A tummy tuck can be a powerful plastic surgery procedure. It can provide an incredible amount of improvement in the shape and appearance of an individual’s abdomen and make a significant impact in the confidence and sense of well-being of a person’s body image and self esteem. It is also a big decision and one that should be researched thoroughly.

Although the final result of any tummy tuck procedure is in part related to where each patient starts (amount and quality of loose skin and fat), there are qualities that most great tummy tuck result will have. In the end, you’ll want to have the right tummy tuck done by the right tummy tuck surgeon, at the right time. To help you navigate the consultation process I have listed five of the best tummy tuck result qualities to look for and discuss with your plastic surgeon.

Before Full Tummy Tuck
Before Full Tummy Tuck
After Full Tummy Tuck
After Full Tummy Tuck

#5 Symmetry and contour

Although there is no perfect symmetry when it comes to any part of the human body there is a level of symmetry that is needed in the abdomen and waist area to make the tummy tuck result appear both natural as well as aesthetically pleasing. Look at before and after photos with a “wide lens” and let the general shape and appearance of the abdomen and waist communicate to you if enough symmetry is present. The sides (flanks) as well the transition of the abdominal tissues from above the incision to below the incision should flow seamlessly. Contour should be smooth without lumps, bumps, indentations, or noticeable transitions.

#4 Tummy tuck incision location, shape, and quality

The tummy tuck incision appearance is one of the main concerns for most patients considering a tummy tuck. Examples of bad tummy tuck incisions are easy to find. Great tummy tuck incisions should go unnoticed. Thin, symmetric, low, and high quality should be descriptors of a good incision. As you can see, the length of the incision is not particularly important in terms of incision quality since the incision length is largely dictated by the amount of loose skin present. The incision should match the patients’ body type and clothing preferences.

#3 Shape and appearance of the belly button

The belly button will definitely be the one part of the tummy tuck that cannot be covered when wearing a bikini, so it has to look good. Natural, aesthetically, pleasing, and without any tell tale signs of being operated is key. When evaluating before and after photos take a look at the belly button. If the belly button is aesthetically pleasing, if it looks natural, and if it matches the persons body then it is likely the other details of the tummy tuck design and completion are probably also good.

#2 Tummy tuck shape

Thin, flat, tight, and narrow. These are some of the words that I like to use to discuss an aesthetically pleasing tummy as well as a good tummy tuck result. There is a combination of factors that can come together to accomplish this including liposuction, removal of excess skin, and tightening of the abdominal wall. In the end, a tummy tuck should result in a narrower waist that flows well and is aesthetically pleasing as well as a flat or significantly improved side profile from ribcage to pubic bone. Narrower from the front and flatter from the side–that’s basically the improvement a tummy tuck should provide from the shape standpoint.

#1 Harmony

Everything about the tummy tuck and waist should flow and appear as one. This one encapsulates a little of all of the above. When looking at before and after photos of a tummy tuck everything should just make sense. The result should just tight enough, not too tight and not too loose. The tummy tuck result should provide waist narrowing. Not too narrow and certainly not a boxy shape. The abdomen should compliment the thighs and breasts and should make sense when everything is viewed from afar.

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