How Does a Traditional Tummy Tuck vs an Hourglass Tuck Work?

Tummy Tuck Surgery michigan

Have you been considering a medical procedure to help you lose weight or feel better about your tummy? You’re probably weighing several options. An Hourglass tuck or a Traditional tummy tuck is something to keep in mind.

These procedures can give you confidence. It helps people kickstart a healthy journey towards better health and self-image.

How do you choose which tuck you want? The answer lies in understanding the inherent differences in the results.  

We never want any patients to feel in the dark about what their options are. We’re going to outline the procedures for you here. We want you to know what to expect before getting your own Hourglass or traditional tummy tuck in Michigan.  

What Exactly is a Traditional Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck is the common term for the abdominoplasty surgical procedure.  However, many patients do not understand that there are differences in a Traditional Tummy Tuck when compared to an Hourglass Tuck.  

The Traditional Tummy Tuck was designed to remove and hanging skin or loose skin of the abdomen (tummy) while repairing the expanded distance between the muscles. Any fat that lies under the skin that is removed (called a panniculus) with the overlying skin.  The Traditional Tummy Tuck only minimally tightens the abdominal muscles.

Not only does it make this area tighter, but it also removes fatty tissue and excess skin that causes sagging. During the Traditional Tummy Tuck the belly button is maintained and relocated on the skin that remains resulting in two scars.  One around the belly button as it is secured to the new location on the abdomen and the lower abdominal transverse scar.

The Hourglass Tuck is an advanced procedure developed by Dr. michael W. Gray (West Bloomfield, MI).  He is the ONLY surgeon performing this technique and a trip to Michigan is well worth the journey.  In the Hourglass Tuck the abdominal wall is cinched like an Hourglass more than you can hold your tummy in if you tried while at the same time removing more skin and underlying fat than a traditional Tummy Tuck but without the pain of a traditional tuck.  The abdominal muscles are made much tighter which gives patients a flatter, skinnier, tighter appearance. The advancements of this technique have made the recovery much easier than a Traditional Tummy Tuck with superior results. One incision on the lower abdomen is made vs Two of the traditional Tummy tuck.

Candidates for a Tummy Tuck vs Hourglass Tuck

Those who would fare best in an abdominoplasty procedure are any women and men who are otherwise in good health, that want their tummy  to look better and flatter where liposuction would provide a lesser result.

Traditional Tummy Tuck Candidates:  This procedure is indicated for man and women who have excess skin (with or without fat) that are NOT looking for their circumference (abdominal wall protuberance)  to be flattened.

Hourglass Tuck Candidates:  These patients want the flattest, skinniest waistline and tightest skin.

Flat Ab Options

Usually, candidates consider three options to help flatten an abdomen that sticks out.

  • The first option is liposuction, which is better for situations where there is more fat causing the protuberance of the abdomen than the musculature (abdominal wall) of the abdomen.  Patients seeking a fat reduction will not have loose skin unless the skin is loose prior. If a liposuction patient has loose skin a few options exist but do not guarantee tightening.  These are Heat, or Thread Lift.
  • The second option is a mini tummy tuck that focuses specifically on the area below the belly button.  Mini tucks do not flatten the tummy but can be combined with liposuction of the tummy at the same time.  Dr. Gray offers an Extended mini tuck which can help tighten the skin at or a little above the belly button.
  • Lastly, a Hourglass tummy tuck is for those who have lax abdominal muscles (abdominal wall protuberance) with or without any loose skin.   Liposuction on the tummy at the same time as any tummy tuck is not recommended.

The Procedure

A tummy tuck will  be performed while the patient is asleep under general anesthesia.  

This procedure often takes place in conjunction with liposuction anywhere on the body except directly on the tummy at the same time as a Tummy Tuck.  The Hourglass Tuck alone requires one hour.

Afterwards: What is Recovery Like?

After Dr. Gray’s Hourglass Tuck you are encouraged NOT to stay in bed but to move about with your day to day activity without housework or physical activity.  When resting a recliner is your best option. You should keep your legs bent at the hips to keep abdominal strain to a minimum. Any drains will be removed when ready.  Stitches are disolveable eliminating the need to remove. Abdominal support garments from anywhere between 6-8 weeks.

It’s important to avoid strenuous activity while you recover, but you can expect to be back to a non-physical job in 1-2 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions on Tummy Tuck Surgery 

  1. What is a tummy tuck surgery?

Tummy tuck surgery, or abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure aimed at removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tightening the muscles to create a flatter and more toned abdomen.

  1. Who is an ideal candidate for tummy tuck surgery?

Ideal candidates are those in good health, at a stable weight, who have excess abdominal skin or fat that hasn’t improved with diet and exercise.

  1. How long is tummy tuck surgery?

The duration of tummy tuck surgery typically ranges from two to five hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure.

  1. What distinguishes a traditional tummy tuck from other types?

A traditional tummy tuck focuses on removing excess skin and slightly tightening the abdominal muscles, while other variations may address different areas or include additional procedures like liposuction.

  1. Can tummy tuck surgery assist in weight loss?

Tummy tuck surgery is not a weight loss procedure; it is designed to contour and flatten the abdomen after significant weight loss or pregnancy.

  1. What is the tummy tuck surgery recovery process like?

Recovery from tummy tuck surgery varies, with most patients resuming light activities within a few weeks. Full recovery and optimal results can take several months, during which following post-operative care instructions is crucial.

  1. Are the results of tummy tuck surgery permanent?

Results can be long-lasting with a stable weight and healthy lifestyle. Significant weight fluctuations or pregnancy post-surgery can impact the outcome.

  1. Will there be scars after tummy tuck surgery?

Yes, scarring is a part of the healing process, but the incisions are strategically placed to minimize visible scarring, and they typically fade over time.

  1. What level of pain is expected after tummy tuck surgery?

Some pain and discomfort are normal following surgery, which can be managed with medication prescribed by the surgeon.

  1. How should I prepare for tummy tuck surgery?

Preparation involves consultations with your surgeon, potentially adjusting medications, stopping smoking, and arranging for assistance during recovery.

Contact Us to Move Towards Your Self-Image Goals!

If you’re ready to say goodbye to a protruding abdomen and tired of being asked if you are pregnant or just want to be skinny again, contact Dr. Michael Gray today to set up your consultation appointment at or by calling 248-538-3333.

March 22, 2019 Blog