Can Tummy Tuck Shrink the Waistline?

I have lost weight and I am considering a Tummy Tuck. Will this procedure shrink my waistline as well?

Doctor Answers 6

Tummy Tuck can shrink the waistline

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A tummy tuck can accomplish several things:

  • Narrow your waist into a more hourglass figure
  • Flatten the tummy
  • Decrease the actual distance between the belly button and your spine, reducing your dress size
  • Lift a droopy Mons Pubis
  • Lift sagging thighs and correct cellulite (especially if having a High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty).

If combined with liposuction of the back, the buttock can be enhanced and defined at the same time getting you a 360 degree improvement .

Hope this was helpful.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

A Tummy tuck can shrink the waistline - check the before and after images

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The permanent sutures that are used to flatten and tighten the abdominal wall are typically placed in the midline. The rectus abdominis muscles, prior to pregnancy, are lined up immediately side-by-side. Expansion of the abdominal wall during pregnancy allows the muscles to stretch apart, leaving a weak layer of fascia (connective tissue) spanning the gap between the two muscles – the medical term for which is diastasis. The midline tightening sutures correct the diastasis and bring the rectus muscles back into a 'side-by-side' configuration, flattening the abdominal wall in the process.
Although this midline tightening dramatically enhances the abdominal profile, it often does adequately address the fact that pregnancy can also wreak havoc on the waist, turning what was formerly an 'hourglass' figure into something that is more cylindrical in shape. For several years now I have been using permanent 'internal corset' sutures, placed laterally in the abdominal wall, that draw the waist inward and restore some of the hourglass effect of abdominal concavity at the waistline in frontal view. The addition of these sutures to midline tightening, and in some cases in place of midline tightening, has allowed me to achieve even more impressive postoperative results.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Tummy Tucks can make your waist smaller

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Dear Taja,

Yes, a tummy tuck can make your waistline smaller, but a lot depends on your anatomy. The largest change occurs from the muscle tightening - but this is limited by your intra-abdominal contents (ie: the guts / internal fat). If the inside is full, you cannot tighten / squeeze it too much. On the other hand, if the abdominal wall is lax and you are empty inside, your surgeon can tighten the abdominal wall significantly, which will flatten your abdomen on side view, and can also pull in your flanks (area above the hips). This secondary component depends on your bone structure. If your ribcage is far from your hips, you will notice a significant change in the flanks -- if it is very close (a few inches), not much of a change will occur here. Lastly, if you have fat deposits along your flanks, you can add liposuction to the tummy tuck for a fairly drastic change. This works great in appropriate candidates, as the increased skin tension from the tuck enhances the result from the lipo. Please view my informational video on my website. It is animated with before and after morphs and points out most of the changes you can achieve from a tummy tuck.

Best wishes!


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Measurements show that a tummy tuck will reduce the waistline

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Your question is a good one.  Most surgeons have an awareness that a tummy tuck reduces the waistline.  However, measurements have been lacking.

I recently studied this issue using measurements and found that, yes, a tummy tuck does reduce the waistline when accompanied by liposuction.  Liposuction is usually needed to reduce the love handles.  It is unusual for me to perform a tummy tuck without liposuction because patients need the hips reduced to flatter their figure with an hourglass shape and prevent the tummy from looking flat and squared in the hips (which can happen if you have a tummy tuck without lipo).  Also, liposuction reduces the fat of the upper abdomen, which a tummy tuck does not treat.  It is  important that the surgeon is skilled in performing these procedures together because it is possible to increase the risk of wound healing problems if one is not careful. 

A tummy tuck brings the rectus muscles together, which helps reduce the prominence of the tummy.

Most experienced plastic surgeons use the techniques together (liposuction + abdominoplasty)  because this combination produces the best result and may be done safely by experienced surgeons.

Some examples are available on my website.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Tummy Tuck will shrink your waistline

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A tummy tuck will decrease your waistline significantly. There is a difference in the result depending if you get a standard tummy tuck vs. an extended tummy tuck. However, no matter which you would benefit from, your results will provide a smaller waist and improve your shape and contour. A tummy tuck involves removing excess tissue and loose sagging skin and stretch marks while also tightening up the muscles which have been stretched during pregnancy. Muscle repair is key to provide that hour glass shape.

Tummy tuck to shrink the waistline

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The tummy tuck operation addresses loose (droopy) skin, extra fat, and rectus muscles that have been pulled apart, (usually with pregnancy). We take off a substanital amount of tissue, but it does not weigh that much when placed on the scale. Remember bone and muscle weigh more than fat and skin. It will look like more "weight" was dropped by the patient as they will get into their clothes better and have a trimmer shape.


Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 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.