In many patients, the primary problem is an overabundance of fatty tissue underneath the skin, which can be addressed with weight loss either from dieting, exercising, or in more severe cases weight loss surgery. But when it comes to a substantial weight loss journey, the unsightly presence of the excess skin seems to be quite…
There are several types and variations of a Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty). These include:
Formal Tummy Tuck – This is probably the most common form of a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). Skin and fat are removed from the lower part of the belly, tunneling under the upper belly up to the rib cage is performed, and the belly muscles (rectus muscles) are tightened. The skin and fat in the upper part of the belly is pulled and stretched down over the lower part of the belly. Some plastic surgeons perform “Extended Tummy Tucks”, where the lower part of the skin and fat that is removed is carried all the way around and back to, but not including, the “love handles”/flanks. Formal tummy tucks are usually for someone that has had children, causing that “pooch” of skin and fat in the lower belly that they just can’t get rid of, bulging of the belly muscles, and stretchmarks.
Mini–Tummy Tuck – Skin and fat are removed from the lower part of the belly and the muscles below the belly button are tightened. No surgery is performed above the belly button. Good candidates for a mini– tummy tuck have a little or a moderate amount of fat and/or loose skin in the lowest part of the belly with mild bulging of the muscles only below the belly button. The area above the belly button should have good skin tone with very little or normal amounts of fat, and no bulging of the muscles.
Skin-only Tummy Tuck—Skin and fat are removed from the lower part of the belly and there is tunneling under the skin in the upper part of the belly, all the way up to the rib cage. The skin and fat from the upper abdomen are then pulled and stretched down over the lower part of the belly. There is no muscle tightening with a skin-only tummy tuck. This is usually for someone who has loose, excess skin mostly in the lower part of the belly, but their muscles are in good shape and not bulging.
Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck – Skin and fat are removed from the lower part of the belly, but instead of tunneling under the skin of the upper belly up to the rib cage, skin and fat are removed directly from the upper belly. The muscles are tightened and the incisions are closed. This results in an extra scar, but the results are dramatic. A Fleur-De-Lis tummy tuck is an excellent choice for people following surgery (gastric bypass) for significant or massive weight loss, or for people with a lot of excess fat and skin in the upper and lower belly.
Panniculectomy—Skin and fat are removed from only the lower part of the belly/abdomen and no surgery is performed on the upper belly (above the belly button). This is usually for someone that has a large “apron” of skin and fat hanging down from the lower part of the belly.
The choice of which procedure would be best depends on your specific body shape and what your desires are.