Tummy Tuck Guidelines for Massive Weight Loss


Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a highly customized procedure; nonetheless, the primary goal remains the same: to reshape and tighten the abdominal area, or if appropriate most or even the entire circumference of the waist, following massive weight loss or pregnancy.

Tummy tuck for massive weight loss patients poses some unique challenges due to the “overwhelming” amount of redundant skin that affects the lateral and central part of the abdomen.  For this reason they typically require an incision that is longer than the standard or hip-to-hip technique.

For a good number of MWL patients, their tummy tuck scar in the lower abdomen is positioned slightly higher than ideal.  Nevertheless, a good surgeon will make every effort to place it in a way that is concealed by their underwear or pants.

While it may always appear ideal to position the tummy tuck scar very low to the point that it touches the “pubic line,” for MWL patients this approach may lead to less than optimal contour due to the significant amount of their redundant skin in both the upper and lower abdomen.

To make sure that the upper abdominal is sufficiently addressed as well—and of course to produce a more natural result—the tradeoff is to position the scar slightly higher than ideal.  For most MWL patients who are reminded of this  “compromise,” they are most likely to be happy with the results nonetheless.

A good number of MWL patients also need some form of muscle repair in which internal sutures are used to tighten the loose abdominal muscle in the midline.  While this technique is often reserved for women who had given birth, this is also helpful in post-obese patients, including men.

With muscle repair, we can eliminate if not reduce the barrel-shaped appearance of the tummy.

To further produce a more toned and more natural contour, MWL patients may also require high lateral tension tummy tuck.  In essence, it places extra tension on the sides while the central aspect of the abdomen receives just a little amount.

By minimizing the tension on the central abdomen, we create a smooth and natural transition between the lower abdominal area and the mons.
Article by
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon