The Many Types of Tummy Tucks: Which is Right for You?

Dr. Sacha Obaid, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Dallas, Plano, Southlake, and Nearby Fort Worth, Texas


By Sacha Obaid

Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is a common cosmetic procedure that aims to tighten your midsection and give you the slim look you’ve always craved. If you are considering a tummy tuck, your first step should be to learn more about the different types of tummy tucks that are available. While all of these surgeries can improve the appearance of your tummy, the methods used and the kinds of results they achieve can vary. Below, we review the many types of tummy tuck surgery to help you decide which one is right for you.

Traditional Tummy Tuck

Often referred to as a Full or Standard Tummy Tuck, this procedure encompasses all of the major elements of a tummy tuck surgery. Intended for patients with a significant amount of loose or excess skin and fat, a Traditional procedure involves an incision that is made across the lower part of the abdomen. Usually stretching between the hip bones, this technique allows the surgeon to remove extra skin and fat from above and below the incision. The muscles of the abdomen can also be tightened during this procedure. Once completed, the remaining tissue is re-connected, producing a thin, easily hidden scar, a flatter, tighter abdominal wall, and a skinnier looking you.

Mini Tummy Tuck

types of tummy tucksAs its name would suggest, the Mini Tummy Tuck is a reduced form of the standard tummy tuck procedure. While all of the same elements are present, including the removal of excess skin and the tightening of the abdominal muscles, the extent of the surgery is much more limited. This results in a more focused surgery, typically targeting the lowest part of the tummy just above the pubic region. Incisions for Mini Tummy Tucks are significantly shorter, but can still enable the surgeon to remove a moderate amount of loose skin and can produce dramatic results for patients who have an otherwise satisfactory abdominal appearance.

Extended Tummy Tuck

The Extended Tummy Tuck is a more aggressive form of the traditional procedure and actually goes well beyond the abdomen to remove large amounts of excess skin and fat. Although the nature of the Extended procedure can vary, it often includes an extra-long incision that extends around the sides of the body, allowing loose skin to be removed from the upper thighs as well. This procedure is especially well-suited for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight or have loose skin on their abdomen and other parts of the lower torso.

Additional Options

In addition to the many types of tummy tucks described above, there are many other variations of abdominoplasty. For patients who need only a small improvement to get the appearance they are after, less invasive options such as Endoscopic procedures, for instance, which target a very small portion of the lower abdomen are available. Another less invasive option is the Smooth Tummy Tuck, which does not target the abdominal muscles at all, thus reducing recovery time while still improving your appearance significantly.

You should also be aware that many tummy tuck surgeries now include liposuction (in a procedure sometimes called a Tumescent Tummy Tuck). Combining tummy tuck with liposuction can produce extremely impressive results at reduced cost and recovery time compared to having each procedure done separately.