Everything You Need To Know About Abdominoplasty

While options for non-invasive plastic surgery continue to increase, traditional plastic surgery is still on the rise. This is due in part to the fact that quicker treatments you can complete on your lunch break don’t offer the same level of results as conventional surgical procedures. Take tummy tucks, for example! This remains a very popular surgical procedure even with numerous body-contouring procedures available. Tummy tucks, or abdominoplasty procedures, have withstood the test of time and can achieve a slimmer abdominal area because they address all of the sources of abdominal fullness. This will not only make a positive difference in the way clothing looks and feels, but also it can boost a patient’s self-esteem! That’s why we’re taking a look at everything you need to know about our abdominoplasty procedure.

Here at Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis, tummy tucks are one of our most common procedures and our board-certified surgeons have years of experience performing abdominoplasties with beautiful results. For men and women who have experienced dramatic changes to their stomach for any reason, a tummy tuck can tighten the abdominal muscles as well as eliminate any excess skin and fat. Patients are left with a flattened belly, toned midsection, and increased self-confidence! Keep reading below to learn more.

Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck procedure?

Patients have a variety of reasons for choosing a tummy tuck, but the best candidates are at or near their ideal body weight and have realistic expectations about what this surgery can achieve. Have you been considering abdominoplasty for yourself? You may be a good fit for this procedure if:

  • a healthy diet and regular exercise have helped you lose weight, but your belly still protrudes, lacks tone, or HS excess skin 
  • your abdominal muscles and skin have stretched with pregnancy and now sag significantly 
  • you’ve been left with loose skin hanging around your abdomen after losing a significant amount of weight
  • your belly has always protruded noticeably, even if you’re in very good shape

What are the different types of tummy tucks?

No two patients are the same, and what works for one may not be a good fit for another. That’s why our surgeons take your concerns and goals into consideration when recommending the best tummy tuck for you. that would best meet your needs and give you the best results. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of tummy tucks.

Mini-Tummy Tuck

A mini-tummy tuck can improve the lower belly with less extensive surgery. If it’s mainly loose skin and stretch marks below the belly button bothering you, this could be a good option! The technique involves a single incision that is made just above the pubic mound, through which one of our surgeons will tighten the loose muscles and remove the excess skin. This will give you a smoother, flatter lower abdominal wall. Scarring from a mini-tummy tuck is typically nothing more than a thin, horizontal line just a few inches long. Because this is a shorter, less involved procedure, you will experience a faster recovery and less obvious scar.

Classic or “full” tummy tuck

A classic tummy tuck addresses the full length of the abdominal wall. This generally offers the best results if you are bothered by roundness or excess skin folds both above and below your belly button. With this technique, a horizontal or U-shaped incision is made above the pubic mound. Through this, the loose skin will be removed and the abdominal muscles will be tightened. In some cases, a second incision will be made around the navel to remove any excess skin above the belly button. 

The mini-tummy tuck and the full tummy tuck have a similar scar, but with the classic procedure, the scar will tend to be longer. The scar will usually run from hip bone to hip bone, but because of its placement, it will stay hidden most of the time. In fact, you won’t see it even in most swimsuit bottoms! With a full tummy tuck, you’ll enjoy a much flatter abdomen, the reduced appearance of stretch marks, and better-fitting clothing.


A lipoabdominoplasty is used to combine liposuction with a tummy tuck. I’m doing so, the fat under your skin that is left behind can be made thinner. Talk to your surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for liposuction at the same time as your tummy tuck or if it would be a better option to do a two-stage surgery with liposuction before the tummy tuck. 

Extended tummy tuck

An extended tummy tuck, also called a fleur de lis abdominoplasty if it has a vertical scar or a circumferential lift of the scar goes around the waist,  can improve the upper and lower abdomen, as well as the flanks. This procedure can be an excellent choice if you’ve lost a significant amount of weight and have sagging skin around the front half of your body, or if you’ve suffered severe laxity in your abdominal muscles following pregnancy. While it does involve a longer incision, an extended tummy tuck can successfully remove hanging skin from the front upper and lower abdomen and the flanks, as well as tightening up the abdominal wall. The resulting scar can often be hidden by clothing, including many swimsuits, but some patients may not be able to cover it completely.

Everything You Need To Know About Abdominoplasty

What is the recovery process like for a tummy tuck?

Most tummy tucks are performed as outpatient procedures, so you’re able to go home just a few hours after surgery. However, more extensive tummy tucks or combined procedures may require an overnight hospital stay so you can be safely monitored in the initial hours after your surgery.

Since a tummy tuck involves surgery on the abdominal muscles, the recovery can take a bit more time than other procedures. You’ll be sore and slightly uncomfortable for the first few weeks or so, and will need to spend the first few days resting quietly at home. Be prepared to get up and walk around the house to maintain healthy circulation, though! You may have drains temporarily placed in the incisions to help remove fluid after surgery. If this is the case for you, you’ll be given detailed instructions for keeping the area clean until they are removed after a few days.

You should be able to return to work after 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how physically demanding your job is. Because of the limits placed on lifting and straining, you should plan to have full-time help with small children for the first few weeks after abdominoplasty. If you have older children that don’t need lifting or carrying, you should be able to resume parenting duties like driving, cooking, and shopping after the first 2-3 weeks. Just make sure you have help lined up for carrying groceries, feeding the pets, and doing all the other active tasks you’re used to!

How long do results last with a tummy tuck?

Tummy tucks results are meant to last. Your abdominal muscles should remain firm and tight with no excess skin returning. However, future pregnancies or weight gain can cause the muscles or skin to stretch back out again. If you’re planning on having more children or you’re still working on reaching your goal weight, we recommend putting off a tummy tuck procedure for a while. 

Get superior results with Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis

When considering tummy tuck surgery, the most important decision is who you choose to perform it. Like any surgery, a tummy tuck requires specialized training and experience to ensure a safe outcome and lasting results with minimal scarring. At Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis, you’ll be working with some of the most highly-trained and experienced surgeons in the Mid-South! If you’re considering a tummy tuck in the new year, click here to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards improving your shape.