Why Do Some Women Have Really Flat Stomachs After Having Had a Tummy Tuck and Some Women Are Not As Fortunate?

Why Do Some Women Have Really Flat Stomachs After Having Had a Tummy Tuck and Some Women Are Not As Fortunate?

Doctor Answers 7

The tummy is smarter than the doctor.

Thanks for your question.

When an abdominoplasty is performed in most cases the abdominal wall muscles are tightened to flatten the abdominal wall.

  When I tighten a slender person they tend to stay quite flat because the weight inside the abdomen is not as heavy.  A medum weight person will tend to stretch more over time and find a new equilibrium that is still an improvement. In a very heavy person the weight inside the abdomen  is greater and the overweight person may regain most of the roundnes over time. 

The body is smarter than the doctor and over time relaxes to where it is comfortable.  That is why it is always better to be healthy and if possible slender as you embark upon tummy tuck.

Best wishes.



Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Tummy tuck results

You take the patient as you find her Some patients are more curvaceous, in more htan one direction, than others. Some have tauter musculature and are in better physical condition. Muscle laxity and the ability of the muscle and skin to remain tight, which is genetic, is extremely important. Finally, surgical technique is involved. You will see many patients posting on RealSelf inquiring about mini-tucks and many plastic surgeons responding that the proedure isn't appropriate for their circumstances. The operation must be tailored to the patient's condition and needs. Expectations need to be clarified prior to the procedure a well.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Why Some Women do Better than others after Tummy Tuck

Factors that can affect whether you bulge or not after a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) include: 

1. Whether you were flat to start with (most important)

2. The extent of muscle tightening by your surgeon - Experience and Technique dependent

3. Whether you are slim or obese (BMI) - heavier patients have increase weight of abdominal organs and intra-abdominal fat pushing out

4. Whether you had liposuction done at the same time and how much fat was left behind

5.. The resting tone of the abdominal muscles - Doing core exercises like crunches helps a lot

6.  Weight Gain after the procedure

7. Familial tendency (check out the shape of your parents or older sibling )

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Intrabdominal fat can compromise the result of a tummy tuck.

Some patients deposit fat inside the abdominal cavity (andromorphic fat distribution).  This is seen much more commonly in men and is colloquially referred to as a " beer gut".  This fat cannot be reduced by liposuction (it's too deep).  A tummy tuck can only compress it so much so the results seldom leave the patient with a flat stomach even after a very thorough operation.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Different Doctors

Not all women go to the same doctor and all have different bodies. You need to see work done by your doctor and you need to have reasonable expectations. Tummy tucks work best for women who are at their ideal weight and have only excess skin, not a lot of fat. Look at your doctors photos and see where you fit in.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Results from a tummy tuck are based on many factors.

There are many factors involved in the results of an abdominoplasty.

Certainly the surgeon you choose and the technique that he/she uses makes a difference.  All of us were trained differently and have modified our own techniques over the years based on what we find works well.

Certainly the amount of fat or lax muscle that a patient begins with is going to make a huge difference.  Some fat is visceral (internal) and this will not be influenced at all by an abdominoplasty.  Thinning of external fat is performed and yet only so much can be removed safely.  Thus, I encourage my patients to lose as much fat as they can on their own prior to the procedure.

The degree of muscle tightening, muscle strength, and overall fitness certainly makes a difference too.  Those patients who work out and eat well inevitably do better than those who simply get a tummy tuck and believe that this will fix everything.  

I would suggest starting by meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area who can hopefully examine you, explain risks and benefits, and discuss if you are a good candidate for this procedure and what type of result to expect.   Good luck!


Evan Sorokin, MD
Cherry Hill Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Result of tummy tuck depends on surgical technique.


1)  With a good operation, it is reasonable to expect a flat stomach in the profile view.

2)  What is harder to predict, and what does depend on the patient's anatomy, is how much improvement of the waistline can be achieved.  If a woman has fat around the intestines creating a tight belly, it is hard to get great definition of the waist.

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