Abdominoplasty: Types of Tummy Tuck Surgery
Thinking about tummy tuck surgery? Fluctuations in weight can lead to many different aesthetic problems when it comes to body contour. After you lose a lot of excess weight, such as after Gastric Bypass or Gastric Sleeve surgery, the skin of your abdominal area may be stretched out to a considerable degree. This can lead to sagging skin and stretch marks. Sagging skin and stretch marks will NOT go away on their own nor can they be removed through diet and exercise. This is more a condition of skin laxity and stretch-mark scars and often requires Cosmetic Plastic Surgery to remedy through a range of procedures such as a abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).
Tummy Tuck Surgery Types: Abdominoplasty, Apronectomy, Belt Lipectomy
Also known as an Abdominoplasty procedure, what’s commonly called “a tummy tuck” surgery is an extremely effective cosmetic body contouring surgery. It is performed by Plastic Surgeons to help address body contouring issues surrounding the abdomen or tummy area and sometimes the hips or lower back area.
Many times liposuction is used in combination with tummy tuck surgery to ensure the overall body contour is enhanced.
For post-weight loss and post-bariatric surgery patients, a Belt Lipectomy is often the preferred procedure to remedy the residual body fat and redundant skin after significant weight loss.
Types of Tummy Tuck Surgery
There is not just a single way to perform a tummy tuck and there really isn’t a standard one, although post-pregnancy Mums often get a full tummy tuck with abdominal muscle repair and post-gastric sleeve surgery patients or post-weight loss patients often need a Belt Lipectomy as they have fat more AROUND the entire abdomen and hip/lower back area, not just the FRONT of the abdominal area.
Your Surgeon can tell you what might work best for you, because each patient will have specific, individualised needs that are needing to be met through the RIGHT surgical approach for that person. This requires each abdominoplasty type of surgery procedure to be custom-tailored to meet each patient’s unique needs.
When you meet with your selected Body Contouring Plastic Surgeon, he or she will assess your situation and determine how best to proceed with your treatment and surgery plan.
In general, there are three different kinds of tummy tuck surgery. The types of surgery are differentiated by the incision methods and sites. We’d like to look at these techniques right now so you have a good understanding of what to expect.
Traditional Tummy Tuck Surgery
During what is traditionally called a “tummy tuck,” THREE incisions are typically made.
The first incision spans from your hipbone on one side (let’s say the left side) to your hipbone on the other side (the right side) along your lower abdomen.
The second incision is made by your Surgeon around your navel or ‘belly button’.
The next incision connects these two other incisions in something that potentially resembles an anchor in its shape.
Through these three incisions, your excess dermal tissues (redundant skin) and your excess fat stores are removed; the underlying structures such as abdominal muscles are also revised to help get you a flatter and firmer tummy appearance.
With repair of your abdominal muscles or any abdominal area hernias, exercising will also be easier to undertake.
Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery might work for some people who have LESS excess skin and stored fat in their abdominal area
The mini tummy tuck is, as the name suggests, a less substantial surgery than a traditional tummy tuck.
- During a mini tummy tuck, the incisions tend to be a bit smaller.
- For most people having a mini-tummy tuck, only a single incision needs be made by the Surgeon.
- This incision is often made along the lower abdominal area where it can often be hidden under clothing.
- The size of this incision and its specific location will always depend on the needs of each patient; and every surgery is customised.
- No two surgeries are identical as no two patients are alike, so be sure you understand that results can also vary from patient to patient, and that no two surgeons perform tummy tuck procedures exactly the same way.
If you choose a very experienced and fully qualified Abdominoplasty Plastic Surgeon, however, they’ll have perfected their surgical approaches and surgical skills to get you an excellent result. Despite a ‘perfect approach’ to surgery or excellent skills, there is no such thing as a perfect result, however – so you’ll need to keep your expectations realistic.
Find a Plastic Surgeon who does NOT promise perfection but who pursues excellence, and you’ll typically find you’re pleased with your procedure – but be wary of Surgeons who are not fully qualified Australian Plastic Surgeons, as they may perform a procedure that isn’t suitable for what you want. For example, an Apronectomy is often unsuitable for most post-weight loss patients, and will NOT give the results most people would want or expect from an Abdominal procedure. A Tummy Tuck itself might not give the right results either – but a Belt Lipectomy might be the right surgery for the patient.
Belt Lipectomy surgery is more complex and a longer surgery – with more down time and healing than a traditional or mini-tummy tuck, for example – but it’s often well worth the time and effort and healing period for a patient who had a lot of redundant skin and excess fat around the lower stomach/hips and lower back.
Extended Tummy Tuck Surgery: Longer Incisions around the Hips
An extended tummy tuck may be the best option for people who have lost a LOT of body weight and require a more extensive body contouring surgery, such as is common after massive weight loss.
During an extended tummy tuck, similar incisions are used as in a traditional tummy tuck. However, these incisions are made along the lower abdomen and are a bit longer (they often go a bit beyond the hipbone).
Extended Tummy Tuck incisions for extended Abdominoplasty procedures will, in general, begin at the back of the hipbone, then span along the SIDE of the hip, along the lower abdomen, going beyond the other hip and slightly toward the back of the opposite hipbone.
Belt Lipectomy (Circumferential Abdominoplasty)
Belt Lipectomy surgery is an even more complex procedure than a standard Tummy Tuck. It takes more time on the operating table and recovery might be a bit more uncomfortable. However, a belt lipectomy can help reduces redundant skin and body fat from further around the stomach, belly and hips as well as the lower back and even thighs. It has a slimming and firming affect on more of the lower body than just the abdominal area (as would a mini tummy tuck or a traditional tummy tuck).
Which tummy tuck is best for your body shape and post-surgery weight loss?
The best tummy tuck and body contouring options for your needs will be determined by your selected Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
It will depend upon your body contours and the extent of your weight loss as well as what EFFECTS that weight loss had on your skin. Your skin’s collagen levels have impact here as well.
For more information about tummy tuck surgery or any other bariatric or plastic procedures, contact our patient liaison on (03) 8849 1464 or send us an enquiry form below!