With so many variations of the tummy tuck (Abdominoplasties) procedure available, how do you know which is right for you?
There are five different tummy tucks that I regularly use in my practice daily and that most patients require, whether they are weight loss patients or trying to regain their shape post-pregnancy.
- Mini Abdominoplasty
- Full Lipoabdominoplasty
- Extended Lipoabdominoplasty
- Fleur de Lys Lipoabdominoplasty
- Circumferential Lipoabdominoplasty or Belt Lipectomy
These five variations of this procedure cover the vast majority of problems that patients encounter with either excess skin or skin and fat deposits, as well as problems related to abdominal muscle separation or abdominal wall hernias.
All of these operations aim to excise the excess skin left over from weight loss or pregnancy. If that excess is minor, a mini procedure may be required, which means that the incision is a little smaller than the full tummy tuck but still reasonably long to allow the surgeon to address the issue at hand.
The mini tummy tuck can be done with a limited muscle separation correction as well. Mini tummy tucks may or may not be accompanied by liposuction as needed on an individual basis. It is generally called a mini as the amount of internal dissection performed is significantly smaller and typically only done on the lower abdomen, rather than the entire abdomen as is in the other more extensive procedures.
If more skin or lower abdominal fat pad is present, then the extent of surgery may need to increase to either full or extended tummy tuck. These operations are more significant in scope and time they take and allow for a full repair of the muscle separation and any abdominal wall hernias present. They are also always accompanied by limited liposuction procedures to help in body contouring and recreation of a waistline.
The Fleur de Lis and Belt lipectomy are generally reserved for patients post massive weight loss, as the amount of the excess skin to be removed can be very large and require incisions from different vectors. For instance, in the Fleur de Lys approach and the low abdominal horizontal incision, there is also a vertical midline incision to help reduce the excess skin and recreate a waistline.
In Belt lipectomy, the incision is carried out circumferentially and is often combined with a buttocks or thigh lift. This procedure can be performed in one or two stages, depending on the goals of the operation.
These five procedures encompass the majority of patients in my practice; however, occasionally, we can use additional procedures to help in some selected cases, such as Reverse Abdominoplasty, which simply put is based on an incision at the top of the abdomen (rather than the bottom) and is often combined with a breast lift or reduction to help hide the scars.
Which of these tummy tucks will be suitable for you will be determined at the consultation, but often you can get an idea based on the descriptions above even before coming to see us at the clinic.
Our job is to guide you in the right direction, simply because there can be much confusion caused by reading various sources of information online, as the terminology and indications that you have read about on Google will vary from surgeon to surgeon to some degree.
In addition to the classification I have used above, you may come across other names for tummy tuck procedures. We have summarised them here to help you with your research into this procedure.
The mini procedures:
1. The Mini Tummy Tuck
The mini tummy tuck targets the small bulge that can form in the lower abdomen. It involves a small incision to tighten the muscles and remove excess skin. Mini Tummy Tuck is considered as a minimal form of reconstructive surgery and is growing more and more popular thanks to its quick recovery times.
Many people steer away from cosmetic surgery as they cannot afford to take the time out of their schedule, however, this form of reconstructive surgery negates that issue.
2. Standard Tummy Tuck With Floating Umbilicus
With this procedure, the surgeon does not cut a circle around the belly button. Instead, a cut is made below the belly button through which the skin is pulled down toward the pubic bone, closing the incision. This only allows for a small amount of skin to be removed.
3. Avelar Abdominoplasty
The Avelar abdominoplasty is a combination of minimal cuts and liposuction to remove excess skin and fat. This was the earliest procedure to introduce liposuction in tummy tuck surgery.
This form of abdominoplasty set the groundwork for liposuction in tummy tucks. This method does have a limited incision which means limited results.
4. Illouz Suction Abdominoplasty
Illouz Suction Abdominoplasty is another early-adopter of liposuction as part of the tummy tuck. This is another limited technique with suboptimal results as it only targets a minimal amount of skin and fat. Modern techniques do more to enhance the appearance of the belly.
5. Endoscopic Tummy Tuck
An endoscopic tummy tuck is a variant of the mini tummy tuck, however, no excess skin is removed.
The endoscopic tummy tuck repairs muscle separation and does not require a large cut, meaning minimal scarring and a shorter recovery time. An endoscope light device makes several small incisions along the pubic bone or around the belly button. If, however, the muscle is separated by 10cm, a large piece of skin will be left in the middle when the muscles are joined together.
