Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures

After looking at a lot of tummy tuck before and after photos, I don't know what I'm looking at anymore. Some results seem amazing, others not so much. And some are marked "with liposuction" or other procedures and some that seem like they should be, aren't.

What should I expect from these photos? What am I looking for?

Doctor Answers 19

Tummy Tuck before and after photos

There are many online photo gallery sites with before and after photos of tummy tucks.  It can be very overwhelming to start looking though so many of these photos. Oftentimes, it can be helpful to try and find before photos of woman with a similar body to yours, and then to find the after photos that have results you are pleased with. This is often a good way to help guide you to choose a surgeon in your area. Additionally, you can research if those women that you identified with had liposuction with their tummy tuck. In almost all of tummy tucks that I perform, I add aggressive liposuction of the flanks and abdomen to create a more ideal contour. I call this a lipo-abdominoplasty. Many other surgeons, however, include a small amount of liposuction with the abdominoplasty procedure, and still call it an abdominoplasty.

Tummy tuck photos

Look at the amount of flattening from the front and side views, and the length and location of the scar. Some surgeons do liposuction routinely with their surgery, some do it at a different setting. Keep in mind that because everyone's body is different, you won't be able to completely predict your own results from looking at photos, but you will be able to get a sense of a surgeon's skills and experience. Good luck and best wishes.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Looking at Before and After Tummy Tuck Pictures

You are not alone in your predicament. Before and After pictures went from a pure B/W documentation of a procedure in textbook and scientific articles to color / sometimes Vogue magazine glamor shoot marketing tool meant to seduce prospective patients.

When looking at fine art the most common approaches are a mixture of inquisitive ("I wonder what he/she was trying to communicate here?"), subjective ("I like / do not like it") and introspective("it makes me feel....")

In my opinion, there are several ways to look at Before and After plastic surgery pictures.
PERSONALIZED - similar to the art approach it is purely subjective instead of analytic -
- I like it VS I do not like this .
- I THINK I look like her so...THIS is what I am going to look like.

ANALYTIC / DETACHED - A much better appreciation of a surgeon's work is derived from a careful observation;
- the pictures are early (ie no long-term results which better demonstrate results) or long-term results.
The patient is thin vs. obese with
- normal vs. sun damaged skin,
- minimal pooch vs. large degree of tummy laxity,
- the Mons pubis was / was not droopy,
- the amount of waist / hip / tummy contouring were poor, average, good or excellent.

I think the latter systematic approach, once adopted, tend to confuse you less and better educate you on what to look for. You can also ask plastic surgeons to show you on their pictures what they consider an acceptable, good or great result. Some would not answer but many would.

Hope this helps.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Looking at before and after photos of tummy tucks

When looking at photos of tummy tucks (or any procedure for that matter) look at patients who have the same general pre-operative body type as you do. Remember that scars take many months to fade, so consider when the post-operative photos were taken. Liposuction is commonly performed with tummy tuck, especially on the hip/flank area.

Look for flat shapely stomach and faint scars after tummy tuck.


Results of tummy tuck (and of all cosmetic surgery) vary widely. Some doctors put up rather bad results on their web sites, and I don't know what that means. We all get an occasional disappointing result. But either they don't have good results, or their eye cannot tell the difference between a good and a bad result.

You know what you would like to look like. Look for pictures that look close to that.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy tuck before and after pictures

GREAT! you have now done your research. You are off than 90% of the pre surgery patient population. You need to have realistic expectations. You need to know photos can be photo shopped. You next should see 3 boarded plastic surgeons and some in person patient examples, so you can see 'LIVE' the results. 

Evaluating Tummy Tuck Photos

Hi there-

With regard to evaluating photos, it really doesn't need to be complicated...

You should be able to look at the photos and see an attractive abdomen with which you would be happy. That's it.

You should know, however, that there are going to be a GREAT many other things that you should take into consideration when selecting a surgeon and experience for yourself-

For a healthy understanding of how to choose a surgeon AND how to evaluate photos, please read this:

What to get out of viewing before and after pictures of tummy tucks

1. The pictures give you a gebneral idea of what a tummy uck looks like and what results can be achieved.

2. The pictures will give you an idea of where the scars are

3. If you compare a group of pictures from different plastic surgeons you may get an idea of where they are the same and where they are different.

4. Jusrt like all before pictures ore duifferent, all the after pictures will be different based on the dr, the patient and the technique used.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Before and After Photos

Before and after photos of tummy tucks or any procedure can provide you with a general idea of the result that can be achieved. However, do not base your decision entirely on these photos. There are ways of "touching up" photos today. The most important thing is to find a board-certified plastic surgeon whom you can trust and feel comfortable with.

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

Before and after pictures the best way to compare surgeons

There are very different ways of doing tummy tuck and not all surgeon spend same amount time and attention when they do surgery. This true with all professions and picture helps patients to compare surgeons.

I always do liposuction at the time of the tummy tuck and this help to get more definition. The older way of the tummy tuck is to do little lipo over the waist and not all over.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 110 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.