Many patients are not aware there are three main types of abdominoplasty available.
Mini-abdominoplasty, as the name implies, is not as involved as a standard tummy tuck. This procedure is indicated in patients who have loose skin with or without stretch marks in the lower, central, part of the abdomen. The skin above the umbilicus (belly button) is normal with no loose skin or stretch marks. The incision is slightly larger than a c-section scar and is placed in the central third of the lower abdomen. If the patient has excess fat in the upper part, liposuction of the upper abdomen can be performed at the same time.
A standard abdominoplasty is indicated for patients who have loose skin, with or without stretch marks, below and above the umbilicus. However, the loose skin ends before reaching the flanks (love handles). The incision is from “hip to hip”, in the lower portion of the abdomen. With this procedure, the abdominal muscles (if separated by pregnancy or massive weight gain and loss) are also tightened, resulting in a flatter abdomen. If the flanks have excess fat, liposuction of the love handles can be performed at the same time.
An extended abdominoplasty is needed in patients who have loose skin and stretch marks of the abdomen, with extension of the loose skin up to and even beyond the flanks, extending to the lower back. In this procedure, the incision has to be extended to remove the excess fat and skin over the flanks.
The usual surgery time for a mini-abdominoplasty is 1-1 1/2 hours, 3-4 hours for a standard tummy tuck, and 4-5 hours for an extended abdominoplasty.
Michael A. Jazayeri, M.D. is a board certified plastic surgeon and a member of American Society of Plastic Surgeons. His office is located in central Orange County. If you like to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 714-834-0101.