Are All Tummy Tucks The Same?
Aging, pregnancy, and weight fluctuations are just some of the reasons that people reach a plateau when trying to tone and tighten their abdomen. Tummy tucks are a popular option for men and women who want flat midsections but struggle to achieve the ideal shape through proper nutrition and exercise. Although the overall goal is the same for all patients, the techniques are customized to the individual needs of the patient. Factors that need to be considered are:
- Individual anatomy
- Location of the excess fat
- Skin elasticity
- Amount of fat and skin that needs to be removed
Tummy Tuck Techniques
When defining a surgical plan for a patient’s tummy tuck procedure, Dr. Kole will use one of several techniques, and he may combine techniques if necessary to give the most natural and attractive result.
Full Tummy Tuck
Also known as a standard tummy tuck, a full tummy tuck aims to remove excess skin and fat from the area above and below the belly button. The surgery is and requires access to a significant portion of the soft tissue in the abdominal area. As such, the incision usually extends from hip bone to hip bone. A second incision is placed around the belly button to allow Dr. Kole to free the navel from surrounding tissue. Dr. Kole follows a line that will allow the scar to be hidden by your bikini bottoms or underwear. During the surgery, the abdominal muscles are tightened with non-dissolvable sutures. Next, Dr. Kole makes an incision for the belly button, pulls the soft tissue over the area, and trims any excess before closing the incisions. Liposuction is often added to the love handles and lateral bra area to further tailor the results and limit the scar length.
Extended Tummy Tuck
Patients who have extra fat and loose skin in the abdominal area after losing a large amount of weight are typically candidates for an extended tummy tuck. The primary difference between this technique and a standard tummy tuck is that the surgery also addresses any fat on the sides of the abdominal area, commonly referred to as “love handles”. The incision line extends around the hips, making it more extensive than the incision that is used for a full tummy tuck. The belly button is also repositioned during an extended tummy tuck. Patients who undergo an extended tummy tuck have scars that are longer to address the extra skin laxity not treatable with liposuction.
Fleur-de-Lis Tummy Tuck
Patients who have higher amounts of extra fat and skin may require an additional vertical incision in the abdominal area. The technique, known as a fleur-de-lis tummy tuck, is most often recommended for men and women with longer torsos or who have a high amount of excess skin between the belly button and pubic area. This surgical procedure leaves a vertical as well as bikini line scar.
Mini Tummy Tuck
In a number of cases, Dr. Kole will recommend a mini tummy tuck. This type of abdominoplasty is the least common because it is only suitable for men and women who need very minimal correction. A mini tummy tuck targets extra skin loose muscles and fat between the pubic area and belly button. The surgery involves a smaller incision that measures between four and eight inches. The belly button does not need to be repositioned. Once the incision is made, Dr. Kole tightens the muscle, trims the excess skin and closes the incision.
What Type of Tummy Tuck is Right for Me?
As an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Kole understands that each patient requires a different approach to tummy tuck surgery. He will recommend the technique that best suits your anatomy, and that will achieve the best possible results with the smallest possible scar.
Anatomy is a Factor for Tummy Tucks
Several factors must be considered when choosing the right abdominoplasty technique for you. In addition to the amount and location of the excess fat and skin, Dr. Kole also takes into consideration your:
- Body type
- History of abdominal surgeries
- Skin quality
- Presence of fat that lies beneath the abdominal muscles
- Abdominal muscle laxity
Tummy tuck surgery is a safe and effective procedure that tones and tightens the abdominal area, but the success of the surgery is dependent on the expertise and skill of the surgeon. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Kole will use the right technique for your tummy tuck and provide you with realistic expectations of your abdominoplasty outcomes.