Reverse Tummy Tuck Vs Full Abdominoplasty

I've already had a mini tummy tuck, but still have a lot of laxity in the upper abdomen. Surgeon suggest reverse tummy tuck. If I choose this option, would I be able to opt for a full abdominoplasty if I am not happy with the results? Or there won't be enough skin left to pull after the reverse tummy tuck? I think I would have needed a full TT to start with, but my doc insisted on a mini TT and now I am not happy with the results.

Doctor Answers 17

Full Tummy Tuck versus Reverse Abdominoplasty

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It would be difficult to give you the most optimal answer without examing you. Based on the picture here are the two opions: Full tummy tuck with a vertical scar or Reverse abdominoplasty  (which may not improve the lower abdominal contour completely). Good Luck

Reverse Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your question.

A Reverse Tummy Tuck would not be optimal for two reasons:

  • Bad scars under breasts
  • Risk of skin necrosis-since your first tummy tuck removed some blood vessels from your Tummy skin, the skin is now relying on blood flow from above-a Reverse Tummy Tuck could damage these upper blood vessels and reduce blood supply to your abdominal skin.

A Full Tummy Tuck would have been your best option first time. The problem is that  you may need a vertical scar for a Full Tummy Tuck now.

Get a second opinion from a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Full TT vs. reverse TT

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While both approaches can get rid of upper abdominal laxity, I prefer a full tummy tuck for the following reasons:

1)  You don't get a second scar, just a longer version of the lower abdominal incision, which is well hidden in underwear & swimsuits.

2)  Usually, the lower abdominal skin is in worse shape than the upper abdominal skin, so it makes sense to remove the more damaged area with a full TT.

3)  There's a risk of messing up the inframammary fold area and its symmetry with the reverse tummy tuck.

4)  If you have a reverse tummy tuck and have lower abdominal laxity in the future, the blood supply issues become worrisome for revision surgery.


All the best,

Full tummy tuck versus a reverse tummy tuck

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Based on your photograph I believe a full tummy tuck is your best option.  The can be accomplished by extending your previous mini-TT scar and aggressively elevating and removing skin from the anterior abdominal wall.  A reverse TT will leave you with a fairly unsightly scar across the lower chest wall.  I reserve this proceedure for patients who are undergoing a full breast lift procedure concurrently. 


Best Wishes,


Neil Zemmel, MD

Richmond, Virginia

Mini tummy tuck vs full tummy tuck vs reverse tummy tuck

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Your best choice will be a full tummy tuck. A reverse abdominoplasy will leave long scars that meet in the center. There is considerable looseness in the upper abdomen. There are modified reverse tummy tucks that are combined with a breast lift, but these will not be powerful enough to give you an optimal result.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 reviews

Reverse vs full tummy tuck

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Your best option would be a full tummy tuck. I hesitate performing reverse TT's as the scar tends to migrate downward and is harder to hide. You should get a great result with a standard TT but may have a small vertical scar above your mons. 

Full Abdominoplasty Appears to be Great Option for You

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A variety of options exist for treating redundant abdominal wall tissue.  With careful analysis of the problem, one option is usually better than the others for treating any particular problem.  In your case a revision with a full abdminolplasty is clearly the best option for several reasons.

Your pictures suggest significant amounts of redundant tissue of both the upper and lower abdomen.  Under these circumstances a full abdominplasty is the best option for addressing this redundant tissue.  This procedure can remove excess skin in both the upper and lower abdomen without creating new scars.  It’s also safer because it doesn’t cause disruption of the abdominal wall blood supply and as a result decreases the potential for skin necrosis.

If you’re considering abdominoplasty revision consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate.  This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that’s appropriate for your problem.

Not a good candidate for mini abdominoplasty

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Unless you had your mini tummy tuck years ago, and you abdomen looked much different, you were a very poor candidate for a mini tummy tuck.   For a mini tummy tuck to get good results, you need to have little to no skin laxity in the upper abdomen.  You clearly have a lot of excess skin in the upper abdomen. I concur with the other reviewers that a full abdominoplasty is your best bet.   Although it may not completely resolve the laxity in the upper abdomen, it will markedly reduce it.  You also have dog ears on your lower abdomen from your previous procedure that would be reduced in this procedure as you would get a longer incision.

Reverse vs.standard tummy tuck after mini tummy tuck.

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There are a few issues at work here.  First, you would need to be examined.  How much extra skin is present, etc.  You already have a scar ont he abdomen, (the lower tummy tuck), which may hamper things.  At first glance. I would suggest the full tummy tuck. If you can get the result you want through a scar that you already have, that is a good thing.

Depending on central looseness of skin, you may need a vertical incision as well.  The reverse abdominoplasty may make a later standard abdominoplasty very difficult.  It also has the downside of the scar in the midline under the breasts.

Reverse tummy tuck is for specific situations

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Hi 8898anon,

I agree with other docs.  You would benefit from a full tummy tuck and there is no reason not to do it as far as I can tell.  I reverse tummy tuck will also give a good result.  However, as mentioned, the scar will cross the midline and can be visible if wearing a v-cut or low cut top.  This is usually reserved for women who also want a breast augmentation; instead of throwing away the excess abdominal tissue, it is rotated into the breast for an augmentation.  At this point, I do not see the reason to do this for you, unless there are other factors of which I am not aware.  Hope this helps.

Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS

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