abdomen.

Where are the incisions for a reverse tummy tuck located?:

The incisions for a reverse tummy are located under the breasts at the breast fold or breast crease instead of at the lower end of the abdomen as with a traditional tummy tuck. Sometimes the incisions meet at the middle making one continuous horizontal incision where a bra would go. Other times a space is left in the middle to interrupt the two incisions. If the incision is joined at the midline of your body, low cut clothing or certain swimsuit tops may expose your incision.

Similar to a mini tummy tuck, but different from a traditional tummy tuck, there is no incision around the belly button with a reverse tummy tuck.

Who is an ideal candidate for a reverse tummy tuck?:

A reverse tummy tuck focuses on removing excess, loose skin above the belly button or navel. Therefore a woman with a tight lower tummy but loose skin of the upper tummy would be an ideal candidate for this surgery. Of course an ideal candidate is also in good health, is a non-smoker, and has realistic expectations.

How common is the reverse tummy tuck procedure?:

The reverse tummy tuck procedure is not performed very often. The primary reason is that most women who want a tummy tuck have loose skin both below and above the belly button. To address these problem areas, a traditional tummy tuck is done. Additionally, some women do not like the incision required for a reverse tummy tuck.

How do I know if I need a reverse, a mini, or a traditional tummy tuck?:

Stand in front of a mirror and bend forward at the waist. Now focus on your belly button. What do you see?
  • Is the skin below your belly button loose and hanging toward the floor but the skin above your belly is in good shape? Then you may need a mini abdominoplasty. Or…
  • Is the skin below and above your belly button loose and hanging downward? Then you may need a traditional abdominoplasty. Or…
  • Is the skin below your belly button nice and smooth, but it’s the skin above your belly button that is loose and hanging downwards? Then you may be a candidate for a reverse tummy tuck.
Ultimately, an evaluation by a plastic surgeon is needed.

Is plication needed or even possible with a reverse tummy tuck?:

Pregnancy or weight gain can stretch apart the abdominal (rectus) muscles. This is known as diastais recti or rectus diastasis. Plication refers to closing the gap or diastasis between the abdominal muscles. This is done by sewing the muscles together with suture, which makes an internal corset. If only your upper abdomen is affected, then plication can be done with a reverse tummy tuck.

How much does a reverse tummy tuck cost?:

The price of a reverse tummy tuck is comparable to the price of a traditional tummy tuck in the area in which you live.

What are the possible complications of a reverse tummy tuck?:

The complications for a reverse tummy tuck are similar to those for a traditional tummy tuck. Complications don’t necessarily mean something adverse will happen, just that it could happen. Some possible complications include infection, hematoma, seroma, bleeding, bruising, poor scarring, asymmetry, need for revision surgery, dissatisfaction with the final appearance, etc.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.