As we age, we all deal with more and more sagging. This is especially true if you’ve had children or if you’ve gained and then lost a good deal of weight. As we discussed in last month’s second blog, the localized weight gain in your lower abdomen can stretch the skin to a degree that it stays loose even when you’ve lost the weight. But even without weight gain, most of us will still develop some slight pooch in our stomach area.
That’s why Dr. Frank uses different methods for his tummy tuck procedures. He matches the type of tuck to the patient’s unique needs.
What are the different kinds of tummy tucks?
Here’s a description of three methods used for these surgeries:
Standard abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
Also known as a full tummy tuck, in a standard tummy tuck Dr. Frank makes two incisions. The first incision runs from hipbone to hipbone, usually descending down along the pubic hairline. The goal is to be able to cover the scar with a bathing suit. The second incision is made at the belly button. Once the skin is separated from the underlying muscle, the abdominal muscles are pulled together and stitched into place to make the abdomen firmer and to narrow the waist. This is to repair stomach muscles that have actually become separated. Next, the skin is pulled downward, excess skin is trimmed away, and the navel is reattached in a natural position.
These full tummy tucks are usually the best option for women who have had children, as the localized weight gain stretches the stomach skin and separates the support muscles.
Partial abdominoplasty (mini tummy tuck)
Also known as a mini tummy tuck, in this procedure Dr. Frank makes just a single incision along the pubic line. The length of this incision may vary depending on the degree of the patient’s sagging. Mini tummy tucks can be good for patients who don’t have a lot of excess sagging skin, but simply want to remove their stomach pooch. This would probably be more typical if a woman hasn’t had children, but has noticed a slight pooch with age.
Circumferential abdominoplasty (extended tummy tuck)
This method involves the upper and lower incisions as with a standard tummy tuck, but the bottom incision is extended. Where it usually stops at the hipbone in a standard procedure, here it extends around the flanks and onto the back. This allows Dr. Frank to also address sagging, excess skin and fat on the outer thighs and buttocks. Fat and skin that are hanging over the belt line will be removed to create a slimmer, smoother contour. Dr. Frank will tighten applicable muscle and will likely use some liposuction to remove unwanted pockets of fat. If you’re familiar with an outer thigh lift or buttock lift, it is as if these procedures were added to a standard tummy tuck in these circumferential tucks.