Notes from Dr. Jenq

Tummy Tuck — Different Options Depending on Your Needs

Tummy tuck, aka abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that is performed to tighten up the belly and remove extra skin and fat, sometimes called “muffin tops.”  Often after pregnancy, age, or significant weight loss, the belly muscle stretches out and a large amount of thinned skin, stretch marks, and fat can develop. Surgery can help to restore your contour and remove extra fat.  Options of the best surgical technique can range from a mini lower belly scar to an upside down T scar to a scar all the way around the back.  The ultimate goal is to trade a scar for improved contour.  So which option would be best?

It all depends on your body type.  If you have less extra tissue, milder stretch marks, and less thinning of the belly muscles, a mini-tummy tuck can help improve overall contour with the benefit of less scars.  It uses a scar that is shorter on the lower abdomen, there is no scar around the belly button, and less skin is removed.  This works best if the amount of extra tissue and the stretch of the belly musculature is less severe.

For many woman with significant stretching and thinning after pregnancy, a traditional full lower horizontal scar would be most successful at recreating a flat belly.  Here, the extra amount of skin from around the belly button is pulled down and virtually removed, so a new belly button position in the skin is created resulting in a scar around the belly button.

For some women after a massive weight loss from gastric bypass surgery, the extra skin includes both a vertical and a horizontal component. In this case, an vertical line along the mid abdomen is added to the lower horizontal line.  If back or button rejuvenation is needed as well, then a lower back scar is added to address buttock flattening and back folds.