Types of Tummy Tuck
At the time of your tummy tuck consultation, you and a qualified cosmetic surgeon will discuss the improvements that you would like to see as a result of your abdominoplasty surgery. Although every procedure is unique, there are several basic variations of tummy tuck cosmetic surgery that can be used to address different cosmetic goals:
- Traditional tummy tucks are the most commonly performed type of tummy tuck surgery. They involve the creation of a hip-to-hip incision, as well as incisions around the belly button. Because they address the patient’s entire abdominal area, they often involve moving the belly button to ensure natural looking results. Traditional tummy tucks are commonly combined with abdominal liposuction.
- Mini tummy tucks (also called partial abdominoplasties) are intended for patients who are within 10 percent of their ideal body weight and are content with making alterations only to the part of the abdomen that is below the navel. Mini tummy tucks require only a single small incision. They usually do not involve repositioning the navel. Partial abdominoplasties result in less dramatic changes to the appearance of the abdomen than other types of abdominoplasty surgery, but also offer a shorter recovery time than most tummy tuck procedures.
- Endoscopic tummy tuck surgery is performed on patients with weakened abdominal muscles, little abdominal fat, and no noticeable loose skin around the stomach area. Endoscopic tummy tucks involve the use of a tiny camera attached to a slender tube, called an endoscope, which is inserted into the site of incision. An endoscopic abdominoplasty results in the least noticeable scarring because the incisions made by the surgeon only have to be large enough to allow for the insertion of the endoscope and the surgeon’s tools. This tummy tuck technique is employed in tummy tucks for men and women who suffer from rectus diastasis, a disorder that involves the separation of the abdominal muscles at the midline of the belly.
- Extended tummy tucks involve the removal of ‘love handles’ on either side of the waist as well as the removal of fat and excess skin from the stomach area. The incision is usually kept low so that even if the scar extends behind the hips, it will not be visible, even when one is wearing low-rise clothing. This procedure allows for the treatment of a larger area than the traditional tummy tuck. In order to address the lifting of the entire lower body area, a circumferential tummy tuck is usually required.
- Circumferential tummy tucks is a type of body lift. Circumferential tummy tuck surgeries are often sought by patients who have undergo gastric bypass surgery. Massive weight loss is often accompanied by a significant loss in skin elasticity. Some insurance companies will cover part of the cost of a circumferential tummy tuck surgery. The presence of sagging skin may be a health issue as well as an aesthetic one, as fungus can form between the folds of the skin. Circumferential abdominoplasty can involve the removal of excess skin from the thigh, buttocks, and hips, as well as the central abdominal area. The scars for this type of procedure extend to the back.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view abdominoplasty before and after photos.
Photo credit: Ramiro Morales, MD
Find a Tummy Tuck Surgeon in Your Area
If you're interested in one of the tummy tuck surgeries described here, you'll likely want to discuss it in person with an experienced, qualified plastic surgeon. Use DocShop's directory to find one in your desired area.