What is a Tummy Tuck?
If you have stubborn flab or excess skin on your tummy which refuses to respond to exercise or diet, you may consider a tummy tuck.
Abdominoplasty or a tummy tuck flattens your midsection by tightening the abdominal wall muscles and removing extra skin and fat tissue.
This cosmetic surgery flattens the stomach in patients who require improved muscle tone which cannot be achieved with liposuction or exercise alone.
A tummy tuck is not the same as liposuction, although you may choose to get liposuction along with this procedure.
It is not a weight loss treatment, but rather a contouring procedure.
Types of Tummy Tucks
There are four primary versions of the tummy tuck. Your surgeon will recommend the type depending on the extent and location of excess skin.
- Full Tummy Tuck
Patients who get a full tummy tuck want to resolve issues of general roundness and excess skin.
Classic tummy tucks (also referred to as full tummy tucks) are done when patients want to address the full length of the abdominal wall. This surgery addresses both the sections above and below their belly button.
During this procedure, the incision is made across the lower abdomen from hip to hip, allowing the surgeon to access the underlying tissues.
The plastic surgeon will then contour the skin, tissue, and muscle as required.
The belly button is also removed and re-positioned.
- Mini Tummy Tuck
This procedure is ideal for people who want to rid their bellies of a pooch or stretch marks in the lower abdominal region only.
A mini tummy tuck (also referred to as partial abdominoplasty) is less invasive than a full tummy tuck.
During this procedure, the incision is generally 3-5 inches long. It is much smaller but still gives the surgeon access to the necessary tissues and muscles.
The scar can be easily hidden by underwear and bikini bottoms.
The recovery time is faster in this particular tummy tuck as the incision is small and the repositioning of the belly button is not required.
- Extended Tummy Tuck
This plastic surgery is usually performed on people who have excess fat deposits or love handles.
It is ideal for those patients who have had multiple pregnancies or have lost lots of weight, either through diet and exercise or through weight loss surgery.
The goal is to address the abdomen while simultaneously targeting the flanks and hips.
In an extended tummy tuck, the incision extends around the hips to the back. The surgeon will remove excess skin from the upper and lower abdominal region as well as the flank.
Through this operation, one can avoid the formation of “muffin tops” or side bulges that form in a standard tummy tuck or liposuction.
According to renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph P Hunstand’s book, Atlas of Abdominoplasty, “Choosing to perform an extended as opposed to a full abdominoplasty reduces the need for future revisions…”
- Circumferential Tummy Tuck
It is more extensive than a standard tummy tuck. It’s usually performed on patients who have lost a huge amount of weight due to gastric bypass or another type of bariatric surgery.
These individuals are often left with excess skin not only in the abdominal region but in the back and flanks as well.
The circumferential body lift technique (also known as a lower body lift) flattens the abdomen like a tummy tuck and at the same time lifts the lateral thighs, flank, back, and buttocks.
The surgeon makes an incision that spans the entire circumference of the patient’s torso. Then, the doctor removes the excess skin/fat and tightens the muscles. The outer thighs and buttocks are also lifted, and a new navel may be created.