Tummy Tuck Variations

What is Tummy Tuck surgery?

Tummy Tuck surgery, formally called Abdominoplasty, is a Body Aesthetic Surgery that aims to make the abdomen thinner and firmer through the removal of excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen. Tummy Tuck surgery tightens the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall as well.

Why is Tummy Tuck performed?

Excess sagging skin in the abdomen can be due to aging, excess weight loss, and childbirth. Tummy Tuck surgery is the best option to remove the sagging skin on the abdomen, and the optimal type of Tummy Tuck surgery is recommended by the attending Plastic Surgeon.

What are the conditions for Tummy Tuck?

Tummy Tuck surgery is one of the most common plastic surgeries and has a few conditions that needs to be fulfilled:

  • The patient should be eligible to undergo general anesthesia.
  • The patient should have excess skin sagging and excess fatty tissue in the abdominal tissue, particularly under the belly. Individuals with loose abdominal muscles, skin cracks under the belly, sagging abdominal fat tissue despite weight loss are eligible candidates.
  • Patient’s Body Mass Index, BMI, should be below 30.

What are the Tummy Tuck surgery types?

There are different Tummy Tuck surgeries, each covering a different range of the body. The appropriate Tummy Tucks surgery for a patient should be advised by a surgeon. Tummy Tuck surgeries include:

The Standard Tummy Tuck:

Also called a Traditional Tummy Tuck or a Full Tummy Tuck Surgery, involves emissions between hip bones and often an incision around the umbilicus, the belly button. During the surgery, the plastic surgeon tightens the muscles and pulls down the skin over the stomach, removing the excess skin.

Extended Tummy Tuck:

An extended Tummy Tuck is the combination of a Full Tummy Tuck and a Lateral Thigh Lift. The incisions are made a bit higher on the abdomen compared to the Full tummy tuck, but are longer and span from hip to hip. Extended Tummy Tuck operation includes the abdominal contouring of a complete Tummy Tuck and allows further improvement of the flank as well as smoothing the contour of the upper lateral thigh.

Mini Tummy Tuck:

Mini Tummy Tuck involves a smaller incision to be made at the abdomen and involves the removal of the excess abdominal skin and fatty tissue without replacing the belly button. This method also eliminates scars under the belly that might occur due to childbirth.

Reverse Tummy Tuck:

Reverse Abdominoplasty focuses on the upper abdomen. It is a mirror of the Full Tummy Tuck, which focuses on the lower abdominal area. Involves the removal of the loose skin from the region above the belly button.

What Are The Things To Be Considered Before Tummy Tuck?

Before a Tummy Tuck Surgery, the patient should:

  • Be at the hospital a day before their surgery for the pre operative tests to be performed.
  • Stop smoking and consuming alcohol at least 2 weeks before the surgery to alleviate the risk of a blood clot.
  • Avoid medication containing aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) for two weeks before and after surgery. These medications may increase the risk of internal bleeding. Patients should confirm each medication and supplement they wish to take with their Patient Coordinator.
  • Stop taking Multivitamin supplements 7 days prior to the surgery, and if it contains vitamin K should not be used for 30 days following the surgery.
  • Stop taking oral contraceptives 30 days before the surgery.

The patient's body will be examined and measured, and the recommendation on what kind of Tummy Tuck surgery is the most appropriate will be made. The surgeon might have photographs taken so that the patient can compare the appearance before and after the Tummy Tuck surgery.

How is the Tummy Tuck performed?

Tummy Tuck surgeries are, usually, performed under general anesthesia.

Standard Tummy Tuck:

A large incision is made across the lower abdomen, below the belly button near the groins, separating the skin from the abdominal wall below the belly button. Excess fat and skin are removed through the incision. The remaining skin is stretched down and set in place by sealing the incisions with sutures.

Extended Tummy Tuck:

A large incision across the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area, extending from hip to hip is made. A second incision around the belly button is made to separate it from the surrounding tissue. The skin is separated from the abdominal wall,then the abdominal muscles underneath are rearranged and the excess skin and fat are removed. A new hole is cut for the belly button and it’s stitched in place. The remaining skin is put together and stitched in place.

Mini Tummy Tuck:

A small incision is made, similar to the incision made during a c-section. Through the incision, the surgeon removes the excess fat, and skin and tightens the loose muscles, creating a flat and smooth abdominal wall. A Mini Tummy Tuck is able to remove the least amount of excess fat and skin compared to other Tummy Tuck variants.

Reverse Tummy Tuck:

Incisions are made that go through the lower breast fold and then connect the sternum to the both sides of the upper abdomen. The excess skin is removed, and then the remaining skin is stretched down and set in place using sutures. Liposuction might also be administered if needed. The resulting scars can be hidden beneath underwear or even two piece swimsuits.

What are The Things To Be Considered After Tummy Tuck?

After the procedure, the abdominal area will be covered with surgical dressings. In most cases, thin, small drain tubes might be placed around the incision area to prevent the accumulation of blood and other body fluids. The patients are recommended to:

  • Wear an abdominal binder and garments that are provided after surgery for at least 6 weeks following surgery.
  • Have a healthy diet as it will make the healing process faster.
  • Take their prescribed medication as instructed by their doctor.
  • Wear loose-fitting comfortable clothes.
  • Avoid strenuous exercises, putting pressure on the lower abdomen, and walking with a straight back.
  • Avoid hot baths.

What Are The Risks of Tummy Tuck?

Like any major surgery, Tummy Tuck surgery has certain risks associated with it. These risks include, but are not limited to:

  • Fluid accumulation near the skin, Seroma
  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Poor wound healing
  • Scarring
  • Changes in skin sensation
  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
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