Understanding your Tummy Anatomy for Better Tummy Tuck Results


The Tummy Anatomy

Whether you’re going through with a tummy tuck or you’re just researching your options, this article will introduce you to the different types of tummy tucks, the common glossary terms, and the anatomy of the tummy (abdominal) wall.

Tummy Tucks are one of the most popular procedures our surgeons perform. Patients often want to get rid of either persistent and annoying belly bulge or excess skin. Furthermore, patients often tell us they have lost confidence and don’t feel comfortable wearing swimsuits or tight-fitting clothes because it makes them feel vulnerable and they don’t want to reveal their excess fat and skin, these are natural things and you shouldn’t feel ashamed.  However, you always have the choice to improve how it looks and regain that confidence.

Tummy Tuck, Extended Tummy Tuck, Abdominoplasty, Apronectomy and Fleur-De-Lis surgery are all procedures offered by our plastic surgeons to get rid of excess belly fat. Some causes of excess skin and fat include pregnancy or weight loss, as well as other health or environmental factors like medication.

Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery Before and After Tummy Tuck Surgery Illustration

What is the anatomy of the Tummy/Abdominal wall?

Abdomen” is the medical term that refers to the belly or tummy. The abdomen is a cavity that contains different organs like; the kidneys, digestive tract, liver, spleen, and more. This cavity is surrounded by the abdominal wall, which consists of several layers of connective tissue, muscles, and fat. The abdominal wall mainly consists of:

  • Muscles: The abdominal wall is made of several layers of muscles. From deep muscle to superficial, they are; the transverse abdominis, the internal oblique, and the external oblique. In addition to these there is also, the muscle responsible for 6-packs, this runs down the middle and is called the rectus abdominis. And, it extends from the rib cage down to the pubic bone.
  • Fascia: Fascia refers to the layers of fat and connective tissue that are under the skin and in between the muscles. They attach, stabilise, enclose, and separates muscles and other internal organs. This can be weakened by pregnancy, excess weight gain or other surgery.  When we talk about excess belly/tummy fat we are referring mainly to subcutaneous fat (the fat that’s directly under your tummy’s skin). It is often persistent and does not go away with a simple diet and exercise.

Visceral fat is the fat within the abdominal cavity and is in between organs like the liver and intestines. A tummy tuck removes the excess fat and skin from the abdominal wall, however it does not tackle visceral fat at all.


What causes excess belly fat and skin?

There are several causes that might make you want to get an abdominoplasty to improve how your tummy looks:

  • Childbirth through c-section
  • Pregnancy
  • Weight loss
  • Medication
  • Natural genetics

What is a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove the excess fat, tissue and skin around your belly.  It involves’

  • Pulling the skin tight and removing the excess.
  • This may also result in the repositioning of the belly button.
  • One long incision is made along the lower border of your abdomen. In other words, along your pubic bone.
  • Fortunately, this means that the scar is typically hidden.
  • A qualified plastic surgeon will do your procedure.
  • They will also discuss with you if you want the procedure done independently or in conjunction with other procedures. For Example a Mummy Makeover or Torso Makeover.
  • We get a lot of inquiries from Mums about this surgery. This is due to the fact that many women find themselves with persistent belly fat post-pregnancy/post-childbirth.

What’s the difference between a regular tummy tuck, fleur-de-lis, and mini tummy tuck?

There are several types of abdominoplasty, with specific characteristics depending on what the patient needs. You’ve probably heard or seen the following terminology before but were unsure of the differences, we are here to clarify the differences for you.

Tummy tuck

A traditional tummy tuck is when the surgeon does an incision along the lower abdomen, near the bikini line, removing excess tissue and fat, pulling the skin taut, and closing with stitches.

Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck

This type of abdominoplasty is ideal for patients who have excessive amounts of fat and skin that a traditional tummy tuck just can’t resolve. In addition to the horizontal incision along the bikini line, another vertical incision goes up the midline, as seen in the picture to the right. Although the additional scar is unfortunate it allows the surgeon to pull the skin tighter on the sides of the abdomen and prevents bulging.

Mini tummy tuck

The scar is much smaller than that of a traditional abdominoplasty. This type of tummy tuck is perfect for mums who have just a little leftover fat and lax skin after childbirth. Unlike others, this form of tummy tuck does not include any muscle repair.

Your surgeon will assess you and discuss which type of tummy tuck they believe is best for you factoring in your tummy anatomy/body and goals.

Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery Differentiating Fleur De Lis with Traditional Tummy Tuck
  • Abdominoplasty: Also called a tummy tuck – A surgical procedure to remove the excess fat, tissue and skin from your abdomen.
  • Diastasis: Separation of the muscles, it usually happens after childbirth or excessive weight gain and is treatable during abdominoplasty.
  • Liposuction: Refers to the removal of stubborn fat with the use of suction, often done in conjunction with abdominoplasty to obtain a more desirable contour.

Our surgeons are some of the top plastic surgeons in Australia. Moreover, they offer surgery for the whole body from the face to the breast and body.  We also offer a range of non-surgical skin and scarring treatments too. So, if you want to learn more about Tummy Anatomy or what procedure might be best for you, call us to set up an appointment with one of our surgeons or to learn more about what we can do to help!

Further readings


Last updated: 15/06/2022
Author profile image
Dr Craig Rubinstein - MBBS, FRACS (Plast)
Dr Craig Rubinstein MBBS, FRACS (Plast), a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, is one of Australia's most respected Melbourne Surgeons for Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift (Mastopexy), Breast Reduction surgery and Abdominoplasty procedures. Using advanced surgical techniques to gain better body contouring and natural-looking surgical results, Dr Rubinstein is highly regarded by peers and patients for best-practice Clinic Patient-care and patient education strategies. He published a chapter on corrective surgery for Breast Asymmetry. Qualifications/Training Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) The Australian Medical Association (AMA) American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) Founder: Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery previously Cosmetic Surgery for Women and Men Bio Page: https://cocorubyplasticsurgery.com.au/dr-craig-rubinstein-plastic-surgeon/

Coco Ruby’s Specialist Plastic and ENT Surgeons

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic Surgeons are dedicated to best practice patient care and education, customising Breast Enlargement Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

coco ruby specialist plastic surgeons 

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 1300 264 811, Email us: enquiries@cocoruby.com.au or Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager or a Virtual Consultation with a Surgeon.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.