What is an Hourglass Tummy Tuck?

We’ve written a good bit about other plastic surgery procedures but wanted to spend a bit of time on the Hourglass Tummy Tuck as it’s a wonderful approach for women (and men!) to get their youthful appearance back. You’ll also see it referenced as a hourglass mommy makeover or hourglass lipo.

Unlike a traditional tummy tuck procedure, where the intent is to remove excess fat and skin from around the frontal portion of your abdomen, an hourglass tummy tuck takes this further and removes the excess fat from around your entire midsection.

The result is the hourglass silhouette that so many people are after.

In the video below, meet Tia who feels her Hourglass tummy tuck was the best decision she ever made

If you consider an hourglass, it’s obvious the top and bottom are wider than the middle, but how much so?

There are specific proportions you can discuss with your surgeon but a general rule of thumb is that your midsection should be about 25% thinner than your shoulders and/or your hips.

Of course, if your goal is a more extreme result, you’ll want to edge a bit higher than 25%. If you are OK with less of an hourglass shape, a bit less than 25% will be your goal. This is something to discuss with your plastic surgeon.

Your plastic surgeon will carefully evaluate your torso to determine the optimal amount to remove to ensure what is left will form the beautiful hourglass figure you are after.

Most hourglass procedures can be performed without needing to relocate your belly button.

This is a complicated body contouring procedure, including a standard or mini tummy tuck surgery, liposuction, and sometimes even a Brazilian Butt Lift if considered necessary to “round out” the full image.

The general goal here is a curvaceous hourglass silhouette.

Many people have what is called “diastasis recti“, which basically means your belly sticks out.

It’s caused by a widening of belly muscles. Tummy tucks routinely address, correcting by placing permanent sutures to close the separation of the muscles.

Hourglass tummy tuck diastasis recti


Bear in mind that none of us are looked at, or look at ourselves, two dimensionally. A traditional tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, will flatten your stomach, yes, but does not necessarily improve the overall 360 degree view of your body. To achieve that, the fat and excess skin must be removed and shaped around your entire torso.

The final effect is much like a very tight corset, without the pain or difficulty breathing.

Benefits of the Hourglass Tummy Tuck

Plastic surgery brings with it the opportunity to improve your overall health and self-esteem.

There are also benefits to having multiple surgical procedures at the same time and you’ll realize some of these.

The primary benefits for your hourglass procedure are:

  • Better overall health: Studies have shown that patients who are serious about maintaining the results of their plastic surgery tend to eat better, undertake more healthy exercise regimens, and generally live healthier lives.
  • Cost savings: A large portion of the expense of any surgery is hospital fees, anesthesia, etc. By combining procedures, you are paying for these only once.
  • Recovery time: A traditional tummy tuck has a recovery period, as does liposuction. By doing them both at the same time, your hourglass surgery combines the recovery period so you are spending less time recovering overall.

The Hourglass Tummy Tuck procedure – step by step

Your surgeon will start by removing the fat around your midsection, shaping your abdomen and flanks as they proceed.

This fat is purified for later addition to your hips as needed.

As the fat is being purified, your surgeon will make an incision low on your tummy, below your belly button, and fold the skin back – this allows access to the abdominal muscles so they can suture and tighten them. Loose skin will be removed as your surgeon finishes.

From there, the fat that was removed from your midsection is redistributed to your hips to complete the overall hourglass shape that you agreed upon.

The entire process will likely take several hours to complete.

There are some centers that offer “awake anesthesia” (or conscious sedation) for the procedure but generally you can expect to be unconscious.

Of course, this is a matter to discuss with your plastic surgeon.

Hourglass lady figure wide

Preparing for your Hourglass Tummy Tuck surgery

We have another article that goes into good detail on how to prepare for plastic surgery procedures so I’ll only hit the high points here:

  • Find a board certified plastic surgeon you are comfortable with. Anything your surgeon tells you takes precedence over anything you read anywhere else. If you don’t trust your surgeon, find another you do trust.  If you are in Georgia, here’s a list of the top rated Georgia plastic surgeons.
  • There’s about a one month ramp up to any major plastic surgery procedure and for several weeks out, there are specific milestones you’ll want to cross off your list. These are shared in the above linked article but a few examples:
    • 4 weeks out: Start thinking about scar prevention and post-surgical compression garments.
    • 3 weeks out: Stop smoking and drinking, share your current medications with your surgeon if you haven’t done so already, identify and avoid foods that contain salicylates, start planning your recovery area (Netflix, good books, etc)
    • 2 weeks out: Recheck your medicine with your surgeon to ensure they are ok to continue taking during this timeframe, start taking multi-vitamins, stop taking vitamin E in large doses, stop taking anything that contains aspirin, stop taking any anti-coagulants, consider stocking up on Probiotics, Bromelain and Arnica Montana
    • 1 week out: Reduce sodium intake, eat lots of fruit and veggies, drink lots of water, ensure your prescriptions are filled, ensure you have a ride home, finish up your recovery area.
    • 2 days before: Begin taking Arnica Montana and Bromelain as directed, double check your ride home, double check your recovery area, move essential items from high shelves to low, ensure you have somebody to care for your pets
    • Day of: No breakfast. Accept the anxiety (it’s normal!). Try to relax. Get to where you are going on time.

It’s important to understand that your preparation for your surgery contributes a large amount towards the eventual results.

Poor preparation enhances the chances of less than satisfactory results.

Hourglass ladys body wide

Recovery process for your Hourglass Tummy Tuck surgery

Recovery from your procedure will be a couple of weeks. You’ll most likely go home the same day but you’ll want to ensure you have a good two weeks at least to rest and recover.

As with the preparation, your recovery also contributes to the likelihood of successful results. Now is not the time to be impatient.

Lots of rest, lots of good nutrition and water, and did I mention lots of rest?

Anything that could cause stress on your abdominal walls or hips must be avoided.

After the two weeks, you can start thinking about moving around a bit but remember that the final results will take even more time, perhaps as long as six months.

Don’t skimp on your recovery process, make all of your follow up meetings with your surgeon, and maintain good nutrition and health practice while recovering.

The procedure was expensive in terms of money, time, inconvenience and perhaps pain – don’t sabotage the entire thing by cheating on the recovery.

The Hourglass Tummy Tuck – summary

Your procedure is complicated and expensive.

You’ll be in some pain, and out of action for awhile.

Don’t skimp on either the preparation or the recovery and your results will be beautiful.

You’ve spent a good bit of money and time to achieve the body you wanted so follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully and ask questions about anything you don’t understand.

Enjoy your new body!