Abdominoplasty Procedures

Types of Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Mini-Tummy Tuck

The best candidate for mini-abdominoplasty typically has redundant skin and an abdominal "pooch" located below the umbilicus (belly button). It is the least involved variation of tummy tuck procedures, and can dramatically flatten this area. The incision is relatively short (slightly longer than a c-section incision) and stays within the pelvic bones. It usually does not involve repositioning of the umbilicus.


Mini tummy tuck incision

Mini-abdominoplasty, correction of the abdominal "pooch," four months post-operative in a patient in her mid-30s, mother of two.

Mini Tummy Tuck with Umbilicus Release

If there is redundant skin above the umbilicus (belly button), but not enough to perform a standard tummy tuck, a modified mini-tummy tuck with release of the umbilicus may be performed. In this procedure, the umbilicus is released from its cord and is moved slightly downward.

Mini-tummy tuck with umbilicus release in a 39 year-old patient , three months post-operative.

Standard Tummy Tuck

The standard tummy tuck (a.k.a. standard abdominoplasty) is the most common abdominoplasty. It is excellent in eliminating the abdominal "pooch" below the umbilicus, especially in women who have given birth. The standard abdominoplasty produces a much flatter stomach. Joseph T Cruise, MD goes several steps further by tightening the underlying muscles to flatten the stomach and narrow the waistline. An added bonus is the removal of the stretch marks below the umbilicus, the area in which they most often occur.

The standard abdominoplasty leaves a scar from hip to hip and requires repositioning of the umbilicus to avoid positioning it too low on the abdomen. Joseph T Cruise, MD has developed various techniques that, in addition to removing skin and fat, tighten the underlying musculature. This further tightening creates an attractive, contoured look.


Standard tummy tuck incision

As demonstrated in the images below,  a properly performed standard abdominoplasty will help to create an hour-glass waist line. However, it will not treat fat deposits in the flank area. These can be addressed with liposuction at the time of the standard abdominoplasty.

Notice marked improvement of the "pooch" below umbilicus and a flattening of the stomach.

Before and After views of a mother of two with loose, hanging abdominal skin.
Joseph T Cruise, MD pays particular attention
to restoring an attractive umbilicus.

Notice the flattening of the abdomen
and overall reduction in waist circumference.

Circular incision around belly button

This standard circular incision around the belly button opening results in a flat, unnatural appearance.

Joseph T Cruise, MD's tummy tuck belly button incision

Modifications that hide the incision allow the new belly button to appear natural and attractive . (Courtesy of Joseph T Cruise, MD)

Extended Tummy Tuck

The extended tummy tuck (a.k.a. extended ) abdominoplasty is exactly what it sounds like. It is a standard tummy tuck with an incision that extends farther out laterally over the hips .Sometimes, the incision may need to go toward the back.


Extended tummy tuck incision


Extended tummy tuck incision side view

Each person's scar will be unique in length, as the determining factor is the amount of hanging skin on the body. The further the fat wraps around the body, the longer the incision must be.

Extended Tummy Tuck on a 37-yr old male after massive weight loss. Six months post-op. Notice that the incision extends as far as the crease does on the pre-operative picture.


Joseph T Cruise, MD always tries to keep the incision as short as possible, but, when necessary, the incision must go as far as the abdominal crease.

The amazing thing about the extended abdominoplasty is the dramatic improvement these patients undergo. These patients are used to having this hanging skin wrapped around their waist. Often, they feel trapped by it. They feel almost as if it doesn't even belong to them; as if it were a foreign body. When this is removed they feel as if a weight as been removed. This weight is emotional as much as it is physical.

Notice the dramatic improvement in waist line and abdominal flattening.

Extended Abdominoplasty. Notice the significant improvement of waistline, hips, and flanks.

The extended Abdominoplasty gives hope to the patient who is not a candidate for a standard abdominoplasty. Gastric bypass patients frequently fit into this category.These patients are especially satisfying to me. They have already been through a very long journey during their surgery and subsequent massive weight loss. Still, they feel trapped by this excess hanging skin that just will not go away. Often, this is demoralizing. Fortunately, procedures such as the extended tummy tuck can get them to where they feel comfortable and even excited about their body.

Circumferential Body Lift

The circumferential body lift i(a.k.a. circumferential abdominoplasty) s a very aggressive procedure and is reserved for those patients with a significant amount of redundant skin that goes all the way around to the back. The body lift is being done more and more because of the increase in gastric bypass patients. It can produce dramatic improvements in these patients. But, the procedure is invasive and usually requires an overnight stay in the hospital. Our #1 priority is the comfort and safety of the patient.