A tummy tuck, clinically known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure involving the removal of loose skin, tightening of abdominal muscles and elimination of stubborn fat deposits. This procedure can be customized to meet the unique goals and needs of each patient. There are different types of tummy tucks, each of which target specific issues and areas of the body. The procedure can also be combined with other cosmetic surgery procedures.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
A tummy tuck procedure is divided into various stages and could take several hours, depending on the procedure being performed. It begins with local or general anesthesia, but most surgeons prefer full sedation as the patient is completely relaxed, allowing the surgeon to work with ease and with greater speed. Depending on the procedure, the number of incisions made will vary. Most tummy tucks involve naval reattachment and sculpting. Tightening of muscles and skin removal also occurs during an abdominoplasty, and stretch marks can be eliminated during skin removal, depending on the site of the incision. After all this is done, the incision is closed. It should be noted that there are pre- and post-operative care that your surgeon will let you know.
Types of Tummy Tucks
- Traditional tummy tuck
This is the most common type of tummy tuck surgery that involves creating a hip-to-hip incision together with incisions around the belly button. The procedure addresses a patient’s entire abdominal area and often results in moving of the belly button for natural looking results. This procedure is normally combined with abdominal liposuction.
- Mini tummy tuck
This is also known as partial abdominoplasty and is ideal for patients who are within 10 percent of their ideal body weight. These patients are usually satisfied with only making alterations to the part of their abdomen below the navel. This surgical procedure only requires one small incision and does not need repositioning of the navel. As such, the procedure results in less dramatic transformation of the abdomen compared to other forms of abdominoplasty. It also offers a shorter recovery period compares to the other abdominoplasties.
- Endoscopic tummy tuck
This type of abdominoplasty is carried out on patients with weakened abdominal muscles. These patients normally have no noticeable loose skin around the stomach area and have little abdominal fat. This procedure involves inserting an endoscope (a tiny camera attached to a slender tube) into the incision site. It is used for persons who suffer from rectus diastasis, a disorder that results in the separation of the abdominal muscles at the midline of the belly. It results in a tummy tuck with the least noticeable scarring because the incision created is only wide enough for the insertion of the endoscope and other tools used by the surgeon.
- Extended tummy tuck
This surgical procedure involves the removal of “love handles” on both sides of the waist and the removal of fat and any excess skin around the stomach area. The incision made during this procedure is usually low and the scar will not be visible, even when one is in low-rise clothing. As such, it allows a larger area to be treated compared to the traditional tummy tuck.
- Circumferential tummy tuck
A type of body lift, this procedure is often sought by patients who previously underwent a gastric bypass surgery. This is because significant loss in skin elasticity accompanies massive weight loss. Not only is sagging skin an aesthetic issue, it is also a health issue because fungus can form between the folds of sagging skin. The procedure can also involve removal of excess skin from the hips, thighs, buttocks and central abdominal area. The scar obtained usually extends to the back.
Dr. Gregory H. Croll is the owner of his own practice, and the leading doctor for tummy tucks in Columbia, MO.