Weight loss is always one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, but for people who are striving to look better in their swimsuit before summer hits, there are often other issues in addition to excess fat. Whether it’s due to pregnancies, weight fluctuations, or simple aging, the abdominal area can develop lax skin as well as unflattering contours, and a surgical tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) is an effective way to address the issues directly. But what few patients realize is that there are actually several different types of tummy tucks to address these issues, depending on the area you want to improve.
Traditional Tummy Tuck
A traditional tummy tuck (or “full tummy tuck”) is ideal for patients who want to improve the contours throughout their torso—both above and below the navel. As a double board-certified plastic surgeon, I begin this procedure with an incision which extends from one hipbone to the other, though typically low enough to be concealed under most bathing suits and undergarments. By repairing any abdominal muscles which have been loosened by pregnancy or weight gain, while also removing excess fat and skin, I can create a more slender, hourglass shape. The naval is repositioned using an additional discretely-placed incision.
Mini Tummy Tuck
For patients who are only concerned about the area below their navel, a mini tummy tuck is essentially a tummy tuck which solely focuses on this area. It can offer muscle repair, fat removal with liposuction, and excess skin removal like a traditional tummy tuck does, but the incision across the abdomen is often shorter and the naval is not repositioned.
Extended Tummy Tuck
If you want to improve not only the front of your abdomen but the sides as well (such as excess skin and fat in the “love handles,”) an extended tummy tuck uses an incision that extends to the sides of each hip. As a surgery which tends to be more common for patients who have lost extensive amounts of weight, the extended tummy tuck also includes repositioning the navel and, in some circumstances, can involve a vertical incision as well in order to provide the level of improvement each patient needs.
Ultimately, the decision about what type of tummy tuck to select will depend on your unique anatomy and your areas of concern. If you’re ready to start discussing your options, schedule a plastic surgery consultation with me. Or, to learn more about various cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries, follow me, Dr. Franklyn Elliott on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.