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Do I need a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck?

Many different types of tummy tuck operations have been described. Typically a mini tummy tuck involves tightening and improving the appearance of the lower abdomen, while a full tummy tuck involves tightening the entire abdomen. For example, the typical patient who sees Dr. Andrade for a mini tummy tuck has excess skin on the lower abdomen (some patients call this their “pooch” or “kangaroo pouch”), which often overhangs their C-section scar. In contrast, the usual patient who sees Dr. Andrade for a full tummy tuck has loose skin, fat rolls and/or bulging muscles (rectus diastasis) affecting the entire abdomen. With internet sites like Realself.com, Dr. Andrade often answers patients’ questions about their best tummy tuck option, whether they live in Newmarket, Toronto or even around the world.

Dr. Andrade’s mini tummy tuck operation involves liposuction contouring of the lower abdomen (and other areas if desired), followed by removal of excess skin on the lower tummy. It is important to realize that a mini tummy tuck scar is not always short. If the loose skin extends to the sides of the abdomen, this skin must be removed to avoid puckering called “dog ears”, and as a result a longer incision will be needed in these cases. Regardless of the scar length, the goal is to keep it low, just above the pubic mound, so it is more likely to be hidden under a bathing suit. This contributes toward achieving the top possible final appearance.

When Dr. Andrade performs full tummy tuck surgery, some key points in the operation help achieve an excellent outcome:

  • The incision on the lower abdomen is kept low and often includes removing excess pubic mound tissue, because this area often sags after childbirth or weight loss.
  • In some cases, liposuction of the abdomen and love handles is done to further flatten the tummy and enhance the outcome (note that not every patient needs liposuction so an extra fee applies).
  • The abdominal muscles are usually tightened to further define the waistline, called a “rectus muscle plication”. Additional tightening layers are also done on the lower tummy muscles if needed.
  • The wound is closed with a Drainless Tummy Tuck technique by using “sequential tension sutures” to get rid of the empty space where drains used to be inserted.
  • Specialized wound closure technique (Stratafix sutures and Prineo Wound Closure System) to tension off the skin, with the goal of decreasing the final scar.
  • A muscle block with local anesthetic to make the initial recovery process more comfortable.

Dr. Andrade’s goal is to achieve the very best tummy tuck results possible.