What are the different types of tummy tuck?
Every patient has different cosmetic goals and desired outcomes from a tummy tuck in Charlotte, NC. Upon receiving a consultation, patients will be recommended a certain protocol that Dr. Pratt believes can best achieve the patient’s desired look while taking into account any concerns that they may have about potential scars or aesthetic issues.
The type of tummy tuck performed will depend on the amount of excess skin that the patient is dealing with. The portion of excess skin that the patient wants to be removed plays a major role in determining the location and length of the incisions that have to be made.
Standard Tummy Tuck
The standard tummy tuck aims to improve both the upper and lower abdomen.
Patients who are struggling with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin around the belly region may benefit from a standard tummy tuck, as it can flatten out the area above and below the belly button while redefining the contours.
The procedure steps include:
- Making a small incision on the umbilical that leaves patients with an “innie” belly button
- A short, low incision at the waistline that is easily hidden by the patient’s underwear or swimsuit
- Extracting all unwanted skin from the area
- Tightening the stomach muscles with sutures
This method requires that patients have drainage tubes under their skin for the first few days following the procedure. The downtime is usually a week, and patients can start doing vigorous exercise after 6 weeks of rest.
Mini Tummy Tuck
While the standard tummy tuck addresses both the upper and lower abdomen, the mini tummy tuck is only designed to treat the lower portion of the belly, starting from the navel downwards. The term “mini” is in reference to the fact that only the region above the pubic area is targeted for treatment. The incision used in this procedure is not necessarily shorter than the one used in a standard tummy tuck.
The mini tummy tuck is perfectly designed for women who are already at their target goal weight and are happy with their body composition. It is only due to an issue, such as a recent pregnancy, that they are experiencing some minor muscle separation and a flap of excess skin above their pubic area and seek a tummy tuck to treat it. A C-section scar can make this situation more complicated, as it causes a bulge in the area. With a mini tummy tuck, the incisions are hidden inside a bikini bottom, and the recovery only lasts 5 to 7 days.
Circumferential tummy tuck
This approach to a tummy tuck addresses both the lower and upper portions of the abdomen as well as the entire waistline, flanks, and back. This procedure is a good option for patients who have experienced a large amount of weight loss.
A circumferential incision is made that runs around the waistline. Liposuction and other techniques are then employed to extract excess skin and fat from the stomach, lower back, and waist. Loose or separated stomach muscles are tightened at this time, and the belly button is repositioned. Once the desired changes have been made, the incisions are sealed using sutures. The surgery can last anywhere from 4 and 6 hours.