Everyone has areas of their body that they would like to see improved, and in the nearly fifty years since Atlanta Plastic Surgery was first founded in 1968, body contouring plastic surgery to address those areas has become increasingly popular. Just in the last year alone, more than a million men and women have undergone cosmetic or reconstructive plastic surgery procedures to reshape the breasts or body. One of the most popular of these procedures is the tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, which removes excess fat and skin from the lower torso while tightening the underlying abdominal muscles. But a tummy tuck is not a one-size-fits-all procedure, and many patients who are seeking only minor changes can instead benefit from a mini-tummy tuck, or partial abdominoplasty. Understanding the differences between the two is an excellent first step to determining which would be right for you.
The Full Abdominoplasty: A Traditional Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck is designed to remove excess fat and skin from the entire abdomen while restoring abdominal muscles that have been stretched or weakened over the years. Even individuals in relatively good physical condition may develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging, usually due to the effects of pregnancy, aging, heredity, or significant fluctuations in weight. A tummy tuck removes excess fat and while tightening abdominal muscles that may have become stretched out of shape. Then it helps to treat and reduce the excess, sagging skin from the area between the rib cage and the pelvis. This combination of effects make it particularly effective in helping men and women who have suffered significant fluctuations in weight or in returning a woman’s body to its pre-pregnancy condition as part of a mommy makeover combination procedure.
The Partial Abdominoplasty: A Mini-Tummy Tuck
Sometimes a patient who is otherwise in good physical condition may be experiencing some minor ‘pooching out’ of the lower belly without a great deal of excess skin. In these cases, a much less invasive procedure, called a mini-tummy tuck can be used to focus exclusively on the area below the belly button. Because less tissue is involved and the belly button does not need to be repositioned, a mini-tummy tuck requires a much smaller incision and a much shorter post-surgical recovery time. A partial abdominoplasty can do nothing for muscle wall separation above the belly button, and so is really only appropriate when the muscles of the upper part of the tummy are already in good “shape,” but may be performed on men and women of any body type. Many patients undergoing a mini-tummy tuck also have liposuction performed on other areas of concern to further refine the contours of the torso and achieve a more sculpted and seamless look.
At Atlanta Plastic Surgery, we understand that every patient is different and has unique aesthetic goals, so please contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our seven board certified plastic surgeons so that we can help determine what plastic surgery procedures might be right for you. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news and updates.