What Are The Different Types of Tummy Tucks?


Most people want a smooth, toned-looking belly, but not everyone can achieve a flat belly naturally. In addition to variations in body type, many people find rapid weight loss or childbirth leaves them with loose skin and bulges they don’t like. A tummy tuck can address excess fat, unwanted bulges, and loose skin. While deciding whether a tummy tuck is right for you, you may also need to learn about the different types of tummy tucks available. Depending on your goals, one type may be better for you than the others.

Before we dive in, here are a few basics. An Abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck,” is a type of plastic surgery done to remove fat and excess skin from the abdominal area. During the operation, your surgeon will make an incision to remove excess fat, repair the muscles, and tighten the skin. The exact procedure varies a little depending on the type of tummy tuck performed and whether the operation is done in combination with any other procedures like liposuction or treating a hernia.

Tummy Tuck Options

While each tummy tuck procedure varies, they share the same goals. A successful tummy tuck can:

  • Remove excess and undesired fat (sometimes in combination with liposuction)
  • Remove excess loose skin around the abdomen
  • Tighten and repair the abdominal muscles
  • Result in a toned-looking and leaner waistline

Full Tummy Tuck (or Standard Tummy Tuck)

A standard tummy tuck is the most common option concentrating on reshaping and “toning” the lower abdominal area. It’s an especially popular option among women recovering from changes to their bodies from pregnancy and childbirth.

During a standard tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon will make an incision above the pubic area and below the belly button, usually from hip to hip. This incision allows for the removal of excess skin and fatty tissue. Your surgeon may then use liposuction to contour the lower belly and repair and tighten the abdominal muscles. If you have diastasis recti, your doctor can repair it during a tummy tuck. Your belly button may also need to be repositioned to look natural.

A standard tummy tuck is a great option for women who delivered their baby through a C-section since the incision can follow the existing scars. Many designs of swimwear or undergarments can hide the scars.

Mini Tummy Tuck

A mini tummy tuck is an option for people who only want to remove a smaller amount of fatty tissue or excess skin below the belly button. As the name implies, it is a less invasive procedure than a full tummy tuck operation. A mini tummy tuck is popular among people who reached their goal weight through diet and exercise but have a small “pooch” below the belly button that they don’t like.

During a mini tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon makes a small incision just above the public area and doesn’t usually need to reposition the belly button. Usually, undergarments or swimwear easily conceal the small incision.

Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck

A Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck requires a vertical incision in addition to the horizontal, making the scars harder to hide. Most people who opt for it need more correction. For example, someone who was morbidly obese and rapidly lost weight resulting in a lot of loose excess skin may opt for this option. The incision points give your surgeon better access to tighten and repair the abdominal muscles while also removing the extra skin.

For people who have excess skin they feel physically uncomfortable, and the skin hides their true physique, a Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck may be well worth it despite the scarring.

Extended Tummy Tuck

An extended tummy tuck is an option for people with a significant amount of loose skin or fatty tissue in their lower belly area and also in the “love handle” regions of the hip and lower back. It is more invasive than a standard tummy tuck since your plastic surgeon will make a longer incision above the pubic area and along the entire width of the abdominal area extending to the back of each hip. Sometimes this procedure is combined with liposuction or lipo 360 for better sculpting. Your surgeon will also tighten and repair the abdominal muscles like with other types of tummy tuck operations. 

During an extended tummy tuck, your doctor will also need to remove the belly button and reposition it to restore a natural appearance. Since an extended tummy tuck is more involved and invasive, you may need to stay overnight in the hospital if you opt for one. Afterward, you can hide the incision with clothing, swimwear, and underwear.

Schedule Your Consultation

The first step to deciding whether you want to opt for a tummy tuck is to see a skilled plastic surgeon.  Any kind of medical care, including plastic surgery, must be tailored to the patient. All procedures are beneficial to some but harmful to others. 

In general, a good candidate for a tummy tuck is someone who:

  • Healthy enough for elective surgery. Talk with your plastic surgeon about your existing conditions, medications, treatments, and even symptoms of unresolved conditions
  • Is a nonsmoker, or is willing to quit for a while? Smoking interferes with healing making any procedure riskier
  • Is at a stable weight; if you are still losing weight, then you may want to wait until you reach your goal before getting a tummy tuck; otherwise, you may find that you need another once you reach your goal
  • Has realistic expectations of likely results and is informed about the procedure and any possible risks

During your consultation, you will see examples of possible and likely results. You will discuss your goals with your plastic surgeon, who will examine you to determine whether the operation is safe for you. In addition, your surgeon will explain to you the different types of tummy tucks available. If you are not a good candidate for a tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon may suggest alternative treatments that may help you meet your goals. It all starts with the consultation. If you live in or near Charlotte, contact the team at Charlotte Plastic Surgery. We have a proven track record of transforming our patient’s physiques and restoring confidence.