6. Floating Abdominoplasty
Finally, the floating abdominoplasty, avoids cuts around the belly button, instead, cutting the stalk inside of the belly button, pulling it down to close the incision. The belly button is then reattached. This is not commonly used however as patients often want to remove more skin and fat than this technique allows for.
The Full or Extended procedure:
7. The Standard Abdominoplasty
Men and women with overstretched abdominal muscles often are suited to the standard abdominoplasty. A procedure that removes excess skin from around the midsection, a flatter abdomen is easy to achieve here.
This form of reconstructive surgery can target loose skin and improve the areas that seem resistant to diet and exercise.
8. Extended Tummy Tuck
This procedure targets the lower abdomen, hips and sides of the lower back. Ideal for removing a large amount of skin from a wide area, those who have experienced a significant amount of weight loss may be best suited to the extended tummy tuck.
9. Standard Tummy Tuck With Umbilicus Repositioning
Outdated by today’s standards, this procedure has been replaced by less-invasive techniques that can deliver better results. When it comes to tummy tuck surgery options, this method involves the repositioning of the belly button and can require the use of drains
10. Traditional Tummy Tuck
Another outdated method, the traditional tummy tuck, removes excess skin but ignores the underlying fat. It also will not repair or smooth the skin.
Nowadays, the act of performing liposuction with a tummy tuck is quite standard as patients can benefit from a combination of modern techniques. This surgery is now considered quite basic, with a higher likelihood of complication.
11. Lipoabdominoplasty (LABP) and Lipo Assisted Abdominoplasty
This procedure combines liposuction and abdominoplasty, creating smoother skin when compared with just the tummy tuck alone.
Nowadays there are more effective methods than this original concept. Liposuction is performed to create space, getting rid of fat to allow for smoother-looking skin when done.
12. Vaser-assisted Tummy Tuck
This modern technique is also known as Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance. It uses advanced ultrasonic liposuction to melt away the fat, which is then sucked out. From here, the tummy tuck is performed, creating very smooth results. This can also mean less pain with fewer side effects.
13. Panniculectomy and Apronectomy
A panniculectomy removes the excess skin in the lower part of the abdomen, known as the pannus. This method will not, however, tighten the abdominal muscles. It involves cutting out the tissue and is a very straightforward procedure with limited results.
14. 4D VASER assisted tummy tuck
Similar to the Vaser-assisted tummy tuck, fat is removed to enhance other body parts. This allows for the firming of the belly while reshaping other areas of the body using natural fat to achieve a better aesthetic result.
15. High Superior Tension Lipoabdominoplasty (HSTA)
As bikini styles can change, so can what is deemed as “acceptable” scarring. Cosmetic surgery aligns with the latest fashions in this respect to ensure well-hidden scars. The high superior tension lipoabdominoplasty is a type of tummy tuck that came about due to the ultra high-waist French-cut bikini. This technique allowed skin tissue to be stretched to the side to match the style of the swimsuit due to a scar that is high on the midsection.
This, quite simply, means cutting out fat from anywhere on the body. For obese patients, this is the name of the method that will remove excess fatty tissue surgically.
17. Abdominoplasty with “Scarpa Fascia” Preservation
With the goal of improving the safety and recovery of traditional abdominoplasty, this method works to preserve the lymph vessels and vascular structures of the skin, lowering the risk of seroma. The scarpa fascia is the deep layer of the skin of the abdomen.
18. Abdominoplasty with Tension Sutures
This type of tummy tuck uses the tension from stitches to pull down the excess skin as the incision is closed. The tension sutures reduce the risk of fluid collection and anchor the abdominal flap preventing a complication known as distal flap necrosis.
More extensive and additional procedures:
19. Reverse Tummy Tuck
The reverse tummy tuck procedure targets excess skin on the upper abdomen to create a more desirable contour. It can be combined with liposuction as is similar to the standard tummy tuck but focussed on the upper abdominal area only. This type of tummy tuck offers a similar recovery time as the mini tummy tuck.
20. Body Lift
This option is best if you want to lift the thighs and butt while also removing excess belly skin. The surgeon can shape and tone a large area of the body by working on the underlying tissue. This can also slim your upper and lower abdominal area and tighten the thighs.
This is an overall form of cosmetic surgery that can target more than one issue in one swoop—lowering the recovery time when compared to undergoing these procedures individually.
