How Does a Tummy Tuck Differ for Men and Women?

Doctor Answers 9

Tummy Tuck - How Does a Tummy Tuck Differ for Men and Women?

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It's not the Sex but the Anatomy.

It's really all about the anatomy but that's the case whether the patient is a man or a woman (and, of course, there are trans-sexual patients, so that complicates those designations further).  The surgeon has to look at what the patient's characteristics are in terms of skin, fat, and muscle (along with the abdominal wall) and then propose one or more procedures that will be acceptable to the patient.  Biologically-born women have the additional factor of pregnancy to consider, whether past or anticipated, but a significant weight gain and subsequent loss - for any reason - may lead to a similar appearance, regardless of the DNA.

One can make some generalizations but for the individual patient, the surgery needs to be individualized.  And that's true whether the patient is a man or a woman.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Tummy tucks in men vs. women

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Good question!

Men are much more likely to have excess belly fat which is located inside the abdomen around the internal organs and cannot be addressed with body contouring.  Only weight loss will help it. 

Trying to do a tummy tuck on a guy with a beer belly would be like trying to do a tummy tuck on a seven months pregnant lady.  It doesn't work.  The belly fat cannot be compressed any more than a pregnant uterus can be compressesd.  (This is why some guys tell us that their gut is all muscle because it feels firm).  Sorry boys, it's not muscle!

Some women also have belly fat that is not addressed with body contouring surgery.  As a general rule, if the belly flattens when a patient is supine, the fat is not belly fat.  If the belly remains round, the patient should loss weight before considering body contouring. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Tummy tuck difference between men and women

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The same considerations apply to both men and women: accurate diagnosis of the problem and planning the surgery to correct them and a clear understanding by both surgeon and patient about the goals and what can and cannot be accomplished. Male and female anatomy and function (pregnancy) are different but the bottom line is the correct evaluation of the problem and plan for its correction is what is important. As my colleagues have noted, the abdominal muscles are more likely to be lax in women after pregnancy and the normal male shape and clothing is different from the normal female shape and clothing. So the surgical plan is likely to be somewhat different but then the surgical plan for each patient should be slightly different and customized for the individual. I hope this information is helpful.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

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Tummy Tuck

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This is a great question. I have already done 150 tummy tucks in 2011 and the overwhelming majority is women. Each year, however, more and more men seek the procedure, especially after weight loss surgery.
The surgical process is the same, as is the recovery. The difference is in the desired shape and placement of the incision lines.

Men tend to wear underwear that goes straight across the top, as well as bathing suits. I mark the incision right under this line so no one can see it at the beach.

Women these days in my practice prefer low rise panties, and the incision is placed lower with a slight curve. The hourglass figure is avoided in men, and when I contour the waist, I prefer a gradual “V”.

Thanks for your interest

Jeffrey S. Yager, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Difference in tummy tuck surgery between men and women

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Men get tummy tucks because of massive weight loss and end up with lots of loose skin of the abdominal wall, and sagging pubic area. Women gewt tummy tucks because of massive weight loss and also post pregnancy changes to the abdominal wall skin and muscle laxity.  Essentially the operations are the same. Removal of excess skin and muscle plication or tightening. In women I often do additional liposuction for further contouring of the waist, buttocks and thighs. In men this is rarely necessary. One has to be careful not to "feminize" the body features in men with a tummy tuck. This applies to facial surgery as well and you see many men with bad facelift and eyelid/forhead surgery because the same technique is used by the surgeon as for women. Look at before and after photos of the plastic surgeon first.

Difference Tummy Tuck Men versus Women?

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Thank you for the question.

I do not think that there are significant differences in doing tummy tuck surgery for men versus women. The most important variable is not the sex of the patient but making  an accurate diagnosis and planning an operation  to “correct” the anatomic diagnosis.

A word of caution regarding many tummy tuck surgery....

In my opinion, the mini tummy talk is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax.

The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.
For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.
It is important  for patients seeking abdominal contouring surgery to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve  their chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.

I hope this helps.

How do tummy tucks differ between men and women?

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I disagree with previous responders. Both men and women can have a range of skin excess that can be treated with tummy tucks ranging from a mini to a full to a circumferentiol. It all depends on how big they are, how much weight they have lost and what type of skin tone they have. The only really difference is that most men do not require muscle tightening. After pregnancy the abdominal muscles often will not shrink back tightly and this leaves women with an extra issue. 

Tummy tuck differences between men and women

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Every tummy tuck procedure should be custom tailored to the patient.  Men often have less skin laxity than women and are more often better candidates for mini-type tummy tuck procedures where the belly button is preserved in its original location compared to women who are often better candidates for full tummy tuck type procedures.  Muscle tightening should also be less agressive in men as their abdominal wall is usually not as lax and they tend to have higher amounts of intra-abdominal fat.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Watch the Waist Line

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The main differences between men and women having tummy tucks are the waist line and the muscles.  Women welcome narrower waist lines than men.  Not having children means that men are less likely to need muscle repair unless there has been a large weight loss.  

William H. Huffaker, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

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