Tummy Tuck Options: Different Surgical Techniques

Losing a lot of weight can improve your heath, but it can also lead to a lot of loose skin and stretch marks, especially around the lower abdomen. While your skin won’t be able to shrink back all the way on its own, Dr. Mark A. Deuber can help improve your body contour thanks to a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).

What many patients do not realize is that there are three kinds of tummy tucks that can be performed:

  • The traditional tummy tuck
  • The extended tummy tuck
  • The mini tummy tuck

The team at our Dallas, TX plastic surgery center would like to go over the differences between these different surgical procedures.

The Goal of Any Tummy Tuck Surgery

No matter what kind of tummy tuck you undergo, the goal is the same: to remove loose, sagging, unwanted skin from the lower abdominal area following weight loss. The variations on the surgery allow surgeons to remove more or less skin depending on the patient’s needs.

Okay, now let’s look at the three kinds of tummy tuck surgeries.

The Traditional Tummy Tuck

The traditional tummy tuck surgery is what most patients will undergo following major weight loss. This surgery consists of three incisions:

  • A circular incision around the belly button
  • A lateral incision along the lower abdominal area spanning from one hipbone to the other
  • A vertical incision connecting the two previously mentioned incisions

Using this anchor-shaped set of incisions, a plastic surgeon can adjust the underlying structures of the abdominal region, remove excess fat and skin, and tighten the overall appearance of the stomach.

We should note that the vertical incision may not be necessary depending on your needs.

The Extended Tummy Tuck

The extended tummy tuck is a surgery designed for people who have lost an extreme amount of weight. It’s typically performed on patients who were morbidly obese prior to their weight loss. In such cases, they have more loose skin than most people would have.

The three incisions made for an extended tummy tuck are similar to the traditional tummy tuck:

  • A circular incision around the belly button
  • A lateral incision that spans from the back of the hipbone along the side of the hip and across the lower abdomen to the back of the opposite hipbone
  • A vertical incision that connects the two previously mentioned incisions

The larger lateral incision gives plastic surgeons the ability to adjust more underlying structures of the abdominal area and sides, and to remove a lot of drooping skin after extreme weight loss.

The Mini Tummy Tuck

The mini tummy tuck is a much less extensive version of the traditional tummy tuck. When there’s just a little bit of loose or sagging skin around the lower abdomen, fewer incisions/less extensive incisions will be needed to achieve body contouring results.

The incisions for a mini tummy tuck can vary. Usually the procedure involves just a single lateral incision along the lower abdomen, and it may not have to span from one hipbone to the other. Some mini tummy tucks will involve a combination of the lateral incision and a circular incision around the belly button. Whatever incision method is used, the amount of scarring is less extensive than the traditional tummy tuck.

Learn More About Abdominoplasty

For more information on tummy tuck surgery and why it may be the ideal option for you and your needs, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic plastic surgeon. Dr. Deuber and his team look forward to your visit.


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