Traditional vs. Hourglass Tummy Tuck

Hour Glass


For those seeking a rejuvenated midsection, the world of cosmetic surgery offers a variety of tummy tuck procedures. These are designed to address concerns like excess skin and fat that accumulate in the abdominal region, often as a result of significant weight loss, aging, or multiple pregnancies. The Traditional Tummy Tuck and the Hourglass Tummy Tuck are two distinctive procedures. While both aim to refine the abdominal area and remove excess skin, they serve different aesthetic goals. The Hourglass Tummy Tuck, for example, focuses on achieving a curvy shape. This article serves as a guide to understanding these procedures, helping you to make an informed decision.

Traditional Tummy Tuck: The Basics

A Traditional Tummy Tuck, known as abdominoplasty, is a widely-practiced procedure centered around the removal of excess skin and fat from the abdominal area. This procedure excels at tightening the abdominal wall and skin, leading to a flatter stomach. However, it is important to note that it doesn’t significantly alter the body's shape beyond the abdomen.

Undergoing a Traditional Tummy Tuck involves an incision across the lower abdomen. Although this results in a relatively long scar, it is generally discreet and easily concealed beneath swimwear. During the procedure, which is performed under general anesthesia, the surgeon stretches the skin to ascertain what can be comfortably removed and may also tighten the underlying abdominal muscles. Some patients may also choose to undergo a mini tummy tuck which focuses on the lower portion of the abdomen.

As surgical techniques may vary among plastic surgeons, it is crucial to gather comprehensive information from your surgeon regarding their specific approach, including whether they use a drain for excess fluids.


Hourglass Tummy Tuck: A Comprehensive Transformation

For individuals desiring a more dramatic alteration of their silhouette, the Hourglass Tummy Tuck offers a comprehensive solution. This procedure not only includes the elements of a Traditional Tummy Tuck but also incorporates liposuction and fat transfer, typically to the buttocks. The excess fat removed from the abdomen and flanks can be used to enhance curves and create an hourglass shape.

The goal of the Hourglass Tummy Tuck is to create a curvaceous figure, narrowing the waist while accentuating the hips. This involves more extensive work than the Traditional Tummy Tuck, and though it is more invasive, the transformation is more pronounced.

Procedure Breakdown: Components of an Hourglass Tummy Tuck

1. Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck alone

As part of the Hourglass Tummy Tuck, a traditional tummy tuck is performed to remove excess abdominal skin and stubborn fat, and to tighten the muscles. This phase focuses on the frontal abdomen.

2. Liposuction


Liposuction in the context of an Hourglass Tummy Tuck is targeted, removing fat from specific areas such as the waist, love handles, and sometimes thighs to reduce the width of the waistline. The removed fat may be purified and later used for fat transfer.

3. Fat Transfer


This involves transferring the purified fat to the buttocks and sometimes the hips to achieve a fuller and shapelier posterior, which complements the newly-sculpted waistline.

Preparing for the Procedure

Preparation is key for any surgical procedure. Schedule a consultation with us to discuss the procedures in detail and to evaluate your suitability. A thorough medical examination and review of medical history are essential. You may need to stop taking certain medications and maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and exercise regimen, and quitting smoking if you are a smoker.

Recovery and Expectations

Post-operative recovery demands careful planning. You should expect to take time off work and arrange for assistance during the initial recovery phase.

While both procedures require downtime, recovery from an Hourglass Tummy Tuck may be lengthier due to its complexity. Initial swelling and bruising are normal, and drains may be placed to collect excess fluid. It is imperative to follow all post-operative instructions and to wear the prescribed compression garments to aid in healing. The recovery process also involves managing discomfort and pain, which can include tight or tugging sensations in the abdominal region.

Final results may take several weeks to months to fully manifest. It’s important to have realistic expectations and to follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen to maintain the results.


The Traditional and Hourglass Tummy Tucks offer unique benefits depending on the desired outcome. For a flatter abdomen and tighter skin, the Traditional Tummy Tuck is ideal. For a more dramatic, curvaceous figure that includes a smaller waist and enhanced hips, the Hourglass Tummy Tuck offers comprehensive body contouring. Thorough research and consultation with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon are essential in making the best decision for your body and lifestyle. The final result can improve self-esteem and confidence as well as physical appearance.

Hourglass figure