Is it possible to tuck loose stomach skin underneath breasts for a natural breast augmentation?

Hi, I saw on a tv show a woman lost a lot of weight and has a lot of loose skin on her stomach. The surgeon who performed on her lifted the excess skin and "tucked" it under her breasts to give her the ideal body. What is this procedure called and is it common? Thanks

Doctor Answers 6

Is it possible to tuck loose stomach skin underneath breasts for a natural breast augmentation?

Before anything you have to accept having a side to side scar in the upper abdomen / lower chest level.  Because this procedure, known as "reverse abdominoplasty" leaves that kind of scar in a very conspicuous area.  If you are ready to accept this, then your surgeon can decide whether what you are requesting is feasible.  It is not commonly done because most people shy away from the scar.  Best of luck.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Autolift

I am not a big fan of this because it leaves a big scar on the upper chest that often crosses the midline.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Auto augmentation

Yes this is possible but it can only really be performed for patients that have excess skin / fat at the level of the inframammary fold. A link to a typical patient is attached. Auto - augmentation is generally the terminology although it can be performed as part of a reverse abdominoplasty / upper body lift and I have listed it within mastopexy on my site.I suppose technically this case was a Mastopexy Auto - Augmentation procedure.The key for you is to find a surgeon who can offer you all the options.

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

There are options for a procedure to address loose skin on the upper abdomen, but not all of them are wise

This is an excellent question, but in my opinion only because it brings up an idea which is frequently asked about.  The removal of loose skin from the upper abdomen using an incision under the breasts is called a "reverse abdominoplasty" or "reverse tummy tuck."  Essentially in this case, instead of making an incision low on the abdomen/groin area and removing loose skin at the bottom, an incision is placed at the top of the abdomen, with an attempt to remove the skin there and hide the scars under the breasts.  I think the logic follows the fact that we routinely put scars under the breasts during breast lift or reduction procedures, so why not in this case?  There are two big reasons why I don't like this idea or this kind of logic:
1.  With breast lifts and reductions we make INDIVIDUAL scars under each breast, and we don't have to connect them across the midline.  With a reverse abdominoplasty we have to cross the midline with the incision in order to get everything to lay down smoothly and effectively remove all loose skin.  This is done with many procedures like cancer procedures, cardiac procedures, and sternal reconstruction procedures.  But the goals and indications are different there, and we can better accept the cosmetic deformity created by that across-the-midline scar.  In cosmetic cases like this I find that the benefit of doing this is FAR outweighed by the unacceptable scar that we see.  The scar is often thick, poorly positioned, and wide.  It is very conspicuous in revealing clothing or bathing suits, and to me this defeats the purpose of the operation.2.  The procedure flies in the face of physics and the mechanics of human tissue.  Instead of going with gravity, and pulling loose heavy skin downward, we are trying to pull loose tissue upward and anchor it, and in my opinion this just doesn't work reliably in most cases.  Tension on this scar most often pulls it downward under the breast crease, often back to the upper abdomen - and then what?  We have a wide, possibly thick, possibly discolored scar that is visible below the breasts, defeating our efforts at hiding the scar in the first place.  No, thanks.3.  Lastly, (I know I said two but I want to throw this one in too) it is nearly impossible to have the same access to the lower abdominal muscle wall to fix laxity and bulging there from the upper abdomen as it is to reach the upper abdomen from the lower.  While it is possible, I'll concede, it's not technically optimal.  If there were other benefits to doing it this way, I might say we should accept the technical challenge and do the operation like this.  But, I think I've shown above that this isn't the case, so why then make what should be a very straightforward and reliable operation more difficult only to likely achieve inferior results.  Again, no thanks.Thanks for asking your question though, as it was an excellent one, and it gives us the opportunity to discuss a frequently brought up topic.  In summary, this operation can be done, and I think it is infrequently.  Perhaps for certain individual people it might work, including bariatric patients who have lost significant amounts of weight, but in all of the years that I have been doing bariatric body contouring surgery, I just haven't found the patient I couldn't treat with more standard approaches and in whom I needed to resort to this type of procedure.  I hope I wasn't too hard on you!

Is it possible to tuck loose stomach skin underneath breasts for a natural breast augmentation?

Thank you for your question.  If someone has loose upper abdominal skin, a reverse tummy tuck can be performed to address this.  However, it results in a scar along the lower breast crease.  Be sure to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Reverse tummy tuck

  • A reverse tummy tuck can be done but it leaves the scars under the breast.  Because of tension on the closure a thickened scar is also possible. Most women have extra tissue in the lower abdomen, and are not ideal for this.  The best tummy tuck would hide the scar under the bikini line.  Although possible, for most patients augmenting the breast with upper abdomen fat may still not be the best choice.  
  • Dr Rodger Shortt is a plastic surgeon in Oakville.  He is the Director of the Cosmetic Surgery Training Program and an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University.  He strives to provide the best possible plastic surgery results and excellent care to patients from the GTA including Oakville, Toronto, Mississauga, Georgetown, Milton, Burlington and Hamilton.

Rodger Shortt, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 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.