How Natural Will My Tummy Tuck Result Look?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I was seeking a natural tummy tuck result. But after looking at the picture you provided to me, I now realize that removing the excess skin/tissue across my abdomen is not going to give me the “natural” look I was hoping for.  So my questions are:

  1. What other procedures do I need which will help to reduce the flank areas and outer thigh areas (lipo, lifts, different abdominal procedure?).  I am not interested in the inner thigh at this point, but I would like surgery results closer to the “after” picture than what the one procedure appears to be able to provide.
  2. By adding these procedures how much additional time or what will the total surgery time be? Given my age, do you consider this extended time to be a concern?
  3. By adding these procedures what amount of recovery time do I need to plan for.  (My daughter is getting married in late June and activities are already planned for mid-June.)  Will a mid-April surgery date, if available, give me the necessary recovery time to fully enjoy the wedding activites, anticipating no surgery complications?
  4. Will I need to plan more time off than just the day of and day after surgery? 

A: The concept of a ‘natural’ look after a tummy tuck is open to wide intrepretation and is subject to one’s own perception. But in answer to your specific questions:

  1. It is important to realize that you are not able to achieve the after picture that you saw. Your body is completely different in many dimensions and no amount of additional liposuction will make those type of changes.
  2. If there is truly a ‘dangerous’ part of abdominal contouring, it is large volume liposuction that may accompany the procedure. It is one thing to do a little flank liposuction as part of a tummy tuck, but major liposuction places certain patients like yourself at increased risks and exposes yourself to some of the greater risks and problems that you have heard with other people. I would not recommend it for you other than some small contouring liposuction at the back end of the tummy tuck incisions.
  3. When you think of any significant event that someone wants to attend and be truly 100% fully recovered, the minimum time for the surgery before the event would be 8 weeks.
  4. I would definitely plan for more than just one day after the surgery to return to work. For computer work at least a few days would be in order.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana