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What Are The Different Types Of Tummy Tuck Procedures?

Tummy Tuck procedures are one of the most commonly performed surgeries and have a 95% worth it rating on RealSelf. There are various tummy tuck techniques that can be performed and patients are often unsure which is most suitable for them. It is important to see a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon to discover which techniques are suitable for your needs. However, it is also important that potential tummy tuck patients perform research into the various types of procedures so that they are well informed. This blog aims to provide information on the different types of tummy tuck procedures and who might be a suitable candidate for them.

Guide 

Mini Tummy Tuck

This is the least extensive type of tummy tuck procedure and is suitable for patients with more moderate concerns. The procedure is only performed on the lower region of the patient’s abdomen. Therefore, patients who have concerns over their upper abdomen will unlikely desire a mini tummy tuck since excess skin is only removed from the belly button downwards. A mini tummy tuck is performed by creating an incision line across the bottom of the abdomen so that the muscles of the lower abdomen can be tightened and excess skin can be removed. 

Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck

This type of tummy tuck technique achieves the most significant results and is the most extensive procedure. The procedure addresses the entire abdomen, like a full tummy tuck, but also removes excess skin horizontally from the stomach. This means that an additional surgical incision is made for a fleur-de-lis tummy tuck and it tends to be most suitable for weight loss patients who have significant excess skin that requires both a horizontal and vertical incision to be properly removed. Due to the more significant incision lines, the recovery period is more intense for patients who have undergone this type of tummy tuck procedure. 

Reverse Tummy Tuck 

The American Society of Plastic Surgery explains that a reverse tummy tuck tends to be suitable for patients who have excess skin on the upper region of their abdomen. Most frequently patients wish to address concerns over their lower abdomen or the entire stomach. However, some patients only have concerns with excess skin on their upper abdomen and so may be suitable candidates for a reverse tummy tuck procedure. Unlike, the other tummy tuck procedures described above, the incision lines for a reverse tummy tuck tend to be made under the breasts and then across the lower sternum. These scars can also be covered by a bathing suit, but they will be hidden by the bathing suit top rather than the bottoms as with a mini or full tummy tuck.

360 Tummy Tuck

A 360 tummy tuck is suitable for patients who desire to rejuvenate both their abdomen and their back. All tummy tuck procedures simply address issues on a patient’s abdomen and will not remove fat or skin from surrounding areas or the back. Many tummy tuck patients only have concerns with their abdomen as life changes such as pregnancy solely impacted their abdomen. These patients will be suitable candidates for just a tummy tuck procedure. However, many patients who have lost significant amounts of weight often have concerns that extend beyond just their abdomen. These patients may be suitable for a 360 tummy tuck and choose to have excess skin and fat removed from additional areas such as across their back. In many cases, a tummy tuck procedure can be combined with back liposuction or liposuction of another area. It is important for patients with these concerns to book a consultation with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in body procedures so they can receive expert advice on the most suitable procedure and techniques to undergo. 

Drainless Tummy Tuck 

Drains are often needed with tummy tuck techniques because of the significant build-up of fluid that needs to be drained from the abdomen. Undergoing a drainless tummy tuck makes the recovery period less complex as fluid output does not need to be measured and you don’t have drains to empty. Additionally, a drainless tummy tuck tends to lead to a shorter recovery time for patients. The American Society of Plastic Surgery explains that a drainless tummy tuck can be performed by combining liposuction with a traditional tummy tuck procedure to prevent the need for drains. This tummy tuck technique is called an avelar tummy tuck. 

Avelar Tummy Tuck 

The avelar tummy tuck refers to a specific tummy tuck technique that can be performed. This technique combines liposuction of the abdomen with the tummy tuck procedure and is a more modern tummy tuck technique that does not require the use of drains. Firstly, abdominal liposuction will be performed using a small incision for the cannula so that fat deposits can be vacuumed out of the abdomen. After this, the tummy tuck procedure is performed but with a smaller incision line created at the bottom of the abdomen to remove excess skin. There are many benefits of undergoing an avelar tummy tuck including the fact it is a less invasive procedure, more fat can be removed, a smaller incision line is made so there will be less extensive scarring and there is a faster recovery time. 

