Does one tummy tuck fit all? A great question, and one we hear every day. Here’s a quick and easy starting point for the answer.
Think of the last time you went looking for a bathing suit- or pair of jeans. If they only offered one style and one size, would it automatically fit you?
Does a single choice fit or flatter every shape? Of course, the answer is a very big- No. We chose bathing suits and jeans for the example, because they seem to be the most challenging articles of clothing to match with an individual’s body type.
When you’re considering surgery to reshape your abdomen and body contour, with possible changes to muscle and skin, you really need to understand that there are different ‘styles’ of tummy tuck to fit different needs. You should learn what they are, and how they might work – or not work- for you.
The other half of this question is usually: How much does a Tummy Tuck cost? Again, it’s not a one-size, one kind of surgery, so this answer too, will depend on the type of tummy tuck chosen for the patient.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TYPE OF TUMMY TUCK IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
You’ll need some careful consideration – and a consultation with your Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon. The information here, will get you started. Most tummy tucks will basically remove a quantity of excess fat and skin, and allow for tightening and tailoring the abdominal region.
There are different types of Tummy Tuck (also known as Abdominoplasty).
The simplest is known as the Mini-Tummy Tuck. In the mini Tummy Tuck, the incision is the shortest, and the scar is the shortest. This surgery can improve the lower part of the tummy from just above the pubic area, to the belly button.
Full or Standard Tummy Tuck –
For patients who need improvement above the belly button, you can consider the full, or standard tummy tuck. This will improve the region from the pubic area, all the way up to the rib cage, and can tighten up the tummy muscles as well.
Extended Tummy Tuck –
For patients who have lost a significant amount of weight, and may have extra skin that hangs over the sides of the tummy, you can consider an extended tummy tuck – which will also address that looser skin on the flanks.
Fleur de Lys Tummy Tuck –
The name refers to the shape of the incisions in this surgery. In patients who have had large amounts of weight loss, a fleur de lys tummy tuck may be a solution to larger amounts of excess skin. In this tummy tuck, we’re removing skin horizontally, and vertically as well. This does add a scar that goes down the front of the abdomen, but it can significantly improve the overall contour.
Corset Abdominoplasty –
For patients who have had a large weight loss, with loose skin in both the lower and upper abdomen, you may consider what we call a ‘corsetoplasty’ or corset abdominoplasty. In this type of tummy tuck, we remove skin vertically, in both the lower and upper abdomen. and horizontally. The incisions result in an ‘I-shaped’ scar.
Circumferential Body Lift –
In those patients with significant amounts of loose skin in the upper and lower abdomen, as well as over the buttocks, the circumferential body lift is performed. In this surgery, we remove a ring of skin from around the abdomen, flanks, and over the buttock. This produces what most people consider a ‘body lift,’ along with the abdominoplasty.
WHAT OTHER OPTIONS DO I HAVE?
- Muscle Repair
As you and your surgeon identify the best type of tummy tuck surgery for you, you’ll also discuss possible treatment of your abdominal wall. The tummy muscles are often stretched or damaged during pregnancy or large weight gain and loss. You may need surgical repair of these muscles.
You may also opt for removal of more excess fat in the abdominal area and flanks through added Liposuction surgery. Tummy Tuck and Liposuction are separate procedures, but are often performed together, in a single surgical session.
Tummy Tuck remains among the top 5 plastic surgery procedures performed nationwide. After following doctor’s instructions through recovery time, patients are usually very satisfied with the results.
“One size fits all?” Not in Tummy Tucks. (If you do find that magical one-size bathing suit or jeans – please let us know!)
[Dr. Vincent Lepore, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, performs Tummy Tuck, along with a full range of cosmetic procedures, in his San Jose surgery center. Please call to schedule a free cosmetic consultation, at 408-356-4241.]