An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a surgical procedure that creates a firmer, flatter stomach area and a more narrow waist by removing excess skin and fat, in addition to tightening the abdominal muscles.
There are a few different variations of the tummy tuck, and to determine which is right for you would depend on your goals and current anatomy.
It’s important to note that a tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss through diet and exercise.
The following factors may indicate you’re a good candidate for a tummy tuck:
- You have loose skin around your abdomen.
Although a tummy tuck can target stubborn belly fat, to qualify for this procedure, you must also have a significant amount of excess skin around your abdomen.
- You have overall good health.
- You have realistic expectations of the surgery.
To maintain the results of your tummy tuck, you will need to eat a healthy diet and maintain a regular exercise routine. If you are committed to a healthy lifestyle, you are likely an excellent candidate for this procedure.
- You have had a baby or lost a significant amount of weight.
- You are not planning on becoming pregnant.
- You are not planning on losing more weight.
You should be within 15 to 20 pounds of your ideal weight before undergoing a tummy tuck.
The Full Tummy Tuck
Also called a traditional or standard tummy tuck, this procedure is suitable for men and women who have excessive skin around their midsections or weakened abdominal muscles, who want to flatten the area above and below the belly button.
This procedure requires a horizontal incision between the hipbones and often an incision around the belly button. During the surgery, the muscles are tightened and the excess skin is removed.
Liposuction can be used during the procedure to contour and reduce excess fat.
The typical recovery period is about two weeks long.
The Mini Tummy Tuck
Sometimes, even naturally slim people are plagued by stubborn belly fat that no amount of dieting and exercising will erase. The mini tummy tuck is designed for exactly this situation.
This particular procedure flattens out a small bulge in the lower abdomen. A small horizontal incision is made between the hipbones in the area that would normally be covered by a bikini bottom, allowing for the underlying muscles to be tightened and excise of extra skin.
If necessary, liposuction can be utilized to remove fat deposits before the surgeon closes the incision.
The downside of the mini tummy tuck is that the areas of excess skin, fat and muscle laxity above the umbilicus are not altered.
Most are able to return to their normal activities in a week or so.
The Extended Tummy Tuck
As its name suggests, the extended tummy tuck is a more extensive version of a full tummy tuck.
It is intended to address the issues faced by men and women who enjoy general good health but have unwanted skin on their tummy, hips and the sides of the lower back.
A horizontal incision can stretch across the lower belly and around the hips, and a vertical incision may also be required. This allows a wider area to be treated and more tissue to be removed.
Liposuction is commonly used to contour and reduce excess fat, and the belly button is repositioned before the incision is closed.
Patients who undergo this procedure should expect their recovery to take a few weeks.
While the amount and location of your excess skin is clearly a major factor in determining which type of tummy tuck is appropriate, other aspects of your anatomy can also come into play- such as skin quality, scarring from previous surgeries, and the placement of excess fat deposits.
For the best results, tummy tucks should be tailored to the patient’s unique needs.
If you have further questions about tummy tucks or any procedures offered at The Lett Center, or if you would like to book a consultation, please call (615)443-0901.