Abdominoplasty remains one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in 2021. It’s usually ranked among the top 5 plastic surgeries in the United States. One of the best things about a tummy tuck is that it can tighten loose skin and excess fat that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise. Patients who receive this cosmetic treatment report unique benefits such as a trim and contoured waistline, firmer abdomen, reduced stretch marks, and improved sense of confidence. If you are considering a tummy tuck in Baton Rouge, it is important to keep in mind that plastic surgeons have various techniques they can use. The type of tummy tuck selected will be influenced by the extent of enhancement required, body type, and your individual preferences as well.
1. Mini tummy tuck
A mini tummy tuck is a minimalistic procedure that enhances the appearance of the abdomen within the area below the belly button. According to the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), this technique is the right choice for men or women who are looking to address a ‘pooch’, loose skin, and/or stretch marks in the lower abdominal region. Your plastic surgeon will require that you are in good physical and mental health before you can qualify for this treatment. Patients also need to be close to their ideal weight goal to get the maximum out of this cosmetic treatment.
During a mini tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon will make a small horizontally-inclined incision between the hipbones. They will then use this incision to remove excess skin and tighten underlying muscles to deliver a firmer and flatter lower abdomen contour. The belly button is typically not repositioned during this treatment. Since this procedure is not as extensive as other types of abdominoplasty, patients can expect to resume normal activities in as little as two weeks. However, you’ll need to wait for at least 6 weeks before you can engage in heavy lifting and strenuous activities.
2. Full tummy tuck
This is a standard abdominoplasty procedure that is designed to tone the entire abdominal area (below and above the belly button). This treatment is best suited for patients who are in good health but have weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin around the midsection area. During this procedure, the plastic surgeon will make a small umbilical incision around the belly button. A short waistline incision will also be created. The surgeon will then use these cuts to remove excess skin and tighten underlying abdominal muscles.
Given that a complete tummy tuck is a more invasive treatment, it requires a longer recovery duration. Patients can expect to resume routine activities within 3-4 weeks. Drainage tubes may be inserted in order to drain away excess fluid within the first few days post-surgery. While patients experience swelling and discomfort, these side effects usually resolve within a few days. You should wait for at least 6 – 8 weeks before you can engage in strenuous activities. Following the surgery, your surgeon will provide detailed post-op care instructions that you should adhere to in order to ensure an uninterrupted recovery.
3. Extended tummy tuck
An extended tummy tuck is the most comprehensive type of abdominoplasty available. It includes reshaping of the upper and lower abdomen along with the flanks. This procedure is commonly performed on patients who have lost a lot of weight and are looking to recontour their entire midsection (and body by extension). The ideal candidate for an extended abdominoplasty should have significant laxity in the belly muscles, along with abundant excess skin handing in the abdominal region and flanks.
Your plastic surgeon may choose to combine an extended abdominoplasty with liposuction in order to remove excess fat from the hips, flanks, and love handles. During the surgery, a longer incision is created along the waistline. Another vertical incision may also be created along the flanks in order to reshape the entire waistline. The surgeon will then remove excess skin and tighten abdominal muscles to achieve a desirable midsection transformation. Recovery after an extended abdominoplasty takes much longer. Patients can however expect to resume routine activities within 6 weeks. You may need to wait a little longer before you can return to your exercise regimen or indulge in other strenuous activities.
The type of tummy tuck selected has implications on the cost, the duration of recovery, and the outcome of the procedure. Your plastic surgeon is uniquely positioned to help you wade through the options and choose the right technique. During your initial consultation visit at Dr. Ruston’s office, we’ll answer all your questions and help you make plans for a truly transformative and beneficial abdominoplasty.