How Flat Will I Really Get? (photo)

First of all, I am 5' 5", 180 lbs, 37 y.o. Right now I can fit comfortably in a size 14. I have read on here that when you are lying flat on the ground, that is basically how flat you will be after your tummy tuck. I know ideally for my height, I should be at 130-140 lbs, but even when I was as skinny as a stick, I was never at that weight.I do currently have an active lifestyle and lift weights at the gym. However, I have not seen much progress even when I change my workout routines.

Doctor Answers 8

Abdominoplasty Questions

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


I think the photo you provided accurately represents your result from an abdominoplasty with the best result possible for you. Sometimes, despite our expertise, people do not maintain that muscle tightening, and there is some recurrent laxity that occurs during the healing phase.  I believe the factor that has the biggest contribution to loss of the abdominoplasty's flattening effect is abnormally high intra-abdominal fat distribution (what the other docs have been referring to).  This cannot be surgically removed, and will only be addressed with proper nutrition first.  Although exercise is important, there is nothing that trumps nutrition. 

Its a slow, lifelong process that shouldn't be measured in pounds.  Your body weight is actually irrelevant. From the point of view of health, it's everyone's goal to INCREASE muscle mass, and decrease fat.  If we keep that in mind that muscle is dense and fat is not, then as long as our body is visually changing for the better (appearance in mirror, pinching skin rolls, fit of clothes), it DOES NOT matter how much you weigh.

You appear to be a good candidate for liposuction and abdominoplasty, with the only question being your muscle protuberance.  Only a physical examination by an expert surgeon will tell you if you are going to get and maintain a great flattening effect.

Best of luck!

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Flat after a tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thanks for your pics. After a tummy you will improve a lot and your belly will be as flat as possible in the straight position. If you can lose some pounds is better for the results but it's not strictly necessary.

Manuel Diaz, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck and Flat abdomen

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hello and thanks for the photographs. A tummy tuck should flatten the lower abdo fold so you have no overhang unless you have your hips flexed. The operation will improve the bulge in the upper abdomen but the word is improve. You are right about weight  - this operation wont significantly change your weight. If you can realistically drop a little prior to any surgery then that will assist your result, but an unsustainable crash-diet is counter productive. I don't think you will get to the shape seen lying flat, but you will still be a lot more shapely. There is so much variation from person to person that it is hard to second guess your precise outcome. Your Plastic Surgeon should be able to show you a big range of results in girls of similar size and shape - that will probably be your best guide.

Best Wishes

Adrian Knox, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon

How flat with a tummy tuck?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You read right and your tummy flat on your back is what you can expect from a tummy tuck.  Seems like some doctors place their incisions high so make sure you understand everything about the procedure before you choose to proceed, including the revision policy of your surgeon as revisions are quite common to achieve the perfect result.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

How Flat Will I Really Get?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


            If there is a great deal of abdominal wall laxity without a great deal of intrabdominal fat, the tummy tuck will make a tremendous improvement in your body contour.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Predicting contour after a tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi, thank for your question. I know it is not the most specific answer, but how flat you will be after a tummy tuck is a very individual thing, as every person has their own pattern of where they have more fat - if a lot of your fat is inside your abdomen, a tummy tuck will improve your contour slightly due to the muscle tightening, but you may never be "concave" in your abdominal area. Alternatively, if you have a lot of fat under your skin, you may notice slightly more improvement, as a tummy tuck will "stretch" this out. Of note, tummy tuck does NOT significantly thin out the abdominal wall - if you have concerns about this area, you may need liposuction separately, as it is not safe to do at the same time as a tummy tuck.  I would depend on an honest answer from your plastic surgeon to set realistic goals for your surgery - I am not too sure the technique of lying flat on your back is too predictive of your post-operative results. Best of luck with your surgery!

Tracy Kayan, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

How Flat Will I Really Get

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The lying flat test works on some people who are close to their desirable weight. It doesn't work well on patients who are heavier, because the intra-abdominal contents cannot be compressed. When lying flat the abdominal contents spread out and don't cause the bulge you see standing, but this does not actually simulate a tummy tuck and associated muscle tightening. 

Your abdominal contour will be dramatically improved, but will not be as flat as it could be were you at a weight of 140. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

How flat will I be after tummy tuck?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hello Kim and thanks for your post and photos. Tummy tuck surgery with muscle tightening makes patients thinner. A limiting factor is the volume inside your abdominal cavity which cannot be altered surgically. Your muscle anatomy and your ability to heal the repair are other factors to take into account which could affect how flat you may turn out. The best person to guide you about expectations is your plastic surgeon who has examined you before performing a tummy tuck. One good reason to lose weight is to reduce the volume inside the abdominal cavity, which in turn will allow you to be thinner after tummy tuck. Best wishes, Dr. Aldo.

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 215 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.