Standard Tummy Tuck vs. Vertical-Incision Tummy Tuck

Lately there”s such a push for mini and minimally-invasive procedures that often you don”t hear much about the more intensive options like “vertical-incision abdominoplasty” that some patients need. For surgeons who perform a fair amount of post-weight-loss cosmetic surgery, this abdominoplasty technique can be an appropriate method to address larger amounts of excess tissue and loose skin, especially in the upper abdomen.

What Is The Vertical-Incision Tummy Tuck?

The problem: Most tummy tuck patients have loose skin and muscle in the lower-abdominal area only, and the standard procedure can deal with this very thoroughly. However, if a patient has lost a lot of weight, they”ll probably have loose, extra skin above their belly button, and a traditional tummy tuck won”t address that problem.

The solution: Vertical-incision abdominoplasty takes the standard tummy tuck a step further by adding a second incision upward from the first (the final scar looks like an inverted “T”). This incision allows a surgeon to tighten loose skin inward as well as downward, and gives direct access to the upper abdominal skin. It also makes it a little easier to suture the upper-abdominal muscles into place.

Do You Need It?

Unless you”ve lost a lot of weight, you”re probably seeing looseness and sagginess at the lower abdomen only, so most likely you won”t need anything more than a standard tummy tuck in Orange County.

A few signs that it might be worth asking your surgeon about more extensive options:

  • Very loose tissue above the belly button that easily pulls outward when you pinch it
  • A deep fold below your ribs, with loose skin hanging below the crease
  • Vertical wrinkles, caused by skin looseness, that extend into the upper abdomen

2 Responses to Standard Tummy Tuck vs. Vertical-Incision Tummy Tuck

  • It’s good to have someone very qualified to explain to the us the differences between the standard tummy tuck and the vertical-incision. I know that scarring from a standard tummy tuck about 6″ below the crafted belly-button. Would the scarring from a vertical incision tummy tuck be right in the middle (around the area where a 6-pack of abs would develop) or would it be by the side?

  • When a vertical incision is made, it is generally placed down the midline of the abdomen so that the surgeon can have full access to the abdominal area. Placing incisions on either side of the abdomen would necessitate more extensive scarring and provide a less direct way of accessing the abdominal tissue layers. For patients who are candidates for vertical incision abdominoplasty, it’s a personal decision whether scarring that can be seen when the midriff is exposed is a worthwhile tradeoff for a tighter and firmer upper abdomen. Some patients, typically those who have achieved massive weight loss, have excess tissue in both the vertical and horizontal dimensions, making the vertical incision necessary.

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