A toned, flat stomach is one of those coveted features that is desired by many, but as we all know, can be very difficult to achieve. Sometimes no matter how hard you work, no amount of dieting and crunches will cut it! Luckily in today’s day and age, safe and highly effective cosmetic surgical procedures are available for those that wish to finally get that flat stomach they’ve been hoping for. In fact, there are several different options for people wishing to improve the appearance of their abdomen, including full tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck, and liposuction alone. This post will parse out the differences between these procedures to you help you begin thinking about which one ones you are most interested in learning more about.
A full, or regular tummy tuck is one popular option for improving the shape and size of the midsection. In the past, this procedure focused on removing sagging extra skin and fat from the stomach without changing the appearance of the rest of the abdomen. However, this often had the unwanted effect of creating a boxy, unnatural-looking abdomen by selectively removing tissue from the front without touching the back or sides. Most reputable plastic surgeons today including board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen have adapted this procedure to produce much better results for their patients. When Dr. Temmen performs this procedure, she combines traditional tummy tuck technique with the gentle body-sculpting benefits of liposuction to slim, shape, and smooth the midsection. She first uses the precise power of liposuction to remove stubborn fat deposits from the front, back, and sides. This helps sculpt the body evenly and smoothly while bringing in the waist and accentuating the hips, resulting in the attractive hourglass shape many women are looking for. In the second part of this procedure, Dr. Temmen then uses traditional tummy tuck technique to remove excess sagging fat and skin from the abdomen. This combination of techniques creates optimal results for patients, leaving them with a slim tummy and natural-looking, beautiful curves. The scar from this procedure is usually a little bit longer than a C-section scar, and Dr. Temmen takes care to place it low enough on the abdomen such that it is usually concealed behind a bikini or underwear. This procedure tightens the abdominal muscles and removes excess tissue from both above and below the belly button. Because of this, this procedure also includes creating a new, perfect “innie” belly button in an attractive oval shape.
Another option for patients to consider is the “mini” tummy tuck. Much like the full tummy tuck, the mini tummy tuck also includes targeted liposuction of the front, back and sides to create a slim and curvy shape. The main benefit of this procedure versus a regular tummy tuck is that a smaller incision is made, resulting in a shorter scar. The scar is usually shorter than a C-section scar, and may even be short enough to be concealed by the pubic hair. In addition, because a mini tummy tuck only targets the tissue below the belly button, the belly button does not need to be remade in this procedure like it is in a fully tummy tuck. Good candidates for this option typically have excess skin and fat that is limited to the lower abdomen. This way, they do not require a full tummy tuck to address unwanted excess skin and fat from the upper abdomen, and the procedure can be performed through the “mini” incision. People who may not be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck are those who have excess fat and skin both above and below the belly button, making a full tummy tuck a better option.
A final option for patients to think about when considering their options for improving the appearance of the midsection is liposuction alone, without an associated tummy tuck. As described in the other procedures, liposuction is a method of gently removing fat in order to slim and shape the abdomen. Liposuction can eliminate stubborn fat deposits such as love handles, but cannot remove loose, saggy skin or tissue that hangs over the front of the abdomen. This would need to be removed during a tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck. Liposuction may be a good option for patients who don’t have sagging excess skin to remove, but are looking to sculpt the body and improve overall shape. Along these lines, good candidates for this procedure should be close to their ideal weight, have good quality skin, and be aiming to target specific fat deposits that have been resistant to diet and exercise. With liposuction alone, the resulting scars are extremely minimal as it is performed through tiny incisions in the abdomen (usually between ¼ to ½ an inch long) that are placed in well-concealed areas of the body whenever possible.
As you can see, there are several cosmetic surgical options for improving the appearance of the abdomen. Just a few of the factors that play into choosing the best option for a unique patient are their current appearance, aesthetic goals, and preferences for scar size and placement. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen is highly skilled at all of the procedures discussed in this post (any many more!) and enjoys working with each individual to design a personalized procedure plan that is the perfect fit for them. If you are interested in learning more about if you may be a good candidate for any of these procedures, please call 813-877-2277 to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Traci Temmen, MD, today!