What are the 8 Tummy Tuck Surgeries?

By: Dr. J. Timothy Katzen


What are the 8 Types of Tummy Tuck Surgeries?

A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a plastic surgery procedure that redefines the stomach area. Frequently, Dr. Katzen performs tummy tuck surgeries for men and women. There are eight different types of tummy tuck procedures.

Dr. Katzen’s recommendations for your tummy vary based on each patient’s needs and goals. Here, we will discuss the eight types of tummy tuck surgeries, what is included, and what patients can expect during recovery.

Tummy Tuck Surgery Options

1. Horizontal or Traditional Tummy Tuck

When Dr. Katzen examines and analyzes your abdomen, he will determine if you have excess skin and fat in a horizontal and/or vertical dimension. If you have excess skin and fat in a horizontal dimension, that means Dr. Katzen can pull your skin towards the floor to eliminate the excess skin. Typically, this is the case in the lower portion of the abdomen. If you have excess skin and fat in a vertical dimension, that means you have the majority of your fat from the belly button to the bottom of your sternum. When Dr. Katzen pulls your skin together, your skin and fat excess collects centrally like a loaf of bread and is perpendicular to the floor. Thus, you have vertical skin and fat excess.

Also known as a full tummy tuck, the traditional horizontal abdominoplasty is appropriate for most patients with excess loose skin on the upper and lower abdomen. This procedure involves several steps. A horizontal tummy tuck is best for patients with horizontal skin and fat excess.

Dr. Katzen makes a horizontal incision above the pubic region that extends from hip to hip. Next, Dr. Katzen removes excess skin and fat to create a flatter abdomen. Finally, he tightens loose upper and lower abdominal muscles and repositions or creates a new belly button.

2. Extended Horizontal Tummy Tuck

An extended tummy tuck addresses loose skin and fatty tissue around the abdomen and flanks. Dr. Katzen may recommend an extended tummy tuck for patients with excess skin and fat over the hips.

Dr. Katzen makes a long horizontal incision above the pubic area. The difference between the extended tummy tuck and the traditional tummy tuck is that the incision is carried over the hips and extends to the back. Then, Dr. Katzen removes excess fatty tissue and loose skin for a smoother, flatter appearance. Like in a traditional horizontal tummy tuck, Dr. Katzen also tightens the upper and lower abdominal muscles and creates a new belly button.

3. “High Lateral Tension” Tummy Tuck

A “high lateral tension” tummy tuck is for patients who want more curves and torso shape, than the horizontal or “traditional” tummy tuck.

During a “high lateral tension” tummy tuck, an incision is placed low over the pubic region and then, the incision is carried “high” over the hips. This form of abdominoplasty gives patients more of an hourglass figure. However, the downside of this type of tummy tuck surgery is that if you wear low-cut clothing, the scar is highly visible. Therefore, you are trading shape for scar visibility.

The “high lateral tension” tummy tuck gets rid of excess skin and fat of the lower abdomen, tightens the rectus muscles, and re-creates the belly button.

4. Mini Tummy Tuck

Dr. Katzen may recommend a mini tummy tuck for patients most concerned with a minimal amount of excess skin and fatty tissue in the lower abdomen. The mini tummy tuck is the least invasive abdominoplasty procedure and it effectively addresses the “pooch” commonly present following pregnancy, specifically in patients who have had c-sections.

During a mini tummy tuck, Dr. Katzen makes a small incision just above the pubic area, similar to a c-section incision. Then, Dr. Katzen removes excess skin and fatty tissue from the lower abdomen for a tighter appearance. During a mini tummy tuck, muscles are not tightened and the umbilicus is unchanged.

A mini tummy tuck procedure may be recommended for patients who do not require abdominal muscle tightening or belly button alterations.

5. Vertical Tummy Tuck

Sometimes, people have skin and fat excess from between their breasts to their pubic region. They can grab their excess skin in a vertical fashion, like a loaf of bread. Patients with vertical skin and fat excess benefit from a vertical tummy tuck.

For example, a woman with a history of two or more pregnancies may have loose abdominal muscles that make her look like she is still pregnant. In addition, patients who have lost massive amounts of weight through bariatric surgery or aggressive dieting may also be excellent candidates. Also, patients who have already had a horizontal tummy tuck and still have vertical excess may require a vertical tummy tuck.

A vertical tummy tuck involves a vertical incision to allow Dr. Katzen to tighten the upper abdominal muscles, and remove an elliptical area of skin and fat from the sternum to the pubic region.

