As we age, excess skin and fat can settle in different parts of the body, including the abdomen. While many patients with concerns across the entire midsection often benefit from a traditional tummy tuck, this might not be the best solution for everyone.
A reverse tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that eliminates sagging skin and fat pockets on the upper abdomen, tightening this area’s muscle group for a smoother, more cohesive upper midsection.
What Are the Benefits of a Reverse Tummy Tuck?
A reverse tummy tuck is a newer tummy tuck technique ideal for those who are happy with their lower abdomen but want to tighten and slim the upper portion of their midsection. This technique can also be combined with a traditional tummy tuck to address the lower and upper abdomen.
A reverse tummy tuck can:
- Eliminate pockets of fat around the upper midsection
- Give patients a more specialized procedure rather than a more extensive surgery they don’t need
- Solve issues of weight disproportions from prior tummy tucks or mini tummy tucks
What a Reverse Tummy Tuck Can Treat?
A reverse tummy tuck is used to treat the specific area of the upper abdomen. It does not eliminate fat, tighten muscles, or address excess skin around the middle or lower abdomen. Therefore, this procedure often benefits those who have already had a mini tummy tuck and have a smooth lower midsection but are experiencing an imbalance of fat in the upper abdomen.
Additionally, a reverse tummy tuck can:
- Create a smoother contour that is balanced throughout the midsection
- Tighten the upper abdominal muscles for more effective exercise and posture
- Lengthen the midsection
Am I a Candidate for a Reverse Tummy Tuck?
If you have excess skin in the upper abdomen due to pregnancy, weight fluctuations, or the natural aging process, a reverse tummy tuck can help.
Candidates may also be patients undergoing additional procedures, such as breast lift or breast augmentation, as the reverse tummy tuck utilizes an incision underneath the breast fold (inframammary fold), making it a simple combination for breast surgeries.
Candidates for a reverse tummy tuck should be close to their ideal weight, be healthy, not smoke, and have realistic expectations.
Like any body contouring procedure, reverse tummy tucks are not intended as weight loss solutions; therefore, maintaining a healthy weight before and after your procedure will yield the best results.
What Is the Reverse Tummy Tuck Procedure?
The reverse tummy tuck procedure will vary depending on the extent of concerns, the techniques used, and whether your surgeon is combining it with any other procedure.
Generally, Dr. Cohn or Dr. Anderson will make an incision that runs horizontally under the natural breast line, which will allow any subsequent scarring to be easily hidden in the breast fold. Liposuction may be used to remove unwanted pockets of fat, and, if needed, upper abdominal muscles can be tightened for a firmer, smoother result. Then, the skin will be pulled up towards the breast, creating a pleasing contour, before the excess skin is trimmed and the incision is closed.
If you are combining your reverse tummy tuck with another procedure, such as a breast lift, your surgeon may be able to utilize the same inframammary incision.
What Is Recovery Like After a Reverse Tummy Tuck?
Recovery for your reverse tummy tuck will be similar to that of a traditional tummy tuck. Immediately following the procedure, you will experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Dr. Cohn or Dr. Anderson will prescribe pain medication to help you remain comfortable during the initial days of recovery.
With any tummy tuck procedure, including the reverse tummy tuck, it is important to rest and limit movement as much as possible over the first few days. After a day or two, you should get up and move around for light activities to increase blood circulation.
Most reverse tummy tuck patients must take one to two weeks off from work and limit strenuous movement until cleared by your board-certified plastic surgeon.
Dr. Cohn or Dr. Anderson will provide you with thorough reverse tummy tuck aftercare instructions to help you through your recovery, ensuring you heal as quickly and safely as possible.
How Long Do Reverse Tummy Tuck Results Last?
The results of a reverse tummy tuck are intended to be long lasting, if not permanent. Certain factors can affect the results of your procedure, including pregnancy, weight gain, or hormone fluctuations.
No plastic surgery can stop the natural aging process, and your body will continue to change. However, if you maintain a healthy diet and proper exercise, you can enjoy your flat, smooth abdomen for years to come.
Reverse Tummy Tuck FAQ
Reverse tummy tucks will vary in cost depending on multiple factors, including the extent of the procedure, the techniques used, and if you are combining your surgery with any other cosmetic surgery. Because of these factors, it’s difficult to provide a general cost of a reverse tummy tuck.
During your comprehensive consultation with Dr. Cohn or Dr. Anderson, they will discuss your surgical plan with you before providing an accurate cost estimate.
Reverse tummy tuck patients are under anesthesia during the procedure, so you will not feel any pain. You will experience some minor discomfort during the first few days of your recovery that can be managed by pain medication and adhering to your surgeon’s aftercare instructions.
To ensure optimum comfort, healing, and results, it’s important to rest as much as possible and not push yourself physically.
Any surgical procedure runs the risk of scarring. However, a reverse tummy tuck does not require an extensive incision like a traditional tummy tuck. The incision for a reverse tummy tuck is under the breast crease and across the torso. If scarring does occur, it can easily be hidden by natural breast tissue, a bathing suit, or clothing and should fade with time.
Reverse Tummy Tucks at Cohn Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, AL
Dr. Cohn and Dr. Anderson are highly skilled and experienced Birmingham plastic surgeons specializing in body contouring procedures. Cohn Plastic Surgery is proud to offer a variety of surgical procedures to help you look and feel your best, including:
Our friendly and knowledgeable team looks forward to helping you reach your goals. Call us today at (205) 590-9900.