Patients are routinely confused about the goal of the tummy tuck and how they think their belly is going to look after surgery. The tummy tuck essentially tightens your muscles. I cut the excess skin, perform liposuction, and if I do the hourglass tummy tuck, inject fat in the hip area. But how your belly is going to look depends on your skin tone before surgery. A tummy tuck will not give you a pre-baby tummy. What it will do is create an abdomen that is relatively tighter than where you were before surgery. There are two concepts that you need to understand so you can have this clear in terms of your results after a tummy tuck. The first one is excess skin and the second is skin tone. Let’s talk about the first one: excess skin. You probably will notice that once you have your baby, your belly looks deflated and you have more skin. This is very different than the skin tone. The skin tone is defined by the molecular arrangement of the skin prior to surgery. If your skin is significantly stretched, all the molecules and the collagen and elastin that create the essence of the skin elasticity are damaged; that is why you develop stretch marks. So, whenever you do a tummy tuck and the excess skin is removed and your abdomen is closed, your skin is stretched, but it does not change the tone of your skin. In other words, if you have bad skin tone before surgery, you still are going to have bad skin tone after surgery. If your skin jiggles to some extent before surgery, it is still going to jiggle somewhat after surgery. Some patients come to the clinic after a tummy tuck and claim that they still have excess skin when they are bending forward. The results of a tummy tuck are assessed when you are standing up, not when you lie down or sit. Why? Because the skin is elastic, and even without a tummy tuck, your skin is still going to bunch when you lie down. You need to understand the limitations of a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck will not give you a pre-baby tummy. The hourglass tummy tuck will provide a flat abdomen with an hourglass shape. Those are the two main goals. If you sit, yes, your skin is going to bunch, due to the nature of the skin elasticity. This happens even to a baby. Understanding skin tone and skin elasticity is important for you to have realistic expectations of what this procedure can do for you. It does not matter which surgeon you choose; they cannot change the essence of your skin tone. The surgeon will only make your belly tighter relative to where you were prior to surgery.