• Blog
  • What is a Reverse Tummy Tuck?

What is a Reverse Tummy Tuck?

  • Neodyne
  • February 7, 2022

Weight loss can be an exhausting journey. You can do an ab workout and eat healthy every single day, and yet you just can’t seem to find a way to tighten the loose skin on your stomach that’s keeping you from showing off your physique with confidence. If this is something you’re struggling with, a tummy tuck might be the right solution for you.

There are many reasons why someone would get a tummy tuck. Weight loss and pregnancy can often result in loose, sagging skin on your abdomen that won’t go away with regular diet and exercise. And the only way to tighten that skin and help you feel confident again is with a tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries, but what about a reverse tummy tuck? A reverse abdominoplasty, also known as a reverse tummy tuck, is a lesser-known yet similar cosmetic procedure to a traditional tummy tuck. While a traditional tummy tuck targets loose skin and excess fat in the lower and upper abdomen, a reverse tummy tuck addresses concerns in just the upper portion of the abdomen.

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing how a reverse tummy tuck works, what the recovery process entails, what a reverse tummy tuck scar looks like, and more. If you’re considering getting a reverse tummy tuck, it’s always a good idea to do enough research so that you can feel prepared for what’s in store. Continue reading or use the links below to skip throughout the post so you can have a better idea if a reverse tummy tuck is the right choice for you.

Explanation: Reverse Tummy Tucks

First and foremost: What is a tummy tuck? 

A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a common cosmetic procedure that’s done in order to tighten the abdomen and result in a flatter and more firm stomach. Abdominoplasty is the sixth most common cosmetic procedure performed in the United States. You can think of a tummy tuck as a way to achieve that toned stomach you’ve always dreamed of having but couldn’t get through regular exercise and diet. 

So then, what is a reverse tummy tuck? A reverse tummy tuck exclusively targets skin in the upper abdomen above the belly button, unlike a traditional tummy tuck that targets both the upper and lower portions. 

With a reverse tummy tuck, a surgeon will make an incision in the inframammary crease below the breast folds. Since the incision follows the lower breast folds, a reverse tummy tuck scar can easily be hidden with a bathing suit or bra.

Once the surgeon makes the incision in the inframammary crease, they then pull the skin upward and remove the excess skin. The skin that’s left in the upper abdomen will then be pulled tight and secured in place with sutures. The end result of a reverse tummy tuck is a tighter and more firm upper abdomen. 

There are a couple of different methods a surgeon can use to perform a reverse tummy tuck. A reverse tummy tuck is often done in addition to a breast lift. In this case, the excess skin of the upper abdomen will be used to enhance the fullness and shape of the breasts. Doing a reverse tummy tuck with a breast lift eliminates the need for implants and is a cheaper way of enhancing the breasts. 

You can get a reverse tummy tuck by itself, but you can also get it with liposuction to contour your body and firm your stomach even more. 

A reverse tummy tuck is also a good solution for women who have had a breast reduction but the implants have drifted. In this situation, the surgeon can use the excess tissue from the tummy tuck to reposition the implant and improve the appearance of the breasts.

Tummy tuck before and after

What is the objective of a reverse tummy tuck?

The objective of a reverse tummy tuck is to lift and tighten loose, sagging skin in the upper abdomen. Many factors can contribute to excess skin in the abdomen, such as pregnancy or considerable weight loss. Whatever your reasoning may be, a reverse tummy tuck is a way to tighten the upper abdomen and help you achieve a more toned stomach.

Who is a good candidate for a reverse tummy tuck?

The ideal candidate for a reverse tummy tuck is someone with a tight lower abdomen but who has loose skin in their upper abdomen. A good candidate for a reverse tummy tuck can also be someone who had a traditional tummy tuck done but aren’t happy with their overall results. 

As for most cosmetic procedures, the ideal candidate is a nonsmoker who is in good overall health. It’s also important to note that a tummy tuck shouldn’t be looked at as a weight loss solution. In fact, the ideal candidate for a reverse tummy tuck is someone who’s at or close to their goal weight prior to the procedure. 

