The abdominal area is important for both function and appearance. With laxity of the abdominal tissues, which can include the skin, fat and the underlying muscles (the rectus abdominus or “six-pack”), plastic surgeons see problems with both appearance and generalized weakness of the trunk, back and pelvic floor. These problems most commonly are seen after pregnancies and major weight changes, and plastic surgeons, such as Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Steve Merten, are frequently asked by patients to assist in the correction of these problems.

In most cases, an abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” is the procedure of choice. This plastic surgery procedure works to tighten the skin and muscles of the abdomen so one may achieve improved abdominal contour and strength.

canstockphoto-abdomen croppedAn abdominoplasty works for both men and women in relatively good shape, but unable to fully correct excess or loose skin and loose abdominal muscles, despite a healthy diet and regular exercise.

It is important to understand that abdominoplasty/tummy tuck, nor liposuction, are not used to deal with obesity or major weight problems.

There are, in fact, a number of tummy tuck options that are available, and the best option for you will be considered at your consultation with our plastic surgeon, Dr Merten.

1. “Mini” tummy tuck

This type of abdominoplasty is useful for patients with less tissue looseness, mostly restricted to below the belly button. The cut is kept short, above the pubic area, so the scar is shorter than the full abdominoplasty. Loose skin and fat are removed from the lower abdomen, and it is often done with some additional liposuction to improve the overall contour. Also, the belly button is not moved in the mini-abdominoplasty, so there is no scar there. There is less potential for muscle tightening in this procedure, but recovery is quicker and less uncomfortable because of this.

2. Standard abdominoplasty

Although this is traditionally called “radical” abdominoplasty, this is the most common type of abdominoplasty technique. The cut and the final scar are usually longer, from hip to hip, and the belly button is repositioned. This technique allows for the underlying muscles to be repaired along their full length from breastbone to pubic bone, and allows for a more widespread improvement than the mini-abdominoplasty. It is the usual technique for patients who require improvement of larger amounts of skin and muscles.

3. High lateral tension abdominoplasty

This is a variation of the standard abdominoplasty, which pulls across the waist more dramatically for maximum mid-abdominal tightening. It is best for patients who are thin but have lost their waist curvature, but may require a longer and higher final scar.

If you want to discuss abdominoplasty/tummy tuck, or any other cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, please call us at Pure Aesthetics on 9252 9262, or contact us for an appointment to see our Sydney Plastic Surgeon, Dr Steve Merten.