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5 Different Types of Tummy Tucks Explained

By: Austin-Weston


Tummy Tuck

With the advancements in medical technology and cosmetic help available these days, tummy tucks are on the rise in popularity with more men and women wanting that extra “help” with their abdominal areas. This part of the body is a common, ongoing area of struggle for many individuals. Weight gain or loss, pregnancies, or just the natural process of aging are all factors that can hinder having those flat, toned abs. Diet and exercise, at times is all you need, but in some cases getting the abdominals you always wanted means getting help from the cosmetic procedure of a tummy tuck.

Reshaping your midsection with a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty procedure comes in a variety of ways. The plastic surgeons and trained staff at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, in Northern Virginia offers various types of cosmetic options to tackle your midsection and get you the results you always wanted.

General Overview Top to Bottom...

All tummy tuck procedures performed in our Northern Virginia plastic surgery center have one main goal, which is to remove excess skin and fat in order to leave a patient with a more toned, flatter looking abdominal or midsection area. The abdominal area is broken down into 2 different areas: the upper and lower region. Cosmetically, a standard, extended, mini or panniculectomy tummy tuck procedure handles the lower abdominal area. A reverse tummy tuck cosmetic procedure enhances and reshapes the upper abdominal area. There are different options for patients depending on what their unique needs are. Let’s breakdown the different types of cosmetic tummy tuck procedures so you can get an idea of what you may need.

Standard Tummy Tuck

This is the most common tummy tuck procedure performed that concentrates on reshaping and toning up the lower abdominal area. It is extremely common for women who have gone through pregnancy and childbirth. An incision is usually made above the pubic area below the belly button, typically spanning from hip to hip, allowing for the optimal removal of excess skin and any fatty tissue. The lower abdominal area is then contoured with liposuction and made to look flatter. It also reshapes the underlying abdominal wall therefore the abdominal muscles are usually tightened at the same time with this procedure. The belly button is sometimes repositioned in a standard tummy tuck so that the outcome looks symmetrical and natural. If you previously had a C-section with pregnancy it can be reused to reduce any additional scarring. Most traditional tummy tuck incisions can be hidden by undergarments or a bathing suit.

Mini Tummy Tuck

An alternative option if you need a small amount of excess skin or fatty tissue removed below the belly button is a mini tummy tuck. A less invasive procedure, but provides the same great results as a traditional tummy tuck, this version is ideal for a patient whose diet and exercise efforts have plateaued leaving them with a small area or “pooch” below the belly button. A mini tummy tuck involves a much smaller incision just above the pubic area and doesn’t involve the belly button needing to be repositioned. Due to its smaller incision, scarring is more limited and it can be concealed by undergarments or a bathing suit.

Extended Tummy Tuck

The extended tummy tuck was developed for patients needing a significant amount of skin or fatty tissue removed in their lower abdominal area and also the hip or lower back “love handle” regions. It is more invasive with a longer incision made above the pubic area, the entire width of the abdominal area, that extends to the back of each hip. The belly button is also removed and repositioned in this procedure, and then reconstructed to look normal. Excess skin and fatty tissue (in some cases removed with liposuction to achieve better body contouring results) are removed and underlying abdominal muscles are tightened at the same time. Due to this procedure being more invasive, patients are typically required to spend one night in the hospital for recovery and like with a standard tummy tuck the incision can be hidden with undergarments or a bathing suit.


This surgical procedure is a variation of abdominoplasty aimed at helping patients who have lost a significant amount of weight. Oftentimes, in patients who have lost 100 pounds or more or who have been left with excess loose skin after bariatric surgery, folds of skin and fat, known as an “apron” can be the result. This is a more complex abdominoplasty method where a substantial amount of tissue is removed. The incision is made above the pubic area from hip to hip but the belly button and abdominal muscles are not always affected. This surgery focuses on the removal of the folds of loose skin and sometimes requires microsurgery to ensure that vessels are returned to normal function post-surgery. This procedure can offer dramatic, life-changing results for many patients whose lives are greatly affected and hindered by the amount of loose skin present.

Reverse Tummy Tuck

A reverse abdominoplasty involves the upper portion of the midsection just below the breasts. Some patients can have a lower abdominal area that is toned and flat but their upper torso has loose skin or extra fatty tissue. A reverse tummy tuck is made with one long incision or 2 small ones underneath the breasts or in the breast folds. The excess skin and fat present in the upper torso is then removed and tucked “upwards” toward the breast area. This procedure is an ideal partner with a mini tummy tuck for an overall midsection makeover. It is also an option to do with breast augmentation or breasts enhancements, due to where the reverse tummy tuck incision is made, therefore allowing these cosmetic procedures to be done at the same time. The reverse tummy tuck incision can be hidden (for women) with a bra or bathing suit top.

If you have done all the work of changing to a healthier lifestyle and exercise regularly but need a little help in your midsection then a tummy tuck procedure could be the answer for you. With 5 different types or variations there is a solution to get you the stomach or abs you always wanted. Our plastic surgeons and trained staff at Austin-Weston, Center for Cosmetic Surgery in the Northern Virginia area, are here to help you make the decision which tummy tuck is the right choice for you. Call or schedule your tummy tuck consultation today.


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