An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is considered a body contouring procedure. It is important to note that it isn’t designed as a weight-loss treatment. Instead, it targets sagging skin and small pockets of excess fat, helping to provide a flatter, tighter abdomen.
Depending on the extent of excess skin and fat on the abdomen and any muscle weakness, there are a number of different techniques that can be used. Your main options when undergoing an abdominoplasty include:
Liposuction: For those patients that have small deposits of excess fat, but good skin and muscle laxity, it is possible to remove the fat tissue and reshape the body through liposuction alone.
Standard abdominoplasty: An incision will be made across the lower abdomen, stretching from hip to hip and then another incision is made to release the belly button. From there, the tissue and skin are separated from the abdominal wall muscle. The muscles will be tightened up before being stitched and secured into their new position. Any excess skin and fat will be removed before the belly button is repositioned and the skin is redraped to produce a tighter, flatter abdomen.
Extended abdominoplasty: The procedure is the same as a standard abdominoplasty except there is more tissue removed around the sides and behind the hips so that the scar is longer. The benefit is of a better contour in patients with laxity at the sides of the hips.
Mini abdominoplasty: A mini tummy tuck is a less invasive option, requiring a single incision to be made across the abdomen. It is suitable for those patients whose problem area is below the umbilicus. Mr Horlock will remove the fat and stretch the skin down to the incision. Excess skin will be removed before the incision is closed.
Fleur-de-Lys abdominoplasty: This technique works in much the same way as a full abdominoplasty. However, an additional incision is made down the centre of the abdomen.
Total body lift (Circumferential abdominoplasty): After massive weight loss, you are usually left with sagging skin and lax muscles in many areas of the body, not just the abdomen. To achieve the body shape you want, it may be necessary to have a combination of procedures in the form of a total body lift which will remove excess skin and fat from all areas of the body. The excision of tissue stars with a standard abdominoplasty and extends all around the sides to meet in the midline at the back.
You will be advised which procedure is better for you during the consultation with Mr Horlock.