What are the Different Types of Tummy Tucks?

Different Types of Tummy Tuck Techniques-

There are several different types of abdominoplasty – or Tummy Tuck – procedures that can be performed by a plastic surgeon. The type of tummy tuck that is best for a person depends upon whether they need to have muscles tightened, skin tightened, fat removed, or any combination of those factors.

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali will offer you a consultation to carefully assess your needs, before recommending a specific type tummy tuck to achieve your appearance goals. In this article we discuss some of the different types of tummy tucks – but only an experienced and knowledgeable plastic surgeon can advise the best type of tummy tuck procedure for you.

Mini-Tummy Tuck

A “mini-tummy tuck” (technically called a partial or modified abdominoplasty) is a procedure specifically designed to address localized areas of concern in the lower abdomen. Unlike a full tummy tuck, which involves addressing both the upper and lower abdomen, a mini tummy tuck focuses primarily on improving the appearance of the area below the belly button. During a mini tummy tuck, a smaller incision is made near the pubic region, allowing the surgeon to remove excess skin and fat, as well as tighten the underlying muscles if necessary.

This technique is particularly beneficial for individuals who have relatively good muscle tone in the upper abdomen but are bothered by a protruding lower belly or stubborn pockets of fat that do not respond to diet and exercise. Good candidates for a mini tummy tuck are typically those who have mild to moderate skin laxity and excess fat in the lower abdomen and who are seeking a more toned and contoured appearance in that specific area.

Full Abdominoplasty Tummy Tuck

Full abdominoplasty is the most extensive type of tummy tuck surgery. It is generally used on people with very lax muscles plus excess amounts of loose skin. A full tummy tuck surgery addresses both the upper and lower abdomen, providing more comprehensive contouring and tightening of the entire abdominal area. This procedure is ideal for individuals who have experienced significant weight loss, pregnancy, or aging-related changes that have resulted in excess skin, weakened abdominal muscles, and stubborn fat deposits throughout the abdomen.

During a full tummy tuck, a longer horizontal incision is made along the lower abdomen, allowing the surgeon to remove excess skin and fat, tighten the underlying muscles with sutures if necessary, and reposition the belly button for a more natural appearance. Good candidates for a full tummy tuck are typically those who have moderate to severe skin laxity, excess fat, and muscle separation in both the upper and lower abdomen, and who desire a more dramatic improvement in their abdominal contour and overall appearance.

During full tummy tuck surgery, skin and fat are loosened away from the abdominal muscles up to the bottom of the rib cage, and typically all the skin and fat below the belly button is removed. The fascia and rectus abdominus muscles are then tightened by bringing the separated muscles together and stitching them. Finally, the skin above the belly button is pulled down toward the pubic bone and sutured into place.

Typically, a new hole is made in the skin and the skin is sutured around the belly button – giving the patient a beautiful new navel that looks natural and is in the proper location.

Dermolipectomy Tummy Tuck

Dermolipectomy, also known as a belt lipectomy or circumferential abdominoplasty, is a comprehensive surgical procedure that addresses excess skin and fat not only in the front but also around the sides and back of the abdomen, waist, and lower back. 

This technique is particularly beneficial for individuals who have undergone significant weight loss, often through bariatric surgery, resulting in excess skin and fat throughout the entire midsection. During a dermolipectomy, the surgeon makes a circumferential incision around the waistline, allowing for the removal of excess skin and fat from the entire abdominal area -including the oblique, flanks, “love handles”, or “muffin top” area. Additionally, the procedure may involve tightening the underlying muscles to restore abdominal contour and improve core strength.

Dermolipectomy surgery provides more comprehensive contouring than traditional tummy tucks, addressing excess skin and fat not only on the front of the abdomen but also on the sides and back, resulting in a more sculpted and toned appearance.

Less Common Types of Tummy Tucks

Endoscopic Abdominoplasty

An endoscopic tummy tuck is used to tighten or repair stretched abdominal muscles, but does NOT tighten loose skin on the stomach area. An endoscopic abdominoplasty is often performed on people having weakened muscles of the lower abdomen, and excess abdominal fat, but who still have fairly tight abdominal skin.

Endoscopic tummy tuck surgery is performed using a small camera, and several tiny surgical instruments, that are inserted through small incisions. The surgeon tightens the abdominal muscles with sutures – and often liposuction is done to remove fat at the same time. This procedure is not as invasive as a full abdominoplasty, and is best for people who you have generally taut skin, but loose muscles and fascia.

Reverse Abdominoplasty

Also less commonly performed is a reverse abdominoplasty, for people who have significant amounts of loose skin above the navel. An incision is made just under the breasts – and instead of being pulled down, the skin is pulled up.

Reverse abdominoplasty is most often sought by individuals who have experienced significant weight loss – such as rapid or massive weight loss due to bariatric surgery. In some cases, patients may also have excess skin and fat in the upper abdomen due to aging or genetic factors that have caused their skin to loose it’s elasticity.

Vertical Scar Abdominoplasty

A vertical scar abdominoplasty – also called a Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck – is another less common procedure in which an incision across the lower abdomen is combined with a vertical incision up the center of the abdomen. This technique is also only performed on people who need substantial amounts of skin removed, as well as an extreme amount of tightening around the waist.

The “T” or anchor-shaped incision allows for the removal of excess skin and fat not only horizontally but also vertically, providing more comprehensive contouring of the abdomen.

Because the dual incisions of a vertical scar abdominoplasty result in more visible scarring, the technique is typically reserved for cases of extreme weight loss, such as after bariatric surgery – who are willing to accept the trade-off of a more extensive scar in exchange for more dramatic transformation.

Top Tummy Tuck Surgeon | West Bloomfield Area

Oakland County board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali has helped hundreds of women and men in Birmingham, West Bloomfield, Troy and Southwest Michigan obtain the firm, flat abdomen they have always desired with tummy tuck surgery. When you schedule a consultation with Dr. Ali, he will answer all of your questions – and help you decide which tummy tuck technique will offer the most beautiful results in your unique situation.

West Bloomfield Area Tummy Tuck Consultation: 248-335-7200