We all like mini surgery, but we don’t want mini results. When is the mini tummy tuck good, and when is the maxi a must? The decision between liposuction, mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck is one I face daily in my San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgery office. We all want more for less, but when is more really more, and when is less, just less?
Choices in Abdominal Rejuvenation
Whether you were born with the genes for a loose belly, or you earned it with childbirth or weight loss, there are three main choices for abdominal rejuvenation:
- Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty)
- Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Indications for Tummy Tucks and the Alternatives
The Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Procedures listed above each have specific indications, benefits and risks. Each option improves the results of diet and exercise, but none can replace them. And while achieving or keeping your weight close to ideal helps with maintaining an attractive tummy, plastic surgery can offer improvements in ways that diet and exercise cannot. The procedure are not an alternative, but are complementary, and the results speak for themselves.
How to Get a Great Tummy
Yes, there is no way to get around taking care of yourself. Maintaining your weight and breaking a sweat once in a while help. However, there are times when a little extra attention is needed.
Weight Loss is the first line of offense when striving for a great gut. There is no surgical way to remove internal fat. This fat fills the belly from inside and pushes the abdominal wall muscles forward. Most common in men, excess intraabdominal fat is unhealthy, and makes a big hard belly. Losing this fat improves health and appearance.
On the other hand, I see many patients who are close to their ideal weight, who retain disproportionate fat around their waist. These stubborn areas form muffin tops or love handles, and despite the affectionate nicknames, no one really likes them. External fat is something I can help with.
Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss, but it provides laser beam focus on the problem areas that just won’t go away. Unlike weight loss, liposuction allows you to pick which fat cells are leaving. Those stubborn areas around the waist or thighs are the most frequently aspirated areas. Tumescent Liposuction can safely and effectively remove unwanted bulges, as long as the skin is tight.
Liposuction Before and After Pictures
Exercise has many health benefits. Tightening up our core helps us with both work and play. It makes us look and feel good too. The absence of strong abdominal muscles allows the gut to push the abdomen forward. Strong muscles make for strong support and a flatter tummy. Exercise also helps eliminate intraabdominal fat, and with less internal stuffing, the abdominal contours improve.
So why do so many of us still feel like our bellies are fat after weight loss? Why can’t all the mommies hitting the gym correct the belly laxity caused by pregnancy? The problem may be that the strong muscles are stretched out of shape. The case around the muscle, called fascia (fash-ya), it stretched with pregnancy and weight gain. Just like the skin, the fascia does not always return to its prestretched tone.
Mini Tummy Tucks (Mini Abdominoplasty)
This is where the tucks come in. Tummy Tucks allow a plastic surgeon to tighten what nature won’t. Abdominoplasty means literally abdomen changing. Loose muscle fascia is tightened, like an internal corset, and excess skin is removed along with the redundant folds around the middle that it causes.
When the problem is isolated to below the belly-button, a Mini Tummy Tuck may be just what the doctor orders. The Mini Abdominoplasty allows for tightening of the skin below the belly button and tightening of the lower abdominal fascia. It is half the operation of the full tummy tuck, so the both the recovery and the results are reduced.
Mini Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures
Tummy Tucks (Abdominoplasty)
The bigger the damage, the bigger the repair. When the entire abdominal wall from ribs to pelvis is stretched out, a Mini Tummy Tuck is not going to cut it. A traditional, full Tummy Tuck has been around a long time because it works. It provides tightening of the entire abdominal fascia, from top to bottom, and allows for improvement above the belly-button. The amount of excess that can be treated still impresses me, and I have done a lot of Tummy Tucking.
Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures
So Who Qualifies and Who is Qualified for Tummy Tucks?
The San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog cannot substitute for a carefully performed, in person consultation with a qualified Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. If you are considering any sort of abdominal rejuvenation, be certain to consult with an experienced member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), or a member who has shown further dedication to the cosmetic side of plastic surgery, by also joining the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Members of these two organizations determined well before their training that plastic surgery was what they wanted to do, and that they had the grades and the drive to make it into a highly competitive, accredited plastic surgery training program.
If you are considering Plastic Surgery, whether it be Liposuction, Tummy Tuck or any elective cosmetic procedure, you are not just choosing a procedure. You are choosing the person to trust with performing that procedure. Learn what you can online, but be prepared to learn more, specifically what will work best for your body, at your consultation appointment.
Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Consultations
If you would like to schedule a personalized consultation appointment, give us a call at (925) 943-6353. My staff will do their best to get you a convenient, private appointment, and I will do my best to provide you the information you need to make a safe and informed decision about what will work best for you.