Can Breast Lift Tuck Upper Abdomen Loose Skin?

I had a Mini tummy tuck but should have had a full tummy tuck. Now, however, I'm afraid I have to little skin to do a full tuck and am left with saggy upper abdomen skin. My question is, would a breast lift actually help the saggy upper tummy skin? Can a surgeon just pull the skin up and cut off leaving a scar under the breast if necessary?

Doctor Answers 18

Tummy tuck through breast lift incisions- pros and cons

As you have gathered from the posts by many fine surgeons, a complete tummy tuck is usually not advisable through breast lift incisions. It is simply too weak an operation to accomplish large removal of extra skin when performed responsibly, and too brutal a procedure with unacceptable scarring when it is performed completely across the upper abdomen.

The question arises, however, in fit women with just a little laxity of the upper abdomen. Should they have a full tummy tuck incision when they don't have a lot of extra skin?

In our practice, many fit moms have a hybrid tummy tuck (TM). This is a short incision tummy tuck with full tightening of the fascia, the deep layer (lining of the muscles). A small amount of lower abdominal skin is removed. It is different from a mini tuck in that the upper abdominal "muscles" (actually fascia) are tightened, rather than just the lower abdominal fascia. It requires special instrumentation, expertise and often endoscopic equipment to perform.

For those women undergoing a hybrid tummy tuck, upper abdominal skin looseness is not addressed. Since they generally have very little extra skin anyway, the limited reverse abdominoplasty may be the perfect solution to remove a little bit more skin while not incurring full tummy tuck incisions. It is an obvious choice for women undergoing a hybrid tummy tuck and a breast lift.

Important to realize is this procedure is best for fit moms only, who have relatively little excess skin.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Stay away from the reverse tummy tuck

The reverse tummy tuck is an interesting concept and is tempting to do but the scar can come back down from the breast onto the upper abdomen and the surgery can destroy the inframammary crease which is the natural landmark that gives definition to the bottom of the breast. It would be best to see a plastic surgeron and ask if you could do a full tummy tuck. Your previous doctor might not have been a real plastic surgeon as many non-plastic surgeons are out there doing mini tummy tucks.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Tummy Tuck not Breast Lift improves upper abdominal area

You are describing a reverse tummy tuck procedure. In general this is not the way to go for a host of reasons.
A standard tummy tuck procedure will redrape your redundant skin both the upper and lower abdominal areas. 

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Breast Lifts Are Intended To Tighten Breast Skin Only

A breast lift is intended to tighten the skin of the breast creating a more youthful and desirable shape.It will not lift the skin of the upper abdomen.

Many women pursue breast lift surgery after their childbearing years are over.In addition to loose skin of the breasts, there is often loose skin of the abdominal wall.It is quite common for women to undergo a “mommy makeover” at that time.During that time, a tummy tuck can be done in conjunction with the breast lift surgery.It is more convenient and economical for women to undergo this type of combination than it is to separate them into two separate procedures.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Upper abdominal skin

There is a procedure called a reverse tummy tuck but I am not a big fan of the scars or the risks associated with the procedure.   Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for a formal examination to learn about your options.

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Breast Lift or Reverse Tummy Tuck

 A Breast Lift is not the answer for fullness in the upper abdomen. Not infrequently I see patients in whom there is as much skin laxity in the upper abdomen as there is in the lower abdomen. In fact, some patients after pregnancy will have fairly 'toned' lower abdominal skin, but very lax and redundant upper abdominal skin. In these situations, the removal of skin in a vertically downward direction ( a conventional tummy tuck) is not adequate to correct the upper abdominal skin laxity. Such patients are often very good candidates for what I refer to as a 'reverse upper' abdominoplasty.

This surgical technique involves removing excess abdominal skin vertically upwards using incisions hidden in the inframammary folds underneath the breasts. In general, this operation is best reserved for patients with fairly full or at least slightly droopy breasts, which serve to nicely conceal the inframammary folds. An important part of this procedure is the placement of permanent lifting sutures that elevate the lower skin edge, following removal of excess skin, to the upper skin edge in the inframammary fold. These permanent sutures ensure that the resulting surgical scar remains hidden within the inframammary fold.

A great advantage of this procedure is that the patient's original belly button is preserved, and thus there are absolutely no surgical scars that are visible when wearing a two-piece swimsuit or typical underwear (bra and panties). Additionally, because this procedure generally requires less skin undermining and thus less interruption of the normal blood supply of abdominal skin, more thorough liposuction of the waist and back can be performed at the same time.

Many patients having this surgery, therefore, undergo a reverse upper abdominoplasty combined with a lower 'mini' abdominoplasty, tightening of the entire length of the rectus abdominis muscles, and liposuction of the circumferential trunk - and keep the belly button with which they were born. I usually refer to this operation as 'reverse upper / modified lower abdominoplasty'.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Reverse Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question. I am sorry to hear about your  negative experience with the tummy tuck surgery.

In my opinion, the mini tummy talk is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. Similarly, the “reverse” tummy tuck is also an operation that is very rarely indicated and effective.

Please make sure you seek consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons who will give you good advice.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Breast Lift to tuck loose upper abdomen skin


You are better off having the tummy tuck re-done as breast lift surgery does not take in the skin in the upper abdomen as well as a good tummy tuck does.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Reverse Tummy Tuck

What you are inquiring about is a reverse tummy tuck or some variation of it. It is not advisable and would not give you the results that you would want. You should go see a board certified plastic surgeon to see if a full tummy tuck is possible. It still may be so I would not be discouraged.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Gravity will will

Your question is asked often. The answer is almost always the same. Your breast will not support the abdominal skin. The force of gravity will not only pull the skin down "south" again, the scars will get wide and unsightly. Good Luck to you regarding this problem. Get to a board certified plastic surgeon for an opinion

Rodger Wade Pielet, MD (in memoriam)
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.