How do you choose a tummy tuck surgeon?
Well as with all cosmetic plastic surgeries start with credentials. You want to find a board certified plastic surgeon who has excellent training and who has a great deal of experience with tummy tuck surgery also one who operates in a credited surgery center. Find out if the surgeon is able to have you observed overnight following your tummy tuck especially if other surgeries are preformed along with the procedures such as with a mommy makeover. After credentials you want to look at photographs, dozens of before and after photographs, and make sure the photographs are available for multiple use you want to see frontal, oblique, full lateral images of each patient to adequately evaluate your tummy tuck result. My personal goal for tummy tuck surgery is to allow patients to feel comfortable in a two piece swimsuit again if they want to wear one and most of my patients do that kind of result is achievable but it requires careful preoperative planning and attention to detail in the operating room. A tummy tuck done well results in no visible surgical scars, a flat abdominal contour, a narrower waist, and a smooth skin surface. A tummy tuck preformed badly can result in widened ugly scars, irregular abdominal contour and worse case scenarios skin necrosis. When you’re looking for a tummy tuck surgeon you want to look for attention to detail and you’ll find it on their website during the consultation process and in the recommendations given to you personally do your homework pay attention and you will end up with an excellent tummy tuck result.
What is a Reverse Abdominoplasty?
A reverse tummy tuck is a variation on the usual pattern of skin excision that’s preformed with standard abdominoplasty. Instead of removing all of the skin in the lower abdomen through a super pubic incision in a reverse tummy tuck some lower abdominal skin is removed through the same incision while some upper abdominal skin is removed through incisions placed in the infirmary folds below the breasts. This tightens the upper abdominal skin and lower abdominal skin simultaneously through the lower incision the entire abdominal wall can still be tightened. The belly button or umbilicus floated with the abdominal skin flap so that through the inferior approach the muscle layer of the abdominal wall can be tightened from sternum to pubic bone. A reverse abdominoplasty is a surgery that is primarily performed for patients that whether pregnancy very well and do not have a tremendous amount of lower abdominal skin laxity that would be treated with conventional tummy tuck. There is some important criteria that should be met for this procedure however ideally the patient should have an aesthetically ideal umbilicus or belly button, if the belly button doesn’t look good preoperatively then one might as well perform a conventional tummy tuck and create a new belly button in process. Secondly patients should have very faint or ideally no stretch marks, with a reverse abdominoplasty you are both pulling the skin upwards above the belly button and downwards below the belly button, if there are stretch marks around the belly button the reverse abdominal skin excision will actually pull them higher on the abdominal wall so for patients that have significant stretch marks I prefer to do conventional abdominoplasty, in most cases this pulls the stretch marks lower on the abdominal wall and ultimately it makes the patient appear to have fewer stretch marks. The last consideration is this, the infirmary folds scars need to be hidden within the infirmary fold so this is a surgery for patients that have enough press volume to create some lower pull fullness that helps to conceal the infirmary folds and thus the infirmary folds scars. If you feel you meet these criteria then discuss this surgery with your surgeon and find out if it’s something that they offer or have experience with, if you are going to have this surgery performed you want to make sure you see lots of before and after photographs of a reverse abdominoplasty so the you can see that the abdominal profile is flat and the scars are well concealed.
What Is the Difference Between a Full Tummy Tuck and a Mini Tummy Tuck?
In a general sense a full tummy tuck treats the entire abdomen while the mini tummy tuck focuses on the lower abdomen below the belly button. A full tummy tuck is a surgery for a patient with significant abdominal skin laxity, in this procedure an incision is made just above the pubic area and all of or almost all of the skin is removed between the belly button and the super pubic incision. The entire abdominal wall is tightened from sternum to pubis and a new belly button is created at the side of the umbilical stock. A mini tummy tuck on the other hand is a surgery for a patient with less abdominal skin laxity and abdominal wall weakness just below the belly button, the incision is made in roughly the same location above the pubic area but a smaller ellipse abdominal skin is removed and a new belly button is not created. This affords the surgeon access only to the lower abdomen for placement of sutures that tighten abdominal wall. Some important things about the two procedures for the following: Number one- the super pubic scars are about the same length for these two procedures in most cases the scar needs to run from the iliac crest or hip bone or the other iliac crest so if you have a many tummy tuck are not necessarily going to have a shorter super pubic scar. Another thing to know is that a mini tummy tuck may pull your belly button into a lower position that is ok if you have a high belly button position to start with but if you already have a low belly button position preoperatively then the appearance following a mini tummy tuck may be odd and even quite unfavorable. The last thing to know is this, in my opinion there are very few patients who are actually very good candidates for what is truly a mini tummy tuck. Most patients that have had one or two or more pregnancies have weakness not just the lower abdomen but weakness of the entire abdominal wall although it may not be completely apparent preoperatively. If you tighten only the lower abdomen you may end up with some bulging in the upper abdomen because the upper abdomen has not been tightened. For most patients who need sort of a mini tummy tuck skin excision, I prefer to float the umbilicus with the skin flap, the umbilicus actually floats away from the abdominal wall with the abdominal skin flap and the affords the surgeon access to the entire abdominal wall so the muscle wall of the abdomen could be tightened from the sternum pubis. I refer to this surgery as an extended mini abdominoplasty this leaves the patient with their original belly button and it leaves them with the same scar as the mini tummy tuck but it allows me to tighten the entire abdominal wall so postoperatively in profile they have that beautifully flat and aesthetically ideal abdominal wall that they had in mind. Make sure that your surgeon can discuss all these concepts with you and help determine which is the best procedure for you in particular.