A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is the procedure that improves the appearance of the abdomen by addressing the excess skin with or without tightening of the underlying muscles. There are variations of the procedure including in extent which would depend on your particular situation.
A full or standard abdominoplasty is selected when there is an excess of skin both above and below the umbilicus that is also usually associated with laxity of the abdominal wall muscles. The mini-tummy tuck is essentially an abridged version that is chosen when the skin and muscle issues are localized to the lower abdomen. It is a more limited procedure with less postoperative discomfort and a shorter incision.
The full abdominoplasty typically involves a bikini line incision extending from hip to hip and a second one around the belly button. Skin of the abdomen is elevated up to the rib cage and the excess is precisely removed. The underlying muscle layer is tightened and contoured to yield a flatter, slimmer, more sculptured and complimentary appearance. The umbilicus remains where it was situated originally, being brought through a new opening in the skin.
A mini-tummy tuck incision is much shorter, often extending just past the Mons pubis (hair bearing area) and does not entail a second one placed around the umbilicus. The skin is elevated just to the level of the umbilicus with a more limited amount needed to be removed. Tightening of the muscles is frequently but not always performed and would depend on whether or not there is separation between the muscles or laxity present.
Which procedure is most appropriate for you would be determined at the time of your consultation. If you would like to obtain additional information on tummy tucks, liposuction or any other cosmetic procedure that I perform or to schedule a consultation, you can contact my office at 480-451-3000.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona