The procedure for a tummy tuck begins with incisions made across the lower abdomen and another around the naval.

During a full abdominoplasty the rectus muscles in the midline are tightened and the waist is narrowed. The umbilicus is repositioned. The skin is re-draped and excess tissue is selectively removed. Liposuction is possible at the same time and is routinely performed to help sculpt the waist and mons pubis if necessary. Hernias are repaired at the same time if necessary.

A mini-abdominoplasty involves removing skin and fat excess from the lower abdomen without scars around the umbilicus. It does not address upper abdominal excess significantly.