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Types of Tummy Tuck

Mini tummy tuck

Of the various types of cosmetic surgery for the abdomen, the mini tummy tuck – as the name suggests – is minimally invasive.  It includes the removal of a small amount of lax and loose skin that is limited to the lower tummy.  It addresses the excess central and lower skin that does not shrink even with diet and exercise.  The process is restricted to the lower abdomen, beneath the belly button level.   A muscle repair is also done to accentuate the curves and muscle lines.  It does not place a scar around the umbilicus (belly button) and includes the slightest amount of scar and pain of all types of cosmetic surgery for the abdomen.

Conventional or Standard tummy tuck

In a traditional full tummy tuck, there is a more extensive removal of excess of skin and soft tissue as well as a tightening of the abdominal wall muscles (also called rectus plication).  It is done via an incision from one side of the hip to the other along the lower abdomen just above the pubic hairline, along with a small incision around the belly button.  The rectus muscle  weakness, laxity, or diastasis that commonly develops following pregnancies or major weight fluctuation is repaired above and below the belly button level with sutures.  This is the most common type of tummy tuck surgery and may be combined with liposuction of the flank region to further improve waistline definition and love handles.

Circumferential tummy tuck

This has become common following bariatric surgery and massive weight loss.  The skin has stretched beyond its ability to contract and many areas of the body develop excess loose skin.  The excess skin and soft tissue is not limited to the abdomen in these cases but extends around the body onto the back.  These patients may benefit from circumferential abdominoplasty, one of the most extensive tummy tuck surgeries.  This procedure extends a standard tummy tuck circumferentially, removing excess skin and fat and subcutaneous tissue around the back.  A circumferential tummy tuck may be performed in one surgery vs. two stages, which will depend on clinical presentation, patient preference, and other medical conditions.  Although the risk of wound healing complications is greater than for a standard tummy tuck, this is a powerful technique to improve the contour of the entire torso in patients following massive weight loss.

Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck

The fleur-de-lis procedure is the only type of tummy tuck that will remove excess skin and soft tissue in the horizontal as well as vertical planes.  This procedure is similar to the extended tummy tuck in that it removes large amounts of excess skin and fatty tissue. It may also be an option for patients following massive weight loss given the loss of skin elasticity.  In addition to the standard lower abdominal transverse scar,  a vertical scar extends both above and below the belly button is formed.  This scar would be apparent when wearing underwear and two-piece swimwear.  The fleur-de-lis tummy tuck is less commonly performed due to more extensive and visible scarring, however, it may be a useful technique in a select few patients.

Drainless Tummy Tuck

Small plastic tubes called drains are typically placed through a small incision during some Tummy Tuck procedures. Drains are used to eliminate the collection of fluid that builds up between the skin and muscle following a Tummy Tuck procedure.

To reduce the need for drains, Tummy Tuck procedures can be performed using a progressive suture method. ASPS reports that surgeons can use a quilting technique that secures the abdominal skin to the underlying tissue layers – creating a tighter bond and reducing the room for fluid to build up.

This newer technique not only avoids the scars from drains but also reduces pain and discomfort to a  large extent.


Tummy Tuck with Liposuction

A Tummy tuck with liposuction especially of the flanks, love handles, lower back, side fat folds, etc is a common combination that helps achieve better curves and aesthetic results


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