A protruding abdomen is one of the body characteristics that both men and women find troublesome. Many people develop excess fat and loose abdominal skin due to weight fluctuations, aging, and pregnancy. They often attempt to diet and exercise to slim the appearance of the abdomen but find it hard to eliminate a distended stomach despite their efforts. A healthy lifestyle is often no match against a “pooched” abdomen. It can be difficult or impossible to get rid of excess abdominal fat, tissue, and skin without surgery. Tummy tuck surgery is an ideal procedure designed to remove excess tissue and skin from the abdomen and to tighten the abdominal muscles.
Tummy Tuck Techniques
Since the procedure is customizable based on a patient’s unique anatomy and goals, there are different tummy tuck techniques. Dr. O’Toole offers a variety of options to help a patient achieve optimal tummy tuck results. It is important that patients are at or near their ideal body weight, are in good health, and have realistic expectations before considering surgery. Mothers should wait until they have finished having children before considering tummy tuck surgery.
Full Tummy Tuck
Patients who have the presence of excess fat and skin and loose abdominal muscles may be excellent candidates for a full tummy tuck. During a full tummy tuck, an incision is made around the navel and across the lower abdomen from hipbone to hipbone just above the pubic area. Excess skin is removed, and the muscles are tightened. The belly button is relocated into a higher position, and excess skin is redraped over the newly shaped contours. Liposuction may be used to recontour the abdomen and surrounding areas by addressing excess fat.
Mini Tummy Tuck
If the patient has only skin laxity and protrusion below the navel, they may be better suited for a mini tummy tuck. The ideal mini tummy tuck patient is in reasonably good shape but cannot achieve their aesthetic goals with regular diet and exercise. A single horizontal incision is placed just above the pubic area as low as possible below the bikini line. The incision will be anywhere from just a few inches to the entire width of the abdomen. Through the incisions, the muscles are tightened and excess skin is removed. If further refining of the area is necessary, liposuction may be used to remove excess fat.
Someone who also needs to target the love handles or hips along with the abdomen may benefit from an extended abdominoplasty or a high lateral tension tummy tuck. Typically, patients who have experienced significant weight loss or pregnancy are ideal candidates for an extended abdominoplasty. A longer incision is made across the abdomen just above the pubic line and may extend around the hips. Another incision is made around the navel. The high lateral technique requires using the deeper tissue layers to support and maintain the repair. The abdomen is corrected while the hip over to the side of thigh is lifted, improving the overall contour and suspension of the abdomen, hips, and thighs. The navel is moved into a higher position, and excess skin is redraped and sutured closed.
If you are unsure which tummy tuck technique is right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. O’Toole today! He can examine your anatomy and goals and suggest the best procedure for achieving your goals. Contact us by calling (626) 689-7800 or by filling out our online contact form.