Different Types Of Tummy Tucks – Which Technique Is Best?
Today’s tummy tuck procedure is vastly different than the first procedures performed 100 years ago by French surgeons. Now there are different types of abdominoplasty techniques, each of which address different issues and yield different results.
Here are the 3 most common types of tummy tucks performed today:
Standard Tummy Tuck
Sometimes referred to as a “full tummy tuck”, a standard tummy tuck is ideal for individuals who seek to flatten the abdomen both right above and below the belly button.
During a standard tummy tuck, the surgeon makes a horizontal incision between the hips and around the belly button (umbilicus). The surgeon then removes excess skin and tissue before pulling the remaining muscle and skin tightly over the stomach. The procedure concludes with the surgeon re-positioning the belly button and closing the incision with sutures.
Standard tummy tucks are suitable for healthy men and women who have excessive midsection skin and/or weakening of the abdominal muscles. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and most patients require about a 2-week recovery period before resuming normal activities.
Mini Tummy Tuck
The mini tummy tuck gets its name as it is less invasive (and provides a more subtle result) compared to a standard tummy tuck. This technique solely addresses the abdomen below the belly button. Thus the mini tummy tuck is ideal for slender patients with a “belly pooch” (a small bulge in the lower abdomen between the mons pubis and belly button).
During a mini tummy tuck the surgeon creates a small horizontal incision under the belly button. The surgeon can then excise extra skin and tightens the stomach muscles before closing the incision. Belly button repositioning is not necessary as this technique is less invasive than a standard tummy tuck.
Due to its less invasive technique, mini tummy tuck procedures can be done under twilight anesthesia and most patients require less than a week to fully recover.
Circumferential Lower Body Lift
A circumferential lower body lift is more invasive than a standard tummy tuck as it addresses the full abdomen while also targeting the hips and lower back. This technique is ideal for individuals in good overall health who wish to completely reshape their upper body.
To perform a circumferential lower body lift, the surgeon creates a horizontal incision that stretches across the lower belly along with a vertical incision through the belly button. This allows the surgeon to remove more surplus tissue and tighten more abdominal muscles. The surgeon then uses liposuction to remove fat around the lower back and hips and contour those areas. The procedure concludes with the belly button being repositioned before the incision is closed.
Of all the tummy tuck techniques, this surgery technique is most invasive but it also provides the most dramatic results. Patients will usually require 3-4 weeks to recover.
The Best Tummy Tuck Technique
The best tummy tuck technique will differ from individual to individual based on a number of factors including desired result, the location and amount of excess skin, overall skin quality, and the body type of the patient. Any scarring from a previous surgery can also limit which type of tummy tuck a patient is qualified for.
Your first step in getting a tummy tuck is to talk to a skilled plastic surgeon that has an abundance of experience performing all tummy tuck techniques. During an in-person consultation, a surgeon can examine your individual anatomy, discuss all your options, and develop a custom treatment plan with the appropriate type of tummy tuck along with any other necessary procedures.