FAQs About a Reverse Tummy Tuck

A reverse abdominoplasty, also known as a reverse tummy tuck, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes excess, loose skin from the upper abdomen. A traditional abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, addresses the issue of loose skin of both the upper and lower abdomen.

A woman pinching her belly standing against a gray background
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Where Are the Incisions for a Reverse Tummy Tuck Located?

The incisions for a reverse tummy tuck are located beneath the breasts at the breast fold or breast crease. Sometimes the incisions meet at the middle making one continuous horizontal incision, under the breasts, where a bra would be worn. Excess skin is removed and the skin is redraped.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate?

A reverse tummy tuck focuses on removing excess, loose skin above the belly button or navel. A patient with a tight lower abdomen but loose skin of the upper abdomen would be an ideal candidate for this surgery. Of course, an ideal candidate is in good health, a non-smoker, and has realistic expectations of the outcome of the procedure.

How Common Is the Procedure?

The reverse tummy tuck procedure is not a common procedure. The primary reason is that most patients have loose skin above and below the belly button. Some patients do not like the incision required for a reverse tummy tuck.

Do You Need a Reverse, a Mini, or a Traditional Tummy Tuck?

Stand in front of a mirror and bend forward at the waist. Now focus on your belly button. What do you see?

Is the skin below the belly button loose and hanging toward the floor but the skin above the belly button is in good shape? The procedure for this condition may be a mini-abdominoplasty.

Is the skin below and above the belly button loose and hanging downward? The procedure for this condition is a traditional abdominoplasty.

Is the skin below the belly button nice and smooth, but the skin above the belly button is loose and hanging downwards? The procedure for this condition is a reverse tummy tuck.

Ultimately, an evaluation by a plastic surgeon is needed.

Is Plication Needed or Even Possible With a Reverse Tummy Tuck?

Pregnancy or weight gain can stretch apart the abdominal (rectus) muscles. This is known as diastais recti, or rectus diastasis. Plication is the closing of the gap, or diastasis, between the abdominal muscles. To do this, the muscles are surgically sewn together, creating an internal corset. If only the upper abdomen is affected, plication is done with a reverse tummy tuck.

How Much Does It Cost?

The price of a reverse tummy tuck is comparable to the price of a traditional tummy tuck in the area in which the patient lives.

What Are the Possible Complications?

A reverse tummy tuck procedure has similar complications to those of a traditional tummy tuck. Complications don’t mean something adverse will happen, just that it could happen. Some possible complications of a reverse tummy tuck include:

  • Infection
  • Hematoma
  • Seroma
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Scarring
  • Asymmetry
  • Need for revision surgery

Is There an Incision Around the Belly Button?

No, there is no incision around the belly button. In a reverse tummy tuck, the upper abdominal skin is pulled upward without needing to make an incision around the belly button.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Pantelides NM, Mondal D, Wishart GC, Malata CM. Reverse abdominoplasty: a practical option for oncological trunk reconstruction. Eplasty. 2013;13:e2.

  3. Jessen ML, Öberg S, Rosenberg J. Treatment Options for Abdominal Rectus Diastasis. Front Surg. 2019;6:65. doi:10.3389/fsurg.2019.00065

  4. Hunstad JP, Repta R. Complications. Atlas of Abdominoplasty. 2009:229-242. doi:10.1016/b978-1-4160-4080-4.00015-1