Different Types of Tummy tuck

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Dr. Jude LaBarbera, MD Plastic Surgeon


Different Types of Tummy tuck

Tummy tuck surgery is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the United States. The goal of this plastic surgery treatment is to restore, smoothen, and contour the abdomen. Plastic surgeons accomplish this by removing excess skin and fat from the abdominal area, as well as tightening weakened abdominal muscles. Before a tummy tuck procedure, your surgeon will examine your abdomen before determining what type of abdominoplasty is best suited for you. The most common options include the following. 

1. Mini tummy tuck

A mini tummy tuck is a less invasive abdominoplasty procedure that addresses the area below the belly button. It is recommended for patients who are close to achieving their desired weight but are infuriated by stubborn fat forming a pooch at the lower abdomen. This surgery involves making a small incision between the hip bones, which is then used to remove excess skin and tighten the underlying abdominal muscles. Mini tummy tucks do not reposition the belly button and the abdominal area above the navel is left untouched. This procedure leaves behind minimal scars due to the small incisions made, and patients can typically resume routine activities within a week post-surgery. 

2. Full/ traditional/ standard tummy tuck

A full tummy tuck surgery involves two incisions and focuses on the upper and lower abdomen. As one of the most commonly performed surgeries, it involves making an incision around the navel and the lower abdomen. The excess sagging skin is then removed and abdominal muscles are tightened. A full tummy tuck leaves behind an obvious scar since it extends from the front of the tummy to the back top of the buttocks. It is beneficial to women whose bodies were damaged after pregnancy, or after undergoing major weight loss. The recovery period depends on the fitness, weight, and overall well-being of the patient. A full tummy tuck can also be performed along with liposuction for some patients.

3. Extended tummy tuck

Extended tummy tuck procedures entail the removal of significant amounts of fat from the body. Usually performed along with liposuction, this cosmetic treatment recontours the entire abdomen along with the hips, flanks, and love handles. The incisions made are longer compared to the ones in full tummy tuck, and they stretch around the hips and across the lower belly. Extended tummy tuck surgery leaves scars that may take longer to heal. The recovery period depends on the patient’s age, health, and general fitness.

4. Non-surgical tummy tuck

The non-surgical tummy tuck procedure is designed for patients with a very little amount of loose skin. It can be very attractive especially to patients with concerns regarding surgical, invasive procedures. Treatment entails a lift effect which can last for a very long duration of time, especially when supported by regular exercise and a proper diet. Keep in mind that this type of procedure is not recommended for patients who have an excessive amount of loose skin brought about by pregnancy or rapid weight loss.  

5. Panniculectomy

Unlike full and mini tummy tuck procedures, this is a non-cosmetic surgery. Panniculectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the pannus, and excess skin and tissue from the lower abdomen. It doesn’t tighten the underlying abdominal muscles like full tummy tuck surgery. Panniculectomy uses two incisions, one horizontal from one hipbone to the other, and a vertical one that extends to the pubic bone. Candidates that qualify for this procedure have excess abdominal fat, should not smoke, maintain a healthy diet, and be in good health. After surgery, doctors may insert drains to remove excess fluids.

6. Reverse abdominoplasty  

A reverse tummy tuck entails the upper abdomen and often also the, without tightening any muscles. It is done either by one longer incision or by two cuts beneath your breast crease. The excess fat and skin that exists in the upper abdomen are removed and pushed upwards to the breast area. A reverse tummy tuck can also be an alternative for breast enlargement. Scars that remain after reverse tummy tuck surgery can be covered by bras or bathing suits. 

7. Fleur De Lis tummy tuck 

Fleur De Lis, also known as a vertical tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and tissue from the upper and lower abdomen. It is for individuals who have experienced reasonable weight loss and have a combination of horizontal and vertical laxity. This means that they have loose skin on the lower region with additional sagging skin on the sides. Just like a full tummy tuck, it involves two incisions where one is made along the pubic bone, and the other one vertically along the center of the abdomen. In some cases, the surgeon makes an extra incision to tighten the skin on the sides.    


Different patients have unique needs. It is important you talk to your plastic surgeon about the different types of abdominoplasty procedures so you can identify a treatment that makes sense for you. Also, make sure to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specifically specializes in abdominoplasty.    

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