How Flat Will my Stomach Get with a Tummy Tuck if my Upper Abdomen Has Intra-Abdominal Fat?

Doctor Answers 15

Intra-abdominal fat is generally not addressed in a tummy tuck. But it may still help you..

The fat inside the abdomen will take up relatively more space after the tightening of the abdominal wall, and you will feel full faster when you eat. This may function as an external "lap-band"

This may help with further weight loss after the surgery. Many of my patients have mentioned this.

This may contribute to the post-op result after several months, especially if you are motivated to lose weight.

If the fat excess is extreme I would also recommend losing weight before however.


Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

What happens with intra-abdominal fat after TT?

Great question!

However, the answer varies depending on multiple factors. Most important to consider are:

 technique used

 your age

 tightness of fascial repair

 amount of intra-abdominal fat present

After many years of performing TT w/mesh, I have written 2 papers on the subject I think you will find very interesting. 

Kind regards,

Dr. H

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 222 reviews

IntraAbdominal Fat and Tummy Tuck

The best way to predict how flat a tummy tuck can make your abdomen with intra-abdominal fat is to contract your ab muscles and this is a good reflection of how tight the tummy tuck will make you.  The amount of change reflected by the excess skin needs to be evaluated by your surgeon. 

You should see a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to get a formal opinion through and in-person consultation.

Best of luck,

Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Intra-abdominal fat works against tummy tuck

Your abdomen will never be flatter than when you are laying down, and if your abdomen is still prominent or convex, the intra-abdominal fat will work against a good result from surgery.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Talk to your plastic surgeon

If you have a large upper abdominal bulge, it may be fat that is under the skin , not intrabdominal. Talk to your plastic surgeon about it, without a qualified medical opinion, don't jump to any conclusion. We have ways of dealing with fatty deposits with abdominoplasties.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Predicting the result from a tummy tuck

is easily done by simply laying flat on your back and seeing how flat your tummy gets.  Intra-abdominal fat is not really addressed with tummy tucks and techniques that use internal corsets can result in compression forces that make your breathing more difficult.  I agree with Dr. Johnson that all you need to do is lay down and look.

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

How Flat Will my Stomach Get with a #TummyTuck...?

This can be a real challenge and I have had patients like you are describing and some of them really suffer from bloating and spasms when they get a really tight tummy tuck, especially after 50 years old....So not only is there a challenge in even getting it tight, there is the issue of maybe it shouldn't be so tight either!

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Intraabdominal Fat

This is a very good question about an issue that can have an important impact on the result of your surgery.  A tummy tuck only allows us access to the fat that lies between the skin and muscle.  Fat that is present below the muscle layer is not removed with an abdominoplasty and can only be reduced with weight loss.  Your result will depend, in part, on the amount of fat within your abdominal cavity.  Men tend to carry a proportionally higher amount of fat within the abdomen than women but this is a generalization and varies from patient to patient.  Your best bet is to have a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon and discuss this concern at that time.

Richard Kofkoff, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

How Flat Will my Stomach Get with a Tummy Tuck if my Upper Abdomen Has Intra-Abdominal Fat?

There is no way to surgically reduce intra-abdominal fat other than diet and exercise.  Excess thickness of intra-abdominal fat will restrict tightening of the fascia/muscle layer and of the overlying skin, and will seriously reduce the flattening of the tummy and the quality of your result.  Your best efforts to lose this weight prior to undergoing a tummy tuck would be rewarded.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Shape of tummy after tummytuck with larger amount of intraabdominal fat.

Some patients may not be the best candidate for a tummy tuck.  A protuberant, rounded abdominal shape that does not become flatter or become concave when lying down may be suggestive for excess intraabdominal fat.  These patients may not respond well to an abdominoplasty.  As always, evaluation by a board certified plastic surgeon is your best bet. 

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.