If you have loose skin on your tummy from pregnancies or dieting, you probably have given at least passing consideration to having a “tummy tuck.” Abdominoplasty is a common surgical procedure usually rendering excellent results – but all tummy tucks aren’t the same. Which one might be right for you?
There are three basic types abdominoplasty procedures – the mini, the standard and the extended. Which one you should consider can only be determined after a surgeon meets with and examines you. An abdominoplasty has a more extensive recovery time than many other cosmetic procedures, but it provides a long lasting and a very effective result. After the surgery, there is a truly dramatic, positive change to your body shape and your tummy will be flatter and tighter.
The simplest and easiest tummy tuck to recover from is the “mini” tummy tuck. This procedure is typically suited to women who have never had children, or have had just one pregnancy, and is appropriate if there is only a small amount of loose skin in the central lower abdomen. In this procedure the surgeon tightens the skin only and doesn’t repair the underlying abdominal muscle. The scar on the “mini” tummy tuck is normally shorter, usually horizontal, and most often placed just above the pubic area within the upper pubic hairline.
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The next step up from the “mini” tummy tuck is the “standard” tummy tuck. If you have had several pregnancies, this is usually the best procedure. Normally with this surgery the excess skin is excised and there is repair of the underlying abdominal muscles. The scar is usually horizontal and above the pubic area but it is longer, extending from approximately one hipbone to the other.
The most extensive tummy tuck is the “extended” procedure. This surgery is often indicated for women who have had multiple pregnancies or for those who have lost a massive amount of weight. Excess skin is excised from the abdomen and flanks and the underlying abdominal muscle is tightened as well. The scar runs across the upper pubic hair area and extends upwards toward the back on both sides. It is a long scar but many think the benefit is worth it, as it tightens the entire lower torso. Also, a really good surgeon is usually talented at leaving behind the bare minimum of scarring.
As in all medical/surgical procedures, your choices regarding abdominoplasty should be determined only after careful research and frank and open discussions with a licensed, qualified physician. A tummy tuck has the possibility of dramatically improving self-esteem concerning your body, but it still is a major surgical procedure and you’ll want to be fully informed before going ahead with it.