How Do You Determine What is a Good Tummy Tuck?

Hello, I am very interested in the Lockwood procedure and delighted to find publications discussing this procedure often detailing the aesthetic markers surgeons in achieving the hour glass shape. I've even watched videos of patients moving and the tummy appears looks as though they were born with a beautiful abdomen. Can you elaborate further what I should look for when viewing photos/videos at consults? 

Doctor Answers 6

What is a Good Tummy Tuck?

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An excellent tummy tuck result is one that restores a normal female silhouette both in the front and side view and that corrects muscle widening (diastasis) after pregnancy. An ideal tummy tuck has the long scar hidden in the bikini area and has restoration of the umbilicus in normal position and shape.  These are the hallmarks of an excellent abdominoplasty.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Two components to a good tummy tuck

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There are two components to a good tummy tuck.  First, is a tight skin envelope achieved by skin and fat resection through a low incision.  Second, is an hourglass figure achieved by fascia (not muscle) plication and mesh reinforcement.  The permanent wall tightening results in weight loss and maintains the reduced weight.

Best of Luck,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

A Good Tummy Tuck Is In Eyes Of Beholder

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A good tummy tuck is one with which both the patient and the surgeon are happy.  Occasionally a patient will be thrilled with a result that the surgeon is not particularly happy with and vice versa.  The Lockwood procedure is a bit more than a standard TT and not all patients are candidates.  Consult with a surgeon who is experienced with this op who can discuss benefits and rsiks with you.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

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A Good Tummy Tuck

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The simple answer is that a good tummy tuck will make both the surgeon and the patient happy. A surgeon will judge the result based on his/her assessment of the technical skill and artistic talent displayed by the work while a patient will judge against their mental image of what they were envisioning and how the result fits with his/her lifestyle.

How Do You Determine What is a Good Tummy Tuck

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If the patient likes the results, that is a good indicator, but there are characteristics that we as surgeons look for. We like a smooth and very low scar with nice even contours over the abdominal surface and a youthful characteristic. You mention the hour glass look, but that is not posssible to achieve in many patients and depends to a great deal on how much room they have for a waist. If you feel the top of your pelvis straight down from the middle of the armpit and then feel the lowest rib in that same line you can see how much of a gap there is. That is the waist. If the gap is small then there cannot possibly be an hourglass look. The Lockwood procedure is one of the early techniques to help pull the waist in, but other techniques have been developed over the years that many of us prefer. Just find a surgeon you are comfortable with who can show you photos you like and who will tell you realistically what you can and CANNOT get out of the surgery.

Abdominoplasty results

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Two comments: You know it when you see it AND You take your patient as you find her, meaning that if a patient has poor skin tone and intrinsic muscle weakness, she is less likely to achieve a superb result, while obtaining marked improvement, than a patient who doesn't have such issues. I absolutely agree with Dr. Whitt that as plastic surgeons, we are more critical of our own results than the lay public because we understand what is achievable and what is beyond the realm of likelihood.

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.