Is There a Procedure to Pull Skin on Upper Abs?

I had a Mini tummy tuck 5 years ago with some Liposuction on my upper abs. My abdominal muscles are in very good shape, however, I now have some loose skin and dimpling on my upper abs.

I have heard about reverse tummy tucks. Is there a procedure to just pull the skin on my upper abs (no fat removal, no muscle repair)? Help!

Doctor Answers 8

SlimLipo can tighten and smooth upper abdominal skin after mini tummy tuck

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I have had good luck using SlimLipo laser assisted liposuction to tighten the upper abdominal skin when doing a mini tummy tuck on the lower abdomen. See pic below

I have also had good luck smoothing the abdominal skin that has been left with irregularities or contour deformities following standard liposuction.

If you are unhappy with your tummy tuck scar it could be revised at the same time.

See before and after photos of Slim Lipo and Mini Tummy Tuck.

Reverse tummy tucks are not a good idea

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The concept of pulling the skin up into the breast crease is appealing but doesn't work well. There is a substantail scar across the entire chest like the Golden Gate Bridge and this can pull down and wind up below the breasts on the upper abdomen and be extremely unsightly.

At this point you need a full tummy tuck to resolve these issues. This is why mini tummy tucks should rarely be performed. If you had the full tuck in the first place, you would not be needing it now unfortunately.

You now need a full, skin only, tummy tuck.

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This is a common problem, and I can picture what you look like. Hardly anybody does reverse tummy tucks because the scar is not acceptable.

What we recommend in New York City for women like you is to use the mini tummy tuck scar ,and slide down the skin of the whole abdomen. It's a skin only operation, so the recovery is pretty easy. The new scar will be longer, though.

If you only have a little loose skin, Thermage can help.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Reverse vs. full tummy tuck

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While a reverse can lift the upper abdominal tissue, you will have scars under the breasts and often across the sternum. You are probably better off having a full tummy tuck.


Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Reverse tummy tuck to correct loose UPPER abdominal skin without muscle repair

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A reverse tummy tuck is an option that is NOT popular due to the scar but may be suitable for your unique situation. Discuss this after consultation with a plastic surgeon.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Reverse tummy tuck

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You have already heard that the reverse tummy tuck is not universally acceptable as a solution to your problem.  Your best bet would be to consult with your plastic surgeon and discuss a revision which may include: a full tummy tuck, laser liposuction, a skin tightening treatment (such as Thermage) or a combination of these options.  It's impossible to give an exact recommendation without meeting you personally.  Good luck in your search.    

Allan J. Parungao, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews


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Mini tummy tucks will tend to leave a small amount of excess skin in the upper abdomen. It's usually around the belly button. It's very difficult to get rid of this skin and I'm sure you don't have enough for a full tummy tuck. Sometimes some of excess can be removed using an incision around the top of the belly button but not much. Sorry I can't me more of a help.

Mini tummy tucks led to the idea of reverse tummy tuck, bad idea!

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If you would've had the correct operation the first time, we would not be having this discussion. A mini tuck always leaves under tightened upper abdominal muscles or loose skin above the belly button. This would be a reason for a reverse tuck. Although in theory it makes sense, in practice it will leave you with a visible scar that often will not stay hidden under the breast crease (also crosses the midline between the breasts and this is always visible). If this is minimal skin looseness a non surgical skin tightening can be used, like Thermage, but to get the best outcome you would need a full abdominoplasty without muscle repair using your previous incision. Recovery will be much shorter and less painful without the muscle tightening.

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.