Can I get a flat look with a tummy tuck with no muscle tightening? (photo)

Doctor Answers 27

Flat Belly

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You may not get a flat belly even with muscle tightening if you have too much intra-abdominal fat. A photo is insufficient to determine this, and you'll need an ABPS certified/ASAPS member surgeon to examine you. Regardless, why would anyone go through an abdominoplasty and omit what is likely going to improve your result, just because of the fear of additional pain? It doesn't make sense, especially given the long acting local anesthetics available that diminish that pain substantially. Best of luck!

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Tummy tuck

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You look like you need a tummy tuck and muscle tightening will likely give you a flatter stomach. Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tummy tuck

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Thank you for your photo. It is difficult to tell from your photo alone how flat you will be without muscle tightening. This requires a physical examination where the muscles are manually palpated when you are relaxed and when you contract them to see the difference that occurs as well as how wide the space is between your muscles. It is best to have an in-office examination to better demonstrate what to expect. It is standard for a tummy tuck to include the muscle tightening if you need it and you should feel comfortable enough to discuss this freely with your surgeon. Hope this helps!!

Johnson C. Lee, MD Plastic Surgery


Johnson C. Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

In person exam

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Thank you for reaching out and sharing photos. Correction of the muscles is important in getting the best results from a tummy tuck. An in person consultation will allow you to get an exam as well as learn more about the procedure and all of your options. Be sure to visit a few experienced board certified surgeons. Best of luck! Dr. Kachenmeister

Robert M. Kachenmeister, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Can I get a flat look with a tummy tuck with no muscle tightening?

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Thank you for your pictures and questions. My initial answer is no, you will not be happy with a tummy tuck without muscle tightening. In addition, I would caution you that with your current height and weight, you have a significant amount of intra-abdominal fat, or fat under the muscles and around the organs that is not addressed with a tummy tuck. So even with muscle tightening and a tummy tuck, you will not be left with a "flat" tummy. The only way to address this type of fat is overall body weight loss and try to get to a normal BMI prior to surgery. Make sure you discuss this in detail with your surgeon before surgery so that you have realistic expectations of your results.

Hope this helps!


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I cannot tell if you need muscle placation with a photo. A physical exam will be required to determine any gap between your muscles. Plication in a tummy tuck is not required but can lead to better results. If you have lost a lot of weight, you may not need the muscle repair but to get your best result, you may need additional skin resection in the midline, i.e. a Fleur-de-Lis abdominoplasty. Best to consult with a plastic surgeon to individualize your surgical plan. Best wishes. 

Erica Anderson, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Tummy tuck and lipo

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Hi, thanks for sharing your concern and photos with us!

Looking at your photos I might say that you´ll be a great candidate to get an entire back, waist and flanks liposuction, with BBL, and tummy tuck, this is because all the extra skin located in this areas plus your abdominal muscle needs to be repaired.

Before all this, of course, you need to get a complete medical evaluation and laboratory exams to check everything is fine, please also look for a board certified plastic surgeon that helps to get what you are looking for, remember that your safety, always, must be first.

Good luck and have a great day!


Jean Paul Giudicelli Saba, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Flat Abdomen

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Certainly you can get a flatter abdomen with a tummy tuck. However, there are limitations for each person. Flap is a very subjective word and may not accurately describe to a surgeon what you are thinking in your mind. You have to be realistic in that not everyone will have a completely flat stomach because all of our anatomy is so different from person to person. Losing maximal weight prior to a tummy tuck will help a lot. We are only able to tighten the muscles so much with a tummy tuck and despite this some patients still have some bulging of the muscles that may not make them completely flat. I would seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who is well respected and see what they say about your body type. Best of luck.


Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Can I get a flat look with a tummy tuck with no muscle tightening?

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If your abdomen was relatively flat (which it is not) with lax skin, then not needing muscle tightening could be a possibility. However, if the muscles are separated, which I suspect that they are in you, muscle tightening would be mandatory. A thorough consultation would be necessary to make this determination. From your photos, you appear to be an excellent candidate for a tummy tuck.

You should seek a consultation with a reputable board certified plastic surgeon who can examine you and answer your questions including about muscle repair.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Can I get a flat look with a tummy tuck with no muscle tightening?

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If your muscles are separated and fascia stretched (diastasis recti), then you will not have as flat a tummy without muscle tightening as you would have if your muscles and fascia are tightened. Whether this is needed can be predicted by a preoperative examination. Although muscle tightening adds more soreness to the procedure, with the use of Exparel (my preference) or a "pain pump" to give more relief during the first few days this can be well controlled. 

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.