High Tension Tummy Tuck Vs. Regular Tummy Tuck

What's the difference between a high tension tummy tuck and a regular one?

Doctor Answers 10

High LATERAL Tesnsion Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

The High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty (HLTA) (or Tummy Tuck) was popularized by the late Dr. Ted Lockwood, who was among the first post-bariatric plastic surgeons and was the first to describe the importance of the SFS,Superficial Fascial System, in body contouring.

The major difference between a HLTA and other forms of a "full" tummy tuck is the way the wound is closed, the amount of tension on the wound and most importantly the DIRECTION of the tension. By directing the flattening of the tummy low and to the sides by pulling on the SFS layer of the thighs not only do we get flat tummies but we also lift AND narrow the thighs as well often smoothing cellulite dimpling.

Dr. P. Aldea

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

High Tension Abdominoplasty vs Regular Tummy Tuck in Los Angeles

High Tension Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty as is performed in Los Angeles & Beverly Hills combines several procedures to deliver amazing results. It lifts up and tightens the thighs and buttocks, while narrowing the waist line, and tightening the abdominal wall. A regular tummy tuck does not usually lift up the thighs and does not give a curvaceous figure.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Abdominoplasty options

You ask a question that is a good one but might indicate a thinking that a surgical procedure will produce a certain result so that you choose a technique. I would suggest that the technique should serve the anatomy and your desired result. It doesn't matter what you call an operation but the steps involved should produce the result you want. You shouldn't try to fit your situation into a predetermined operation. In fact, I don't even know what a "regular" abdominoplasty might be. Each abdominoplasty is customized to each patient.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

High Lateral Tension Tummy Tuck Improves Thigh Skin

Hi there-

At least as performed in our Orlando Plastic Surgery and Skin Care Center, the High Lateral Tension Tummy Tuck allows improvement in the appearance and excess of skin on the anterior thighs in addition to the improvement seen in more traditional tummy tuck techniques.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

High tension tummy tuck versus regular tummy tuck

High tension tummy tuck removes the most amount of skin from the areas surrounding either side of the tummy tuck (near the hips) rather than in the central portion. The theory is to place minimal tension on the center of the incision and move it towards the outer portions of the incision.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Difference in tummy tuck and high lateral tension tummy tuck

The high lateral tension tummy tuck was one of the first procedures developed to address skin excess after significant weight loss or pregnancy using a certain layer in the deeper tissue to support and maintain the repair. The procedure includes tummy tuck in the front of the abdomen, and transfers the lift over the hip to the side of the thigh to improve contour in this area, the high 'lateral' tension to suspend and improve hip and thigh. You can simulate the effect by grabbing the skin on the side of your waist and pull up like putting on a pair of pants. Many surgeons incorporate some of the concepts of this procedure into tummy tuck generally today, and we do not hear reference to high lateral tension anymore. Make certain your surgeon knows what your concerns and expectations are, so they can be addressed and incorporated into your tummy tuck procedure.

Best of luck,


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

High Lateral Tummy Tuck vs Regular Tummy Tuck

The high lateral tension tummy tuck was developed by Dr. Ted Lockwood to address a weakness in the results of a traditional tummy tuck. With the traditional tummy tuck, the central 1/3 of the tummy tuck incision is closed under maximal tension but each lateral third is closed with decreasing tension out to the lateral margins which are closed under no tension.

Thus the central 1/3 of the tummy gets maximum improvement but the lateral thirds get much less improvement because of the decreasing tension of the closure. The high lateral tension version closes the entire abdominal incision under maximal tension, thus giving maximal improvement to the whole tummy.

The downside of this version is a slightly longer scar over the lateral aspects of the tummy and some extra time in the operating room. I feel, for most women, the trade-offs are well worth the improvement in tightening the lateral portions of the tummy. However, this should be discussed in detail (with drawings) with your surgeon before choosing either version of this procedure.

Robert C. Bledsoe, Jr., MD
Grapevine Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Consider Progressive Tension tummy tuck

There is another option you should consider, called the Progressive Tension Suture method. This technique also involves putting the tension on the deeper fascia layer, but distributes it over the whole area for better shaping and faster recovery. The size of the scar is the same as the standard tummy tuck, shorter than the high lateral tension.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

High Tension vs Regular Tummy Tuck

Ted Lockwood who died a few years ago and practiced in Kansas City, KS devised the high lateral tension TT primarily for women who had excess skin not just in the abdomen but also in the lateral thigh area. This incision can then be carried all around the waist for a total body lift which is usually performed after massive weight loss. A "regular TT" is usually indicated in most patients.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Regular tummy tuck vs HLT tummy tuck

With all due respect to Dr. Lockwood, who was a pioneer in body lifting after massive weight loss, I have personally not adopted the HLT tummy tuck into my practice. Please check my photos and you will see what can be accomplished with a regular TT. Thanks...

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