It’s also best to wait until after you are done conceiving to have a tummy tuck. Pregnancy after getting a tummy tuck can undo the results and cause new stretching and sagging.

If you’re considering getting a tummy tuck and aren’t sure if you’re the right candidate, it’s always a good idea to look at reverse tummy tuck pictures. Looking at reverse tummy tuck before and after photos can help you decide if it's the right procedure for you and your body goals.

What is the recovery process involved in a reverse tummy tuck?

So now that we know what a reverse tummy tuck procedure entails, let’s talk about what the tummy tuck recovery process looks like. 

It can take anywhere from one to two weeks to recover from a reverse tummy tuck. Some swelling and bruising are expected during that time period. Patients will also have to wear a compression garment during that time to provide support to the area and reduce swelling.

It’s normal to feel discomfort for the first week after the surgery. To alleviate some of this pain, patients will be prescribed pain medication to take at home. Most patients can return to work in about two weeks following the surgery, but exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for at least four to six weeks.

Overall in the recovery process, it’s important to take things slow. Get lots of rest and let your body heal. Drink enough water and don’t push your body to do things it’s not ready to do. Prioritize staying as healthy as possible during this time.

Your surgeon will provide further information about the reverse tummy tuck recovery time, including how to care for the incision, when to come in for follow-up appointments, and what to be aware of in terms of possible infection. Don’t be afraid to ask your surgeon questions. The more informed you are during the recovery process, the better you’re going to heal.

What are the potential complications involved?

As with any cosmetic surgical procedure, there is always a risk of potential complications. So, it’s a good idea to inform yourself of these possibilities in case something goes awry.

Potential complications of a reverse tummy tuck are similar to those of a traditional tummy tuck and can include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Scarring
  • Seroma
  • Asymmetry 
  • Hematoma

A reverse tummy tuck is generally a very safe cosmetic procedure, but be sure to discuss any concerns you have about possible complications and side effects with your surgeon beforehand.  

How much does a reverse tummy tuck cost?

The overall cost of a reverse tummy tuck is hard to say as it varies depending on many factors, such as the extent of the procedure, the location where you get it done, the experience of your surgeon, and more. In most cases, the cost of a reverse tummy tuck is comparable to that of a traditional tummy tuck.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a tummy tuck is $6,154. So you can expect the cost of a reverse tummy tuck to be around the same. However, this cost does not include anesthesia and other hospital fees. 

Other fees involved in a tummy tuck cost may include medical tests, post-surgery garments, surgeon fees, prescriptions for medications, and more. 

Costs can vary depending on where you get your procedure done. For example, a reverse tummy tuck is likely going to be more expensive in a populated city than it will in a small town. So if you want to save some money, consider traveling to a smaller city nearby to get your procedure done.

Similarly, a less experienced surgeon is going to cost less than someone with years under their belt. However, although you might be tempted to opt for a more affordable surgeon, you’re always getting off choosing someone with a higher reputation who’s more experienced. The more experience your surgeon has, the better the results are going to look. Above all else, just make sure you choose a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Plastic surgery consultation for tummy tuck

Difference Between Reverse Tummy Tuck & Traditional Tummy Tuck

If you’re unhappy with the way your stomach looks, you may be wondering whether a traditional tummy tuck or reverse tummy tuck is right for you. 

If the skin below and above our belly button is loose and saggy, then opt for a traditional tummy tuck. But if the skin below your belly button is firm and tight, and the skin above your belly button is loose and saggy, then a reverse tummy tuck is the better option.

The main difference between the two is where the incision goes. A reverse tummy tuck incision follows the crease under the breasts while a traditional tummy tuck incision lies just above the pubic bone and stretches from hip to hip. Both scars can easily be covered up with either bathing suits or undergarments. 

