13 June 2018
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What is a Tummy Tuck?

Surgeon marking abdomen for surgery

What is a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that is a part of a mommy makeover. You know that it is a form of plastic surgery, and also that it’s a procedure involving your abdominal area. But what exactly is a tummy tuck? What exactly does the surgery do, and what are its potential outcomes for you as a patient? In this article we’ll examine the answers to all these questions and many more.

So, a tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery procedure also referred to as an abdominoplasty. It is a surgical procedure performed on the abdominal area to remove and or greatly lessen the effects of pregnancy, c-section, weight loss, aging, and genetics. A tummy tuck is one of the two most common primary procedures involved in a mommy makeover. Even though a tummy tuck is used to counteract the effects of pregnancy, previously pregnant women aren’t the only women to have them done.

Women who eat healthily and exercise regularly can still have a protruding stomach due to bodily changes as they get older, or even because of genetics. Pregnancy does not have to be the culprit to require a tummy tuck; weight loss can also be one of the other causes of sagging skin. This is because diet and exercise, while very effective, cannot always completely help you to reach your bodily goals. Liposuction combined with tummy tucks, also called a lipotuck, can help to get rid of stubborn excess fat in the abdominal area. As we age, it is not uncommon to have problems with muscle tone and skin elasticity.

The actual surgery entails the abdominal muscles and fascia, otherwise known as connective tissue being tightened to strengthen the abdominal area and also to narrow the waist. Excess fat is removed from the abdominal area through liposuction. Finally, excess skin and stretch marks are removed from the abdominal area. Another good thing is that other procedures, like liposuction, can also be combined with a tummy tuck for example butt lifts, arm lifts, thigh lifts and body lifts.

Surgeons performing a mommy makeover tummy tuck

There are several different tummy tuck procedures

Per Wikipedia, there are several types of tummy tucks and they are divided into several subcategories. This enables tummy tucks to be customized to meet individual needs. The subcategories are as follows:

  1. A partial abdominoplasty or mini-tummy tuck

With a mini tummy tuck, a smaller incision is made in the abdominal area where a cesarean section incision would be made. Sometimes the abdominal wall and connective tissue are tightened. The excess skin is removed from the bottom of the skin flap, liposuction is used to remove excess fat, and then the skin flap is sutured or sewn back into place. The best candidates for a mini tummy tuck are women who have most of their issues in the lower part of their abdominal area, or below the belly button.


  1. A full (or complete) tummy tuck

In a complete tummy tuck, a larger lateral incision is made in the same area as with    the mini tummy tuck. Then an incision is made around the navel to cut it away from skin. The skin is pulled away from the abdominal wall, and sutures are used to tighten the muscles and connective tissue. Liposuction is then used to remove excess fat. The excess skin and stretch marks are removed and the skin flap then is sewn back.

  1. An extended tummy tuck

This is recommended for people who have loose skin that extends over the hip bone area and into the flank area, otherwise known as the sides of the waist. With an extended tummy tuck, the surgical incision is even longer than with the complete tummy tuck. This is because an extended tummy tuck is designed not only to contour the abdomen but also the sides of the waist or flank and the back as well.


  1. High lateral tension tummy tuck

With this tummy tuck procedure, the surgical incision is also longer than a traditional full tummy tuck. It involves not just vertical tension to flatten the abdominal area, but horizontal tension as well. As a result the thighs and buttocks are lifted as well.


  1. Floating abdominoplasty or FAB technique

This procedure is also referred to as an umbilical float abdominoplasty. It is a tummy tuck that involves detaching the navel from the abdomen and moving it downward. Similar to a mini-tummy tuck, the abdominal wall is tightened if necessary, excess skin is removed, and the belly button and skin flap is then reattached.

A Woman's Scarred Abdomin

What is a Tummy Tuck?

Each of these types of surgical procedures have slight differences. A thorough consultation with the plastic surgeon you choose will determine the best surgical procedure for you. As with any type of surgery, these mommy makeover procedures all have pros and cons and those can also be discussed during your consultation with your plastic surgeon.

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