Long-term Results of Tummy Tuck?

What are the results of a tummy tuck after 10 years of "real living"? I've been on some different message boards to only hear horror stories of patients having upper abdominal protrusion. What is the reason for this? Do you need to have an unrealistic diet to maintain the results of a tummy tuck? PLEASE help us all who are looking for real answers. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 10

Long term results from tummy tuck

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A well planned abdominoplasty will last for a long time, again a normal diet is needed, if the patient gains excessive weight, fat will grow in the body, including the fat left in the abdomen.

Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Tummy Tuck results should be permanent

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The long term results of tummy tuck depend somewhat on what procedure is done and on what you as the patient bring to the table. Every body is different, some have strong, resilient tissues and some are made of softer stuff. In general though, if you maintain a healthy active lifestyle and a good body weight, and do not have another pregnancy, you should never stretch out to the position you were in prior to the tummy tuck.

But remember, surgery does not cast you in cement, the aging process continues, our tissues get older and gravity works against us. Things will loosen up over time, but that is a natural part of aging. I would say that without abdominoplasty for the correction of stretched out muscles, that aging process can be faster and more exaggerated.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Tummy Tuck Long-Term Results

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The foundation of a full tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty) is a well-performed muscle repair. Consider for a second the amount of stretch each pregnancy puts on the average woman and ask yourself how could such a stretch rebound to a pre-pregnancy body. The truth - it does not. Women become more skillful at "sucking it in" but the muscles remain loose until they are tightened surgically.

The reason some women have an "upper abdominal protrusion" is that instead of having a full tummy tuck they either talked their Plastic surgeons OR they were talked by their Plastic surgeons into having a Mini-Tummy Tuck (in which the loose lower tummy WAS tightened but the above the belly button portion was not. The result - an unsightly pooching of the upper abdomen).

As long as you maintain your surgery weight or better, a tummy Tuck result will lasts a long time. In my opinion, it is the longest lasting cosmetic surgery operation.

To read everything you need to know about TUMMY TUCK, follow the comprehensive link below -

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck Results

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Thank you for your question. 

Abdominoplasty will enhance your body contour by making your abdomen firmer and flatter. You may find that you feel more comfortable in your clothing and are more confident about your appearance.

The incisions from the procedure will heal and fade over time. It is important to realize, however, that the incision lines will be permanently visible. In some instances, they will eventually be only faint lines. Certain individuals may have incision lines that are more noticeable. Fortunately, the incisions for your abdominoplasty are usually in locations concealed by most bathing suits and undergarments.

Unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight or become pregnant, your abdomen should remain firmer and flatter for many years. However, gravity and the effects of aging will eventually take their toll. If, after a period of years, you again become dissatisfied with the appearance of your abdomen, you may choose to undergo a second procedure to restore a more youthful body contour. Best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 

Double Board Certified 

Plastic Surgeon 

Hoffman Estates 




Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Long term result after tummy tuck

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A well performed tummy tuck can last decades as long as there was no drastic weight changes. The upper abdominal protrusion can be due to improper technique with failure to tighten (imbricate) the upper fascia layer high enough just below the breast bone, or due to rupture of those permanent sutures causing a recurrent bulge (diastasis).

It can also be due to residual fatty tissue that should have been liposuctioned at the same time. It is difficult to tell without physical examination, but in general most tummy tucks will last a very long time in patients with a reasonable diet and lifestyle.

Tummy tuck is a long term solution to a lax abdomen

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There are some cosmetic procedures which address aging, which is a progression through life, and may need repeating. Tummy tuck, however is a long term solution to abdominal laxity from weight loss and gain, or pregnancy. For those who maintain a healthy weight and have no further pregnancies, tummy tuck is a permanent repair which will not suffer over time. 'Real living' should not ruin your tummy tuck result. To avoid horror stories, stick with an experienced surgeon in your area certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Best of luck.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Tummy Tuck results are long lasting

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Tummy tuck, unlike breast and face lift, generally gives patients a long-term correction of excess skin and muscle laxity. Gravity and the natural aging process does not seem to detract from tummy tuck, compared to other procdures. But like ANY plastic surgery, tummy tuck is NOT a good substitute for weight loss, and your long term results will not be the best if you gain too much weight. Upper abdominal fullness that happens after TT has several causes, but excess fat from weight gain is the most common cause.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 276 reviews

Tummy tuck results with time

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As with any cosmetic surgery, you just need to be reasonable after surgery to maintain your results. You definitely do not need to starve yourself after surgery, and no surgeon on this message board would advocate that. We recommend eating right and exercising regularly. If you gain a large amount of weight after surgery, then the results of surgery will be lost. Upper muscle bulging should not occur with a regular tummy tuck unless the sutures used during surgery break. This is unusual, but is possible if the patient is very active too soon after surgery. I hope this helps, good luck, /nsn.

Longevity of Tummy Tuck

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A well-performed tummy tuck should last a long time. This assumes that you maintain a reasonably healthy life style. You need not adhere to an unrealistic diet, but a significant weight gain will certainly undo some of the benefits which you would normally receive with your tummy tuck.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

A well-done tummy tuck should provide a long term improvement

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Hi there-

The only instances in which I have personal knowledge of a patient developing an upper abdominal bulge after a tummy tuck we cases in which the patient ruptured the muscle repair (thankfully, this has not happened in my own patients), or if the patient had a "mini" tummy tuck.

As long as you follow your surgeon's postoperative instructions very carefully and maintain a healthy lifestyle after surgery, there is no reason to think that you should end up at any point less happy with your form than you would have been had you not had a tummy tuck.

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.