Male Tummy Tuck 

Tummy tuck procedures are frequently performed on men and also aim to create a flatter and tighter abdomen by removing excess skin. Many women undergo a tummy tuck procedure after losing significant weight and this also applies to many male patients who have lost weight and have significant abdominal skin left. The procedure is performed by creating an incision line across the bottom of the patient’s abdomen so that excess skin can be removed. Additionally, many male tummy tuck patients choose to have abdominal liposuction performed alongside the procedure so that excess fat deposits can also be removed. This helps to achieve a flatter and a more toned result that many male patients desire.  View our Male Tummy Tuck Page for more information on the recovery, risks, and cost of a male tummy tuck procedure.

Tummy Tuck Revision

A tummy tuck revision is a further tummy tuck procedure that is performed on a patient. This should only be undertaken with careful consideration and discussion with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon as the procedure requires a second major surgery and has an even longer recovery time. Patients can desire a tummy tuck revision for a number of different reasons including:

  • Weight gain after surgery
  • Pregnancy after the procedure
  • Dissatisfaction with the first result
  • Desire small adjustments 
  • Poor healing
  • Desired significant changes that required more than one surgery

Patients who desire a tummy tuck revision need to wait two years after their first tummy tuck surgery according to RealSelf as the skin needs time to stretch enough for the surgery to be redone. Additionally, if a patient desires a tummy tuck revision as they are dissatisfied with their initial result it is also important that they wait until they have fully recovered and the final results are visible. Swelling can last for many months for patients and prevent the final result from being shown and so undergoing an additional surgery may not be necessary. It is important to discuss your results and recovery with your surgeon.

Scarless Tummy Tuck

A surgical tummy tuck procedure requires an incision line to be made and so it is not possible to have a completely scarless surgical tummy tuck procedure. Some tummy tuck techniques do create more minimal scarring than other procedures. For example, the scar from a mini tummy tuck will be a relatively small line across the bottom of the abdomen and so produces much less extensive scarring than a full or fleur-de-lis tummy tuck. However, if the skin is cut open to create an incision, scarring is an inevitable aspect of the procedure. The only way to avoid scarring would be to undergo a non-surgical tummy tuck procedure. However, non-surgical treatments will have less significant results and are unlikely to last very long.

Non-Surgical Tummy Tuck 

There are various options available to remove fat from the body and to tighten areas of skin without undergoing a surgical procedure. For example, there are multiple non-surgical liposuction treatments available such as cool sculpting which freezes the fat cells and causes the body to remove them. There are also many skin tightening treatments that can be undertaken such as ultrasound or laser treatments used to tighten the skin and increase collagen production to restore elasticity. 

Although these treatments can produce great results that can last many years for some patients, they will not produce results that are comparable to surgery. Many patients desire a tummy tuck as they have a significant amount of excess skin or fat and non-surgical treatments will not completely resolve their concerns. It is therefore important to perform significant research and see a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon so you can discover what treatment is most suitable for you.

Conclusion

Tummy tuck procedures can vary drastically and it is important to speak to a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon about which technique is most suitable for your specific needs. It is also important that potential tummy tuck patients research the recovery period and the potential risks of undergoing any tummy tuck procedure. For more information on the recovery period after a tummy tuck, you can read our blog ‘A Patient’s Guide To Tummy Tuck Recovery In Dallas‘.

Disclaimer

Please note: All materials on the Site, such as text, treatments, outcomes, photographs and images and any other material provided on the Site are for information purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding treatments. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Site.

Though the content of this blog has been carefully prepared, the author of this content is not a medical doctor and the content has not been reviewed by a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon. 

Unless specifically stated, patients referred to in this blog have not received a tummy tuck procedure from Dr. Liland. This blog does not endorse the work of any doctors or surgeons mentioned. Stories relating to patients’ personal experiences of tummy tuck procedures should be treated as anecdotal only.

Any application of the material provided is at the reader’s discretion and his, her, or their responsibility.