Both procedures are often done in conjunction with liposuction. Some women will also get a tummy tuck with breast augmentation, which is called a mommy makeover.

A reverse tummy tuck is a much less common procedure, as a majority of patients have loose skin both above and below their belly button, which requires a traditional tummy tuck in order to fix.

Reverse Tummy Tuck FAQs

If you’re considering getting a reverse tummy tuck, you probably have a myriad of questions flooding your mind: Is a reverse tummy tuck right for me? What does the procedure entail? What does the scarring look like? 

It’s normal to be overwhelmed and intimidated prior to any cosmetic procedure, especially one that is as invasive as a reverse tummy tuck. But that’s why it’s crucial to be prepared before you walk into that surgical room. Doing enough research and having open conversations with your surgeon will help you feel ready to proceed.

To help quell some of your nerves and answer those questions that are flooding your mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about reverse tummy tucks. 

How does a reverse tummy tuck work?

A reverse tummy tuck involves a procedure that removes excess fat and skin in the upper abdomen. With a reverse tummy tuck, a surgeon will make an incision underneath the breasts, lift and trim the excess skin, remove fat, and then tighten the tissue above the belly button. This will counter the upper abdomen and result in an all-around flatter stomach.

Oftentimes, a reverse tummy tuck is done in conjunction with a breast reduction or a breast lift. This is because the extra tissue that is removed from the abdomen during the procedure can be used to augment the breasts instead of using implants. Make sure to consult with your surgeon so you can determine if getting a breast augmentation in addition to a reverse tummy tuck is the right choice for you.

Is there an incision around the belly button?

Unlike a traditional tummy tuck, there is no incision around the belly button with a reverse tummy tuck. The only incision that is made with a reverse tummy tuck is under the breasts. Since a reverse tummy tuck just targets the upper abdomen, the belly button is not touched and doesn’t have to be repositioned. 

What is the difference between a tummy tuck and a 360 tummy tuck?

A 360 tummy tuck goes above and beyond a traditional tummy tuck and includes additional procedures to help you achieve your ideal body goals. A 360 tummy tuck essentially provides a front-to-back transformation. 

While a traditional tummy tuck just involves removing excess skin and fat in the upper and lower abdomen, a 360 tummy tuck includes SAFElipo to contour the back, flanks, and sides as well. With a 360 tummy tuck, you’ll see results from front to back. It’s an ideal procedure for those seeking a more dramatic body transformation.

Woman showing off tummy tuck results

Final Notes

There’s nothing more frustrating than putting in all your time and effort into working out and eating healthy and not seeing the results you want. A tummy tuck can be a great option for those who can’t get rid of excess fat on their stomach from traditional weight loss methods. Whether this excess skin is a result of age, pregnancy, or significant weight loss, getting a tummy tuck might just be the perfect solution for you.

If your main source of insecurity is loose and sagging skin in your upper abdomen, then a reverse tummy tuck is the best choice. A reverse tummy tuck will tighten the skin above your belly button, resulting in a more contoured and firm stomach. 

However, it’s important to note that a reverse tummy tuck is an invasive surgery that requires anesthesia and several weeks of recovery. So, it’s something that you should be positive about. Scarring is also to be expected, although it can usually be easily hidden underneath a bathing suit or bra.

If scarring is something you’re intimidated by, check out embrace® Scar Therapy. embrace® Scar Therapy carries products to help reduce the appearance of scars for various cosmetic procedures. You can find scar treatment kits for everything from a tummy tuck to breast reconstruction. Caring for your scars is key to ensure they heal quickly and properly. 

embrace® Scar Therapy treatment kits include a uniquely designed applicator that reduces tension on the skin and improves the appearance of scars. All you have to do is place the applicator on your scar and let it work its magic. It will result in a lighter, flatter, and thinner scar.

We all deserve to look at ourselves in the mirror and feel completely confident about our bodies. Getting a reverse tummy tuck can help you feel more secure about yourself so you can rock your new body with newfound confidence in no time.