Which Tuck is Right for Your Tummy – Abdominoplasty Options?
Most people have heard of a Tummy Tuck nowadays, but what exactly is it? And which type of abdominoplasty is right for you? In this blog, we will discuss Abdominoplasty and its options in depth.
Who is a Candidate?
- Those who have loose or sagging abdominal skin often have stretched abdominal wall muscles.
- Anyone who is unable to tighten the abdominal wall muscle with exercise.
- Men or women who have significant stretch marks on their lower abdomen.
- Those whose belly button has lost its shape or is too high.
- And those who are willing to accomplish the above with the trade of scars, over 90% hidden under a small pair of underwear.
What is an Abdominoplasty?
An Abdominoplasty is the surgical removal of excess skin of the abdomen with or without tightening of the abdominal muscles. There are many types of Tummy Tucks depending on location and amount of excess skin, and whether there is any separation in the abdominal muscles. One of the goals is to have the least amount of scar possible with careful placement to best conceal beneath the patient’s underwear or bathing suit.
Diastasis Recti (also known as abdominal muscle separation) occurs most often during pregnancy. It is a separation of the rectus abdominis muscles that is equal to or greater than 2.7cm. This is often the culprit of the “pooch” that is mostly untreatable with diet or exercise and can be greatly improved with cosmetic surgery.
Types Of Abdominoplasties Include:
A mini is for those who have a small amount of excess skin, fat, or muscle separation present within the lowest part of the abdomen.
- Belly Button: There will be no scar around the belly button due to the minor corrections needed for a Mini Tummy Tuck.
- Scar: You will have a scar starting at the inner edge of the hip bone across to the other inner edge of the hip bone. It will also be placed low enough to hide beneath underwear or bikini.
- Muscle Separation: Most patients who are candidates for Mini Tummy Tucks do not need any repair to the abdominal wall, but minor plication (tightening) is an option if needed.
A Float is for those who have a high belly button and limited excess skin above the umbilicus. It addresses the muscle wall weakness very well and/or excess lower abdominal skin if needed.
- Belly Button: There is no incision of the belly button in a Floating Abdominoplasty because the belly button is disconnected from the abdominal wall and “floated” to a lower location and reattached.
- Scar: You will have a scar starting at the outer edge of the hip bone across to the other outer edge of the hip bone. Although with minimal excess skin, the scar will be shorter. A bathing suit bottom or underwear will cover the low-rise scar.
- Muscle Separation: A single, running suture rejoins your abdominal wall and muscles (AKA plication).
A Standard or Full Abdominoplasty is for those who have significant excess skin of the abdomen and muscle separation.
- Belly Button: Attaining a taut tummy requires pulling the skin past your belly button. An incision within the inner part of the belly button will be made, as well as an incision in the new skin above your belly button. They are sutured together resulting in a small scar along the edge of the belly button or within it.
- Abdominal Scar: You will have a scar at the edge of your belly button or within your belly button. You will also have a scar starting at the outer edge of the hip bone across to the other outer edge of the hip bone. It will also be placed low enough to hide beneath underwear or a bathing suit. By carefully designing the scar low enough to be concealed by clothing, there is the possibility of a small vertical scar down below.
- Muscle Separation: A double layer suturing rejoins your abdominal wall muscles (AKA plication) and tightens the abdomen.
An Extended Abdominoplasty is for those who not only have excess skin of the abdomen but also around the flanks.
- Belly Button: Attaining a taut tummy requires pulling your skin past your belly button. An incision within the inner part of the belly button is made. This allows excess skin above the belly button to slide down so the belly button can remain in its original position and be brought out through the skin that was above it. Internal sutures connect, forming your new belly button.
- Abdominal Scar: Like other Tummy Tucks, Dr. Hubbard places your scar in the same location, but it will extend around the outermost part of your hips. If you have excess skin/fat on the flanks as well (“spare tire”), your scar will extend further in the back.
- Muscle Separation: A double layer suturing rejoins your abdominal wall muscles (AKA plication).
Enhancing Your Result
Liposuction: You have the option to compliment your new tummy with additional contouring, which is why many of our Abdominoplasties include the option to add Liposuction. A small amount of liposuction can sometimes be done in the upper abdomen at the same time, but aggressive suctioning cannot be performed with a tummy tuck. However, you may consider liposuction to other areas such as the thighs, hip rolls or flanks to enhance your results.
Good to Know: During your procedure, Dr. Hubbard will inject a long-acting numbing solution, Exparel, which can minimize your discomfort for up to 72 hours. You will need to take it easy for three weeks. After 3 weeks, limited exercise can begin, and then after 8 weeks, there are no limitations.