The Different Types of Tummy Tucks and Which One is Right for You
The body can’t always ‘snap back’ the way we’d like it to, especially after periods of significant weight fluctuations brought on by pregnancy, dieting, bariatric surgery, medically assisted weight loss, or aging. Even with a dedicated diet and exercise regimen, an accumulation of excess skin or stubborn fat can make a toned midsection feel nearly impossible to rectify. Fortunately, for those looking to supplement their efforts, a board-certified plastic surgeon can help with a tummy tuck in Massachusetts.
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures to remove unwanted skin from the midsection, restore separated abdominal muscles, and reveal a smoother, more contoured silhouette. Below I provide details on the different kinds of tummy tucks offered at the Center for Plastic Surgery in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and how each works to help achieve your aesthetic goals.
Why Do Patients Achieve Different Results or Endpoints with Tummy Tucks? Are There Different Types of Tummy Tucks?
Each midsection is like a fingerprint — unique to each person. So while everyone will achieve a different endpoint, hopefully, they will enjoy a remarkable change for themselves. There are different types of tummy tucks because it allows us to take a more individualized approach to each person and procedure, optimizing outcomes and patient satisfaction.
- Individual Body Variation: Several factors prompt the body to accumulate excess skin or unwanted fat in various areas, from hereditary conditions to weight fluctuations and pregnancy.
- Unique Aesthetic Goals: Different patients have varying esthetic preferences and goals, including their desired contour level. For these reasons, I can perform abdominoplasty alone or in combination with liposuction to adjacent areas, such as the back and posterior hips/thighs, to improve the proportion, contour, and harmony of the entire trunk.
- Weight Fluctuations and Muscle Laxity: Individuals who have undergone significant weight loss, either through lifestyle changes, bariatric surgery, or with prescribed weight loss medications, often have specific challenges related to excess skin in multiple areas. Likewise, the degree of muscle separation (diastasis recti) can vary post-pregnancy.
- Required Recovery and Downtime: Different types of tummy tuck incisions can impact recovery time and postoperative care. Tummy tucks are also often combined with other procedures, such as liposuction of the abdomen or breast augmentation, that can impact the recuperation timeline as well.
What are the Most Popular Types of Tummy Tucks?
Here at the Center for Plastic Surgery in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, we focus on two types of tummy tucks for our patients: a traditional tummy tuck, known as a full abdominoplasty, and a mini tummy tuck, known as a partial abdominoplasty.
Traditional Tummy Tuck (Full Abdominoplasty)
A traditional tummy tuck requires an incision from hip to hip, just above the pubic area to hide below the panty line as well as around the belly button (umbilicus). First, I lift the loose skin and unwanted fat from the abdominal wall to expose the muscles below. Next, I tighten the muscles along the midline to tone the abdomen and correct the diastasis (separation of the rectus muscles resulting in protuberance of the abdominal wall).
Then, I will pull down the skin and fat from the abdominal wall, like “pulling down a window shade”, and removing any excess from the lower abdomen (usually removing the entire lower abdominal skin up to the belly button, sometimes slightly more!). Finally, I insert the belly button through a smaller hole for a more contoured, defined look around the belly button.
When I address an even larger area than the traditional tummy tuck, this surgery is referred to as an extended tummy tuck.
Mini Tummy Tuck (Partial Abdominoplasty)
While a full abdominoplasty is suitable for individuals with significant excess skin in both the upper and lower abdomen and general muscle laxity, a mini tummy tuck is better suited for those with minimal excess skin and loose muscles confined to the lower abdomen. A mini tummy tuck often requires a slightly smaller incision compared to a full tummy tuck and only targets the lower abdomen (below the navel) to contour the area. So there is no scar placed around the belly button.
Other kinds of tummy tucks you may read about while researching include:
- A circumferential tummy tuck (lower body lift) can be performed in one or two stages (front then back).
- A fleur-de-lis tummy tuck, which is more common after extreme weight loss to remove excess skin from the entire midsection.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
If your commitment to diet and exercise has led you to consider a tummy tuck in Massachusetts, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a suitable candidate for a tummy tuck procedure depends on several factors, such as the amount of excess skin across your midsection, the extent of muscle laxity, and your overall health and current weight. A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon can help decide which is the most appropriate procedure to contour your abdominal area.
At the Center for Plastic Surgery, I work alongside my patients to recommend the optimal procedure for each individual’s aesthetic goals. I’ll help you decide whether abdominoplasty is your best surgical option versus liposuction of the abdomen or a combination of the two, and potentially any non-surgical treatments that can complement your desired results. To get a better sense of which option may be best for you, click here to see some of our before and after patient photos.
Learn More About a Tummy Tuck in Massachusetts
When searching for the best tummy tuck surgeon in Boston, men and women deserve someone they can trust. With over 23 years of experience creating beautiful, natural results and over 4,000 procedures performed, a tummy tuck is one of my favorite procedures to perform! I find it truly gratifying to help patients come full circle with their body transformations after weight loss or pregnancy.
Don’t hesitate to reach out and learn more about your options for a tummy tuck. Contact the Center for Plastic Surgery to inquire about complete and mini abdominoplasty or to set up a consultation today.