6. Lateral Vertical Tummy Tuck (Lower Lateral Torsoplasty, or “Hourglassing” Procedure)

During this type of tummy tuck, patients have excess skin and fat in the lateral portion of the abdomen. This is the area underneath the rib cage or on the sides. Some people call this the “love handles.” If you are able to grab excess skin and fat on your sides, you may be a candidate for a lateral vertical tummy tuck. This type of tummy tuck may be best for patients with lateral vertical excess.

During this type of tummy tuck, an incision is made on your sides. Skin and fat in the shape of a large football are removed from inside. The skin and abdomen are tightened.

The benefit of this procedure is that there is no midline tummy scar and significant body contouring can be achieved. The downside of this procedure is that there are two visible incisions on each side. The lateral vertical tummy tuck is ideal for patients who have previously had a horizontal and possibly even a midline vertical tummy tuck. During this procedure, the abdominal muscles are not tightened and the belly button is unchanged. To achieve the best hourglass shape of the torso, patients should use this procedure above all other tummy tucks.

7. Fleur de Lis Tummy Tuck

Losing a dramatic amount of weight is a tremendous accomplishment. However, loose skin and stubborn fatty tissue are common, and exercise is not enough to address these issues. Often, patients who have lost a lot of weight benefit from a Fleur de Lis tummy tuck. This type of tummy tuck corrects and removes skin and fat in a vertical and horizontal dimension.

During a Fleur de Lis tummy tuck, Dr. Katzen makes a horizontal incision along the pubic area, similar to a traditional horizontal abdominoplasty incision. Additionally, Dr. Katzen will make a vertical incision that runs down the midsection. This vertical incision allows him to address lax abdominal muscles and excess tissue and skin in the middle of the abdomen. The resulting scar looks like a fleur de lis or “lilly flower” scar.

8. Reverse Tummy Tuck

A reverse tummy tuck procedure focuses entirely on the upper abdomen. While it is not as common as a full abdominoplasty, many bariatric patients have excess skin in this area once they reach their weight loss goals. Often, Dr. Katzen recommends reverse tummy tuck surgeries to patients who require refinements following a full tummy tuck.

During a reverse tummy tuck procedure, Dr. Katzen makes an extended incision along the inframammary crease, just below the breasts. Then, Dr. Katzen lifts the skin to create a smoother, flatter appearance in the upper abdomen.

Tummy Tuck Surgery Recovery

In most cases, tummy tuck surgery is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. Typically, patients go home the same day and are advised to get plenty of rest as they recover.

Dr. Katzen will prescribe pain medication to help manage pain. Patients are advised to wear a compression garment to minimize swelling and aid recovery. Most patients are ready to return to work and other everyday activities in about two weeks. Dr. Katzen will advise patients on the best time to resume their exercise routines.

Patients will have some scarring following their tummy tuck procedures. Dr. Katzen makes thin incisions to limit scarring and places them in less visible areas of the body.

Am I a Candidate for Tummy Tuck Plastic Surgery?

Men and women with excess fatty tissue and skin in the abdominal area may be excellent candidates for a tummy tuck procedure. However, this plastic surgery is not a quick weight loss solution. Instead, it is a method of treating loose skin to enhance a patient’s appearance following weight loss or after pregnancy.

Dr. Katzen advises patients considering a tummy tuck to be at a stable weight for three months.

During the initial consultation, patients are invited to share their concerns with Dr. Katzen. He will provide a personalized recommendation based on the patient’s goals and the procedures that will help patients reach those goals.

Every patient is different, and Dr. Katzen offers a wide variety of plastic surgery procedures to help restore their confidence in their appearance.

Schedule Your Initial Tummy Tuck Consultation Today

Dr. Katzen understands how frustrating it is to have excess skin and fatty tissue following weight loss. Unfortunately, spending more time in the gym may not be an effective solution to these problems. However, undergoing a tummy tuck results in a flatter abdomen while addressing the many health issues loose skin can cause, such as irritating rashes and back pain.

Currently, Dr. Katzen is scheduling initial consultations for patients interested in undergoing tummy tuck plastic surgery. He will advise you on which tummy tuck method is right for you and recommend any additional procedures to help you meet your goals.

Dr. Katzen offers in-person appointments at his Beverly Hills, CA, Las Vegas, NV, and Dubai UAE offices. Virtual appointments are also available via FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp, and Skype.

To schedule your initial consultation, please call (310) 859-7770.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.