Chicago Plastic Surgery Tummy Tuck – How is a Tummy Tuck Performed?


The hallmark of a cosmetic surgery procedure well executed is the absence of an operated look. When it comes to abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), it is the umbilicus in the middle of the abdomen that attracts attention. Every effort should be made to restore it to a youthful aesthetic appearance.

The aesthetic and youthful umbilicus:

1. Is small.

2. Has a vertical orientation.

3. Has a superior hood that allows for placement of jewelry, if desired.

4. Rests in a peri-umbilical depression to provide proper contour to the abdomen.

5. Is devoid of protrusion (and hernias).

6. Allows for proper hygiene.

Most of the time, the surgeon is not able to do a proper abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) without an incision around the umbilicus, so that as the skin is pulled down, the umbilicus is allowed to remain in its anatomic position and is not pulled towards the pubic line. Most pictures showing abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) procedures show a circular scar. The problem with a circular scar is that it tends to contract and frequently remains visible. Over the years, we have relied on sound plastic surgery principles to avoid this problem. We do not do a circular scar.

Combining these aesthetic goals and plastic surgery principles, we perform the procedure in the following way:

1. The marking of the skin around the umbilicus is two-inverted V-shaped lines connected at the tip. After the incision is made, the umbilical stalk is freed from the surrounding skin and fat all the way to the abdominal wall.

2. An incision is made in the suprapubic area and the skin (without the umbilicus) is elevated and separated from the abdominal muscle all the way to the lower ribcage.

3. Tightening of the abdominal wall muscles is performed.

4. Excess skin is resected.

5. The new location of the umbilicus on the pulled skin is determined.

6. An inverted V incision is made and the umbilicus with its stalk is delivered through that incision.

Article by
Chicago Plastic Surgeon