What Is A Tummy Tuck?
The medical term for tummy tuck is abdominoplasty; it is a common cosmetic surgery procedure which involves removing excess skin and excess fat from under the skin around the tummy and belly (middle and lower abdomen). This reduces the waist size and can significantly enhance the appearance of the body shape or figure around the tummy.
Who Would Benefit From A Tummy Tuck?
The results from abdominoplasty cosmetic surgery are often quite dramatic; in particular, for individuals who have undergone a large weight loss from around the abdomen, perhaps following a diet and exercise programme. The weight loss can often lead to overstretched and sagging skin around the belly and the tummy tuck is particularly effective in addressing this.Other patients who would typically benefit from tummy tuck are women after pregnancy are left with sagging skin that has not firmed over time. This is more common in women who have had multiple pregnancies or those who do not have good skin elasticity.
What Are The Different Tummy Tuck Choices Or Procedures?
There are several different procedures:
- Mini Tummy Tuck Or Partial Abdominoplasty
- Tummy Tuck Or Full Abdominoplasty
- Brazilian Tummy Tuck
- Extended Abdominoplasty
- High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty
- Circumferential Abdominoplasty
Mini Tummy Tuck Or Partial Abdominoplasty
This typically takes around 1 to 2 hours. Recovery times are typically quicker than with full abdominoplasty. With the mini tummy tuck, a small incision is made above the pubis. Excess skin and fat are removed from the lower abdomen from the belly button (umbilicus) downwards. The main difference between partial abdominoplasty and full abdominoplasty is that with the full, excess skin and fat are removed from the mid abdomen, above the umbilicus. Typically, the mini tummy tuck is reserved for patients who have excess tissue in the lower abdomen only.
Liposuction is usually used with this procedure, to remove excess fat, but also to ensure a smooth transition between tissue contours from the mid to lower abdomen.
The umbilicus is usually required to be separated from the surrounding abdominal wall and the abdominal muscle is tightened. The umbilicus is then reattached, lower down on the abdominal wall through a new hole.
Tummy Tuck Or Full Abdominoplasty
The full abdominoplasty procedure can take up to 5 hours.
The surgical incision is made above the pubis right across the abdomen, in between the hips. This is a longer incision than with the mini tummy tuck. Excess skin is detached from across the mid and lower abdomen.
The umbilicus is required to be separated from the surrounding abdominal wall and the abdominal muscles are tightened with sutures. The umbilicus is then reattached, lower down on the abdominal wall through a new hole.
Liposuction is used to remove excess fat and also to ensure smooth tissue contours across the abdomen. Liposuction can also be extended to other areas for example around the hips.
Brazilian Tummy Tuck
The Brazilian tummy tuck is somewhere a cross between a mini tummy tuck and full abdominoplasty. It involves less skin vitiation in the tummy and instead the amount of liposuction in that area is stepped up. The vascular and lymphatic systems in the abdomen suffer less disruption so that they remain effective in draining excess serum resulting from the surgery. This reduces the risk of a seroma which is swelling caused by a build up of serum that is unable to drain.
An extended abdominoplasty is a full abdominoplasty combined together with a lift of the upper thigh (thighplasty). This procedure provides similar reasults to full abdominoplasty as expected but in addition is allows the belly area to be trimmed more and also provides reduction and shaping of the thighs.
High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty
This procedure takes around 4 to 5 hours. It is a relatively new procedure where the abdominal muscles are tightened both vertically and horizontally. With a conventional tummy tuck, the muscles are tightened only vertically. High lateral tension tummy tuck produces excellent results in flattening the tummy and enhancing the waistline.
A circumferential abdominoplasty is a procedure combining full abdominoplasty with a lift of the upper thigh and also a lift of the buttocks. This procedure is also known as a body lift or belt lipectomy and it is suited to those who have undergone a large weight loss. It removes excess skin in particular from around the whole of the mid body.