A tummy tuck, otherwise known as abdominoplasty, is a popular form of elective cosmetic surgery that helps to shape, tighten, and overall improve the appearance of a person’s abdomen.
This is a popular type of procedure for those with stretched and loose skin caused by following bodily changes such as pregnancy or dramatic weight loss.
According to Dr. Mulholland of TorontoPlasticSurgeons, having sagging skin on the stomach can be a particularly sensitive area of concern for his patients.
“Those who have sagging loose skin often report that they have embarrassment about their appearance. Dealing with loose skin after weight loss can be especially devastating to those who have worked so hard to achieve dramatic weight loss goals, only to still feel self-conscious about their bodies.” Dr. Mulholland writes.
So how is a tummy tuck performed? In fact, there are several types of tummy tucks, all performed with slightly different techniques that work to help treat various aspects of concern for a patient. Here are some of the types of tummy tucks commonly performed.
Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck is regarded as the most minimal and least invasive technique of the tummy tucks. Patients primarily seek out the mini tummy tuck when they wish to focus only on the lower part of the stomach from under the belly button. This method does not usually tighten up abdominal muscles and is most sought out by those who only have minor concerns with loose and sagging skin.
As the incisions required for this procedure are the most minimal, residual scarring because of this procedure are often themselves minimal.
Full Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck, also known as the traditional or standard tummy tuck, is the most performed style of the procedure. The full tummy tuck both removes loose skin and tissue from the stomach while also helping to tighten the underlying abdominal muscles in the stomach to create a more toned and contoured final procedure.
As with most tummy tucks, a discreet hip-to-hip incision is made along the bikini line area. In addition, a small incision may be made around the belly button area. The full tummy tuck treats loose skin that has been stretched both above and below the belly button.
Circumferential Tummy Tuck
The circumferential tummy tuck is a more extensive style of tummy tuck that targets the sides and back of the lower torso, not just the stomach itself. This style of tummy tuck is often reserved for those who have gone through large amounts of quick weight loss and find loose skin now sagging from their stomach, sides, and back.
The circumferential lift is performed by making an incision starting in the abdomen and extending around to the lower back, removing the belt of skin, fat, tissue and any other concerns in the area.
Usually, liposuction is also necessary for this procedure to help make the contour appear more natural.
It should be noted that this is a far more extensive type of tummy tuck, which is more costly and can leave a fair amount of scaring, given its wide area of coverage.
Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck
The Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck is another type of tummy tuck meant for extreme redundancies of skin in the stomach. During this style of a tummy tuck, two incisions are made. The first is a horizontal hip-to-hip incision, and the second is a vertical incision that runs in the centre of the abdomen.
While this is a very successful method for removing large amounts of excess skin and tissue in the abdomen, it does typically leave a vertical scar that runs above and below the belly button. This allows the skin to be tightened not only from below but also from the sides. As for the size of the scarring, that will depend on your skin laxity.
Tummy Tucks vs Liposuction
Tummy tucks and liposuction procedures are commonly confused with one another or even assumed to be the same procedure. This misconception is likely because they are both body contouring procedures, as well as the fact that they are often elected to be performed together.
A liposuction procedure helps to remove stubborn deposits of fat beneath the skin that can make the skin look lumpy or uneven. This can be performed not only on the stomach but anywhere else on the body where stubborn fat can form (such as the thighs, arms, and buttocks).
As mentioned, liposuction is often performed alongside a tummy tuck procedure to help create better results. The liposuction helps to remove the fat cells beneath the skin, creating a smoother surface for the tightened skin from the tummy tuck to canvas over. The result is a stomach that is flatter, smoother, and more toned.
What is a Mommy Makeover?
If you’ve been looking into the world of cosmetic plastic surgery and tummy tucks, you may have heard the term “mommy makeover” dropped a few times. The mommy makeover refers to a grouping of cosmetic procedures that work together to help women restore a more youthful appearance and undo some of the physical changes that pregnancy can create on the body.
So, what procedures are involved in a mommy makeover? The answer can vary and is customized to a person’s individual needs, but in general, the grouping of procedures can include:
- Tummy Tuck
- Body Lift
- Liposuction (stomach, arms, legs, etc.)
- Breast Augmentation
- Breast Reduction
- Breast Lift
- Stretch mark and cellulite treatments
- Hair removal
- Fat grafting (To help places like the buttocks appear fuller)
As previously mentioned, a person doesn’t have to undergo every one of the above procedures listed above, and only those elected by the patient and surgeon will be performed.
Despite the name, you don’t need to be a mother at all to undergo a mommy makeover. In fact, many women undergo this procedure after facing bodily changes such as weight fluctuation or to combine when having procedures such as breast augmentation.
Even men undergo this type of makeover, dubbed the “Daddy Do-Over,” which groups similar procedures such as the tummy tuck, liposuction, and male breast reduction (to reduce the appearance of man boobs), while also adding in procedures such as hair transplants and a rhinoplasty to help construct a more masculine appearance.