Tummy Tuck Alternatives
Christopher Chung, M.D.
American Board of Plastic Surgery
Chief Medical Officer
There are several surgical options to improve the truncal (abdomen and flanks) region of the body. Most people are familiar with the “tummy tuck” procedure. To this end, there are several other surgical options to include liposuction, mini-tuck, and even customized unique offerings, such as Tri-Sculpt EX by Sono Bello. With each option, it is important to understand its goals and limitations so that the best option can be chosen to fulfill the desired outcome.
In order to better understand the various procedures, it is imperative that pertinent anatomy is discussed. Simply speaking, there are three tissue components to consider: skin, fat, and muscle. For the most part, skin and fat are obvious, as these elements – we can see and feel (pinch). The muscle component can be more elusive as it is underneath the skin and fat, and therefore, at times can be confused to be fat (and skin). Often due to pregnancy, the abdominal wall muscle can be weakened, thereby, leading to the protrusion of the belly – which is then mistaken to be fat. As part of the informed consent, a qualified healthcare professional can help delineate which of the tissue components requires the most attention, thereby, determining which surgical option is best to correct the anatomical element most responsible for the undesired appearance.
Let’s consider the various surgical options and their impact on tissue components.
Mindful of the chart above, it is easy to see that there is no one perfect surgical option that can fully address all three tissue components. As to which procedure is best, it depends on the patient’s desired outcome and proper identification of the tissue component(s) that is responsible for the undesired appearance. In most instances, a combination of several tissue components will need to be addressed.
Please consult an experienced team of health professionals that specialize in body contouring to best determine the best surgical option.