A tummy tuck is an effective way to firm up the midsection and achieve a more attractive body contour. In a single surgery, you can achieve dramatic results that will last indefinitely as long as you adhere to a healthy diet and exercise program after your procedure. If you are considering a tummy tuck procedure, it is important to know that there are different types of tummy tuck techniques, each designed to address different types of contour irregularities.
Full Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
A full tummy tuck is the traditional tuck procedure used to address more significant skin laxity and excess tissue and fat that is interfering with your body’s contour. This procedure achieves the following:
- Tightens the abdominal muscles to give a flatter abdominal contour
- Removes loose skin from the midsection
- Eliminates areas of fat in the abdomen and hip/flank areas
- Repositions the belly button for a natural appearance
The full tummy tuck is a surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia. An incision is made across the bikini line from hipbone to hipbone. Through the incision, abdominal muscles are tightened to produce a natural, toned look to the midsection. Excess tissue and skin are removed and liposuction may be used to remove excess fat from the area. The belly button will likely be repositioned in the center of the abdomen to ensure a natural, proportionate appearance.
Patients who undergo a full tummy tuck may require an overnight stay in the hospital after their procedure, although some are allowed to go home the same day as surgery. Recovery from a full tummy tuck takes some time and pain medication is generally needed to ensure a comfortable healing process. Most patients are typically back to work within 3-4 weeks after this procedure.
Mini Tummy Tuck (Partial Abdominoplasty)
Patients that don’t require quite as much improvement may opt for a mini tummy tuck, also known as a partial abdominoplasty. This procedure is often recommended for patients in relatively good shape that have a small pooch of excess skin fat in the midsection that will not respond to diet and exercise. The benefits of a mini tummy tuck include:
- Smooths the contour from the belly button to the pubic bone
- Removes pockets of fat interfering with your abdominal profile
- Eliminates excess lower abdominal skin
- Repair of the abdominal muscles is performed if necessary
The incision for a mini tummy tuck is much smaller, which means less discomfort and recovery time afterward. Mini tummy tucks also do not require repositioning of the belly button, which means an easier recovery period. Patients undergoing a mini tummy tuck are often back to work within three weeks. The results of a mini tummy tuck may be evident sooner, since the healing process isn’t quite as involved. Your midsection will be tighter and firmer, allowing your clothing to fit more comfortably.
Circumferential Abdominoplasty/Lower Body Lift
Patients who need additional improvement can also opt for a circumferential abdominoplasty. In addition to firming up the midsection, this procedure also includes a buttock lift. The procedure is very power and provides a wholesale improvement in the lower abdominal contour. Because the procedure removes significant amounts of excess skin/tissue from the sides, the outer thigh contour is also improved. This procedure is often recommended for patients with a significant amounts of loose skin, often as the result of massive weight loss.
The circumferential tummy tuck involves an incision that extends from hipbone to hipbone, across the sides and along the upper buttock to the posterior midline. Through this extensive incision, the surgeon can remove large amounts of loose skin 360 degrees around the lower abdomen. This procedure nearly always includes liposuction to remove areas of fat from the midsection, flank, hips, back and lateral thighs. The surgery also requires repositioning of the belly button to create a proportionate midsection.
Patients undergoing a circumferential tummy tuck will typically need a day or two in the hospital after surgery to begin the healing process. Incision healing becomes a greater concern with this procedure, since the incisions are so much longer than with other procedures. Most patients are able to return work one month after the procedure. Results of an extended tummy tuck tend to be very long lasting, particularly if a healthy diet and exercise program is maintained after surgery.
Combining Your Tummy Tuck with Other Procedures
No matter which type of tummy tuck you choose, your procedure may be combined with other surgical procedures to achieve the best possible results. Many patients opt to combine their tummy tuck with breast augmentation – a procedure known as a mommy makeover. Tummy tucks are also frequently combined with liposuction to further enhance your body contouring results.
If you are considering a tummy tuck, the choices in procedures can seem overwhelming. Dr. Andrews at Dr. Andrews Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery is experienced in a variety of tummy tuck techniques and will work with you to help you determine the best procedure to help you meet your aesthetic goals. To learn more about this procedure or schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Andrews, contact Dr. Andrews Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery at 855-338-0261.