Confused About Tummy Tucks?
If you’re confused about what kind of tummy tuck you may need, we’re not surprised. There are various techniques plastic surgeons use to tighten up the abdomen. Some are named using medical terminology; some have names dreamed up to aid in marketing the procedure. How’s an average person supposed to know what to choose?
As a matter of fact, you’re not supposed to know which approach would work best for you. We’re always delighted when patients interested in a tummy tuck in New York come see us and ask for our input. But just to give you an idea of some of the differences, here’s an overview of the most common abdominal cosmetic surgeries.
Full Tummy Tuck
The classic abdominoplasty, or full tummy tuck, is a powerful procedure. It removes extra skin and banishes stubborn fat pockets, plus it allows the plastic surgeon to repair belly muscles that have stretched or even torn. That’s why the operation earns such high “worth it” ratings on RealSelf—it can be transformational.
In our practice in New York, tummy tuck patients are often women who have undergone multiple pregnancies and people who have lost significant amounts of weight. In these cases, the body has stretched to accommodate the changes and is unable to bounce back on its own. Read more about the procedure here.
Mini Tummy Tuck
Whereas a full abdominoplasty usually requires a hip-to-hip incision to allow access to areas both above and below the navel, the incision for a mini tummy tuck is smaller and lower on the belly. It also involves a little less downtime and lower cost than the full procedure.
Our New York mini tummy tuck candidates typically have a “pooch” localized below the belly button. Even through the smaller incisions, we can tighten abdominal muscles and even remove stretch marks.
Also called an extended abdominoplasty or a circumferential abdominoplasty, a body lift reaches entirely around the abdomen. Not only can we repair, remove and re-sculpt drooping tissues, through the larger incision we can actually lift the entire lower body.
This particular procedure is often appropriate for someone who has gained and lost a substantial amount of weight. Though it requires an investment in downtime after surgery, the benefits of a body lift can extend down to hips, thighs and even the pubic area as well.
Fleur de Lys Abdominoplasty
Yet another form of tummy tuck is known as a fleur de lys abdominoplasty. If you imagine the shape of a fleur de lys you’ll know why: the procedure reaches to the upper abdomen as well as across the lower belly. Two incisions are made, one vertical and one horizontal.
This option is best suited to someone who has lost enough weight to need skin removal on the upper torso as well as muscle repair and skin excision lower on the abdomen. It’s more extensive than a traditional tummy tuck but less invasive than a full body lift.
For a very select group of patients, a panniculectomy may be the right call. This procedure removes a redundant flap of skin that extends from the abdomen down toward the thighs. In Latin the flap is called a “pannus” – that’s how the procedure got its name.
People who have lost weight but still have good abdominal muscle tone may be candidates for a panniculectomy. Though the operation can remove quite a bit of skin, it poses an easier recovery since the muscles are not impacted.
Oh the Variables!
In addition to the main approaches to tuning up the torso, there are other variables as well. One is what happens with the navel. Some of our patients need their navel repositioned, some do not. Some need our fine touch to reshape the navel to be more youthful in appearance.
We strategically employ liposuction in almost every torso surgery—but where and how much depends on each individual.
Perhaps by now you’re getting the idea: tummy tucks need to be fine-tuned to meet the unique needs of every woman or man. That’s just what we offer our New York tummy abdominoplasty patients, a strategy designed just for them. Like Ahuva, one of our patients a few years ago, you can name your procedure after yourself! Read about Ahuva’s Tummy Tuck here.
We look forward to working with you. Give us a call at 212-570-6080 today.