The Tummy Tuck Incision: A Common Misconception & Why it Matters

By Plastic Surgeon Chris Patronella, MD, FACS

One of the most common misconceptions I encounter concerning the tummy tuck and other cosmetic plastic surgery procedures is that major changes can be made through small incisions. Minor improvements can be achieved through small incisions but not major.

In my practice, more than 90 percent of my tummy tuck patients require a hip-to-hip incision to achieve the necessary improvements that my patients seek and that I seek. When this is the case, neither liposuction or a mini tummy tuck will deliver good results, though these procedures were recommended to many of the patients I see who desire tummy tuck revision surgery to correct the inadequate results they received. Abdominoplasty performed through a small incision has left them with an upper abdomen that bulges and a lower abdomen that is flat, the result of an incision that was too small to achieve the comprehensive level of correction that is typically required to tighten loose skin and muscles both above and below the belly button.

To a great degree, marketing leads people to believe that dramatic improvements can be accomplished with short and less invasive procedures. But often, only a small percentage of patients are true candidates for these types of procedures.

One of the hardest things to do is to disappoint a patient with a recommendation that is different from what they’d hoped to hear, but you can’t always follow their desires.It is the responsibility of a plastic surgeon to apply an artistic eye to a person’s body shape and then educate this individual as to what is necessary to create the right look.


As Dr. Patronella's patient coordinator for nearly 20 years, Eva Cadena will work with you to ensure that your experience is professional, courteous, and rewarding in every way. Please call her with any questions you may have.

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