A tummy tuck is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries. But did you know there are different kinds of tummy tucks?
The broad term “tummy tuck” refers to an abdominoplasty, which means removing excess skin and fat and tightening the underlying abdominal muscles to create a firmer, flatter belly, and a tighter waistline. It is a very effective procedure, but it is not a replacement for weight loss through diet and exercise. In addition, it isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution for everyone looking to improve their abdominal contour.
Types of Tummy Tucks
There are many kinds of tummy tucks, each designed to effectively address specific abdominal issues to achieve the desired abdominal shape. So how do you know which type of tummy tuck is best for you? The answer depends your current anatomy and desired goals.
The Traditional Abdominoplasty
The classical abdominoplasty is ideal for people who want to flatten the abdomen both above and below the belly button and is suitable for healthy men and women with overstretched abdominal muscles and excess skin around their midsections.
Traditional Abdominoplasty Process
- This procedure, also known as a traditional or standard tummy tuck, necessitates a horizontal incision between the hip bones in the lower abdomen, as well as an incision around the umbilicus (belly button).
- The plastic surgeon tightens the muscles and pulls down the skin over the abdomen to remove the excess fat during the procedure.
- If required, liposuction can be used during the process to contour the waistline and hips. After achieving the desired contours, the surgeon repositions the belly button and closes the incision.
Even people with their ideal body weight can be bothered by a persistent paunch that no amount of dieting or exercise can remove. The mini tummy tuck is primarily for this situation. This modified technique flattens a bulge in the lower abdomen by treating the area between the mons pubis and the belly button. However, it does not significantly address the upper abdominal contour.
- A small horizontal incision is made in the lower part of the abdomen between the hip bones.
- This exposure allows the surgeon to tighten the lower abdominal muscles and remove excess skin. It does not usually entail repositioning the belly button.
- A mini tummy tuck is frequently combined with liposuction to remove any adjacent abdominal fatty deposits.
- Because this procedure is less invasive than a traditional abdominoplasty, patients mostly recover faster. Most people can begin their usual work within a week or so.
The Extended Abdominoplasty
As the name implies, it is a more extensive version of a traditional abdominoplasty. It addresses the concerns of men and women in good health but having excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen, hips, and sides of the lower back.
Extended Abdominoplasty Process
- The horizontal incision is made for an extended tummy tuck extending across the lower abdomen and around the hips.
- Because the extended tummy tuck removes more skin from a larger area than the traditional technique, it is for those patients who have lost a significant amount of weight. For the horizontal skin, a vertical incision may be required.
- A procedure is known as an anchor abdominoplasty.
- Before the incision is closed, belly button repositioning is necessary.
- Patients who undergo this procedure should expect a few weeks of recovery time.
The Reverse Abdominoplasty
Some people are only unhappy with the contour of their upper abdomen. They may have loose upper abdominal skin draping over the belly button. It is also known as a “frowny” belly button. People with this problem may be good candidates for a reverse tummy tuck. It is a modified technique that removes only excess upper abdominal skin by making an incision in the fold beneath each breast. It is a specific type of tummy tuck that addresses issues of the upper abdomen. As a result, recovery is typically faster, with people returning to work within a week or so.
Which Type of Tummy Tuck is best for you?
While the amount and location of your excess skin are undoubtedly vital factors in determining which type of tummy tuck is best for you, skin quality and body type can impact your results. Scarring from previous surgeries must also be taken into account. The location of excess fat deposits is also vital. While tummy tucks help reduce fat in front of the muscle wall, they do not address the deeper fat within the abdominal cavity.
Tummy tuck options should be according to the patient’s needs for the best results. Therefore, consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon is critical. Your plastic surgeon can educate you about the possibilities for your specific case after discussing your individual goals and examining your anatomy. Your plastic surgeon will also assist you in determining the type of outcome you can expect and can design a treatment plan that includes the appropriate tummy tuck to achieve your specific goals. Of course, the ultimate goal is for you to be healthy and satisfied with the outcome.