What is a Tummy Tuck?


A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, offers a multi-pronged approach to address the effects of pregnancy, weight loss, or ageing on your abdomen. But with so much information available, it can be confusing to know if it’s right for you.

What does a Tummy Tuck do? 

Here’s a closer look at what a tummy tuck can achieve:

Excess Skin Removal: Pregnancy, significant weight fluctuations, and ageing can lead to loose, hanging skin on the abdomen. A tummy tuck surgically removes this excess skin, resulting in a tighter, smoother abdomen.

Fat Reduction: While not a primary weight loss procedure, a tummy tuck can address stubborn pockets of fat that diet and exercise haven’t eliminated. Liposuction techniques may be incorporated alongside the tummy tuck to remove unwanted fat deposits, further enhancing the abdominal definition.

Muscle Tightening: During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles can separate, creating a “diastasis recti.” A tummy tuck repairs this separation by suturing the muscles back together. This not only improves the visual appearance of the abdomen but also strengthens the core, potentially improving posture and back pain.

Belly Button Repositioning: Significant weight loss or pregnancy can cause the belly button to become stretched or distorted. A tummy tuck can reposition the belly button to a more aesthetically pleasing location, creating a more natural look.

Tailored Approach for Optimal Results

Dr. Nishikawa recognises that every patient’s needs are unique. During your consultation, he will carefully assess your specific concerns, including the amount of excess skin, degree of muscle separation, and fat distribution. Based on this evaluation, he will recommend the most suitable tummy tuck technique to achieve your desired outcome. This could involve a full tummy tuck addressing the entire abdomen or a mini tuck focusing on the lower abdomen.

Full Tummy Tuck vs. Mini Tuck: Understanding the Right Choice for You

Choosing between a full tummy tuck and a mini tuck can be a significant decision. Both procedures address loose skin and improve the abdominal profile, but they cater to different needs. Here’s a breakdown to help you understand which might be the better option:

Full Tummy Tuck:

Scope: Addresses the entire abdomen, from just below the ribs to the pubic area.

Incision: A longer incision is made across the lower abdomen, often extending around the hips (hip-to-hip) and a separate incision around the belly button for repositioning.

Muscle Repair: Typically involves repairing separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) to create a stronger core and improve overall abdominal definition.

Benefits: Ideal for addressing significant loose skin, stretch marks, and weakened muscles across the entire abdomen. Offers a more dramatic transformation, especially for patients with substantial weight loss or multiple pregnancies.

Recovery: Generally requires a longer recovery period due to the more extensive nature of the surgery.

Mini Tuck:

Scope: Targets the lower abdomen, focusing on the area below the belly button.

Incision: A shorter incision is made along the bikini line. The belly button usually doesn’t require repositioning.

Muscle Repair: May not involve muscle repair depending on the degree of separation.

Benefits: Ideal for patients with minimal to moderate loose skin and slight muscle separation concentrated in the lower abdomen. Offers a quicker recovery time and less noticeable scarring compared to a full tummy tuck.

Recovery: Typically involves a shorter and less demanding recovery period due to the less invasive nature of the procedure.

Risks & Complications

With cosmetic procedures, the patient has to be “fit” for surgery. You must be aware of possible limitations and complications. 

Complications such as bleeding, infection, seroma and thick scarring are quite rare but perhaps one of the greatest difficulties is when there is a mismatch or misunderstanding between expectations and what is safely possible.

Additional Considerations

A tummy tuck can also have a positive impact on:

Self-Confidence: By improving the appearance of your abdomen, a tummy tuck can boost your self-esteem and body image.

Clothing Fit: Clothes may fit better and flatter your figure more after a tummy tuck.

Remember, a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure, and Dr. Nishikawa will ensure you understand the risks and benefits involved before moving forward. Arrange your consultation today.