Tummy Tuck Definition

tummy tuck patient 29 front view

Tummy tuck definition is an abdominal surgery that is intended to remove lower abdominal skin maximally and to tighten the abdominal muscles in an attempt to eliminate abdominal skin redundancy and narrow the waistline. The tummy tuck definition has most recently been modified with prefixes “full” and “mini”.

The full tummy tuck definition continues to specify the original definition where maximal skin removal and muscle tightening is accomplished by undermining the entire abdominal skin following an incision in the lower abdominal pubic region. When undermining the abdominal skin up to the ribs, the umbilical stalk is released. The repair of the abdominal muscles involves two separate plication sutures preformed much like a brassiere and positioned above and below the umbilicus. Following muscle repair, the belly button stalk is trimmed and then fixed down to the abdominal muscles strategically to allow for an “innie” belly button appearance once the umbilical stalk is re-sewn back up to the newly draped abdominal skin. As such, the patient is then flexed and redundant abdominal skin is trimmed prior to being re-draped and repaired. Two drains are usually positioned and secured to allow for drainage of the abdominal pocket created from undermining. The re-draped abdominal skin is repaired in three separate layers to ensure the optimized healing of an abdominal incision line. At this point the belly stalk is found and delivered up to the abdominal skin to create the neo-umbilicus. The neo-umbilicus refers to the insetting of the belly button ring that should be sewn so that the ring falls in the shadow of the belly button. The fixation performed earlier ensures that the skin of the abdomen gets pulled back down the abdominal muscle creating the hidden neo-umbilicus ring.

Tummy Tuck DefinitionThe mini tummy tuck refers to a less invasive modification of the full tummy tuck that involves a wedge excision of a smaller area located at the lower abdomen and pubic region. This excision results in improvement of the abdominal skin contour when minimal to moderate skin redundancy is present especially when redundancy is limited to the lower abdominal region. Since skin excision is limited, only minimal undermining well below the belly button is required. Although the mini tummy tuck has the disadvantage of not being able to tighten your abdominal muscles, it does have the advantage of allowing your to undergo high definition liposuction of your entire abdomen. In contrast to a full tummy tuck, since undermining has not been performed over you abdomen, liposuction can be safely administered to create contour highlights.

Tummy tuck definition has been modified over the years to define both a “full” and “mini” tummy tuck as above. So if you are considering a tummy tuck, you have to choose between the two procedures above. The full tummy tuck will allow you to remove redundant skin maximally as well as to narrow your waist maximally if you demonstrate the bloated appearance resulting from stretched out abdominal muscles. The mini tummy tuck will allow you to remove limited redundant skin but allow you to receive high definition liposuction of your entire abdomen resulting in a chiseled abdominal appearance. This surgery is ideal for patients who have not observed significant stretching or thinning of their abdominal muscles.

In order to determine which tummy tuck option is best for you, we recommend a consultation with Dr. Mowlavi at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Institute.

Tummy Tuck Definition

Please observe this 35 year old female 3 months following her tummy tuck surgery.