21. Belt Lipectomy
Also known as an abdominal lipectomy, this is common for those who have experienced substantial weight loss, particularly after bariatric surgery. A belt lipectomy resembles a body lift but eliminates fatty tissue and sagging skin below the belly button. The tissue is cut around the waist, similar to a belt, which can remove extra skin folds that cause irritation, rashes and issues with personal hygiene.
22. Fleur De-Lis Tummy Tuck
The fleur de-lis is named after the shape of a water lily and involves an incision in the middle of the abdomen. This results in scars that can be more difficult to conceal. The fleur de-lis procedure is best for patients who want a substantial amount of tissue removed, resulting in major body sculpting.
What is the best tummy tuck procedure from all?
The best tummy tuck for you will depend on a range of unique factors individual to your situation.
As you can see, there are many tummy surgery options, but from the mini tummy tuck to the extended tummy tuck, your surgeon will need to assess the best options that aligns with your goals.
Which tummy tuck is the best to get a flat stomach?
The best tummy tuck varies as all of these tummy surgery options will provide a more aesthetically pleasing stomach. The amount of excess skin you have will determine the best path to get there. As there are many tummy tuck procedures, you will need to book a consultation to determine the best path forward.
All of these forms of cosmetic surgery work with the primary goal of improving how a patient looks and therefore feels. These forms of tummy tuck along with a range of other reconstructive surgery improve a look with body contouring and targeting the abdominal area, which is notoriously difficult to effect naturally.
How do I know if I need a full or mini tummy tuck?
To know if you need a full or mini tummy tuck, you need a consultation and assessment of your current state and goals will determine which of the tummy tuck procedures will be best for you, and whether or not a mini tummy tuck will do the trick.
What is the least invasive tummy tuck?
The least invasive tummy tuck comes with a few variations that are less invasive when compared with say, a full tummy tuck. The mini tummy tuck requires a less invasive process and smaller amounts of downtime and is well-suited to those who do not need any, or much, work done on the abdominal muscles.
Which procedure should you choose?
Still not sure?
Book a consultation with one of the best clinics in Australia.
The definitive answer for which tummy tuck procedure you should choose will come after a consultation with Dr Yunaev at the Breast & Body Clinic. After a full assessment of your current state, we will be able to tell if you are best suited to the extended tummy tuck, full tummy tuck, or any of the other tummy tuck procedure options.
For all the unanswered questions on different tummy tuck types, keep on reading. In this section, you will find top FAQs on this topic.
How does the recovery time vary for different tummy tuck procedures?
There are a few factors that vary the amount of time required for recovery. Not only the type of procedure you undergo but also your individual healing ability. For this reason, a consultation is required to provide a more specific time frame.
The various types of abdominoplasty offer different recovery times for all patients. The body-contouring surgery is beneficial for both men and women, but many patients base their decisions on how much time is required from their schedule. For these reasons, you will need to book a consultation to gain the exact time frames.
Does a tummy tuck lift your pubic area?
Some tummy tuck procedures can lift the pubic area if requested by the patient. This will depend on the overall aesthetic you are hoping to achieve and will be discussed during your consultation.
Many elements are taken into consideration such as the condition of your abdominal wall, how the incision is made and other aspects of the surgery to decide which option is best for you.
Are there other body contouring options available?
Many patients consider the other cosmetic surgery options available when hoping to improve their look. Everyone has a different goal. Some patients look to remove stretch marks, others want to focus on their abdominal area, and some choose their surgery preference based on how the incision is made.
We offer many different options at the Breast & Body Clinic and invite our patients to learn about them during their consultation. This way, you can make an informed decision about which option is best for you.
Which procedure will benefit my abdominal area the most?
Whether you are concerned with the lower abdominal area or the look of your abdominal skin, we will present the best options that are aligned with your goals. The condition of the abdominal wall is taken into consideration before any surgery is proposed.
The lower abdominal area can affect more than just how you look, which is why there can be many benefits when looking to improve its condition. As always, we will recommend the best surgery to suit the patient’s goals.
What’s the cost of different types of tummy tucks in Australia?
The cost of a tummy tuck in Australia can depend on a range of factors including:
- The type of procedure you have
- Your current state
- The specifics required to achieve your individual goals
To determine the cost relevant to you, a consultation is required. Book one today to see how affordable and accessible the price list at the Breast & Body Clinic is. We strive to make it easy for everyone to look good and feel good with the body they desire.