Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Candidates for tummy tuck

Tummy tuck surgery is a popular cosmetic procedure that reshapes and contours the lower abdomen, waistline and hips. Candidates range from men and women who have lost weight but are left with excess skin – called post-weight loss tummy tuck patients – to those who were born with loose abdominal muscles. A tummy tuck is often recommended to smooth out the transition between the lower abdomen and upper thighs after massive weight loss or pregnancy, as well as to improve the appearance of scars from previous surgeries.

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Candidate for tummy tuck

The abdomen is a shared area of concern for men and women. Aging, weight changes, hormonal changes and other factors make this part of the body susceptible to excess fat. The fat that hangs from the lower belly is especially difficult because it is caused by a combination of visceral and subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat is the type that is found around your organs to provide protection and warmth. Subcutaneous fat is found in the skin. As visceral fat increases, it pushes outward, making any subcutaneous fat more obvious. Visceral fat is easy to lose with lifestyle changes, but subcutaneous fat can take much longer. A mini tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure that removes the excess subcutaneous fat and skin from the area below the belly button.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

The best candidates for a mini tummy tuck are men and women who have subcutaneous fat that is restricted to the area under the navel. Those with fat above and below the bellybutton are typically not good candidates.

However, Dr. Wall recommends a consultation to map out the best options for each patient!  Another consideration for a mini tummy tuck is the integrity of the abdominal muscles. Lax muscles cannot be tightened with a mini tummy tuck above the umbilicus (belly button).

Details of a Tummy Tuck

A mini tummy tuck involves making an incision along the lower abdominal area. After the incision is made, Dr. Wall pulls the skin tight over the lower belly and trims away any excess. The incision is closed with sutures.  Some muscle tightening may be performed but only below the belly button.

Tummy Tuck Results

Initially, the incision heals with a slightly pink or tan coloration. The color fades slightly over the next six to 12 months, and the final scar may be slightly darker than the surrounding skin. We may recommend treatments to make the scar less visible, but it will always be present.

Immediately after the procedure, the lower abdomen is significantly improved and has a more toned appearance, yet the swelling will mask the final results. Most swelling should resolve within six months, but some patients have minor swelling for up to one year.

A mini tummy tuck does not stop the aging process nor prevent the abdominal area from gaining new fat. Following a healthy lifestyle, eating the right foods and exercising will extend the results of the procedure.

You will see a more tightened and reshaped abdominal area, which helps to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing and slimmer overall appearance. This should dramatically improve the way your clothing fits and help you feel more confident and comfortable in your body.

Are You a Tummy Tuck Candidate? Contact Plastic Surgery Center Today!

Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon ensures that the doctor who’s performing the procedure has had ample formal training and that your mini tummy tuck will be performed in an accredited surgical facility. Dr. Forrest Wall is one of the leading plastic surgeons in his area. If you’re tired of stubborn fat or excess skin, feel free to give us a call.

For more infor

You’d love to have a flat, trim tummy, but no matter how much you diet or how many crunches you do, you still have a “pooch.” Often caused by pregnancy or weight loss, this slack area of loose skin and stretched muscle can usually only be fixed with a tummy tuck. The question is: Do you need a full or a mini tummy tuck? Renowned Raleigh plastic surgeon, Dr. Ortiz, is breaking down the difference and factors that may affect your choice so you know which one may be right for you.

Understanding a Full Tummy Tuck

For a full tummy tuck, the goal is to smooth and tone the entire front abdominal from just below the rib cage to the pubic area. The procedure begins with an incision between the navel and pubic area and a second incision above the navel. Then, excess skin is removed from the belly, and the muscles are repaired and tightened. The skin is then pulled taut over the mid section, creating a smoother, slimmer shape. Often, a new belly button will be shaped or moved higher on the belly.

Understanding a Tummy Tuck

For a mini tummy tuck, the area of focus is solely underneath the navel. Just like a full version, an incision is placed a few inches below the navel, allowing Dr. Ortiz to repair the lower muscles and remove the loose skin. Then, the skin is pulled tightly over the lower abdomen, eliminating signs of a lower belly pooch.

Choosing Which Tummy Tuck Is Right for You

Now that you have a better understanding of the procedures, you probably have a better idea of which one will align with your goals.

A mini tummy tuck is generally ideal for people who just have a small area of concern below the navel where there is a “pooch” that protrudes. It’s a less invasive procedure that is often easier to heal from while still providing you with the flatter, more toned tummy that looks great in fitted outfits and swimwear.

A full tummy tuck is the right choice for people who have excess skin, sagging, and/or roundness both above and below the navel. While it’s a more involved procedure, most patients are very happy with the results and are up and around quickly.

Regardless of which procedure you choose, both are designed for women who are done having children as future pregnancies will compromise the results. Additionally, you’ll want to maintain a healthy diet and engage in regular exercise after Dr. Ortiz clears you to ensure your results last.

Combining Your Tummy Tuck with Other Procedures

While a tummy tuck will take care of loose skin and slack muscles, it may not remove stretch marks, unless they’re located on the part of the excess skin to be removed. Additionally, fat is not removed from the area during the procedure. However, if you have stubborn areas of fat along your abdomen or in other areas, such as your thighs, buttock, or back, Dr Ortiz can perform liposuction at the same time as you are having your tummy tuck performed.

Additionally, many women who are reclaiming their body after they are done having children will choose a “mommy makeover.” This is a customized set of procedures to help you look your best after having babies and may include a breast lift, breast augmentation, labiaplasty, or a Brazilian butt lift, depending on your goals.


Who Is the Right Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

Who Is the Right Candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck?

If you’re considering a tummy tuck procedure (abdominoplasty), you may have come across the term “mini tummy tuck” in your research. While the two procedures sound very similar, each offers different types of results, and you may be better suited for one tummy tuck surgery over the other. So how do you know if you’re a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck? Before consulting a board-certified plastic surgeon to address your goals and concerns, it can be a good idea to have an understanding of the primary differences between the two procedures and who is the ideal candidate for each.


During a mini tummy tuck, a small incision similar to that of a C-section is made in the lower abdomen, well below the belly button. The plastic surgeon can then remove excess skin and tighten slack muscle through this incision. For a full tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon will create a larger incision that may be located slightly higher than that of a mini tummy tuck. Again, this allows the removal of excess skin and tightening of muscle. To remove greater amounts of skin, another incision around the belly button may be necessary. Thus, the main difference between the two procedures lies in this variation in incision length and position, which will also yield slightly different results. (Mayo Clinic)


The best candidates for a mini tummy tuck will have minimal amounts of loose skin or muscle tissue that they’d like to have tightened to create a firmer, more toned look. Thus, men and women with very thin, slender builds, or those who are very active and physically fit can typically benefit from a mini abdominoplasty.


Although a mini tummy tuck procedure can offer excellent results for the right candidate, some people may be better suited for a full abdominoplasty. Those with a larger amount of excess or loose skin and/or muscle tissue may want to consider the full procedure to achieve the dramatic results they’re looking for.

Additionally, women who want to get their pre-pregnancy body back with some help from plastic surgery can generally benefit from a full tummy tuck over a mini procedure, as pregnancy can cause significant stretching of the skin and abdominal muscles, in both the upper and lower abdominal regions. For similar reasons, traditional abdominoplasty is often the best option for men and women who have lost a large amount of weight and are looking to fine-tune their results. (The American Society of Plastic Surgeons)

Those considering a full tummy tuck might also be great candidates to add liposuction to their procedure, as a tummy tuck only removes excess skin and tightens loose muscle tissue, and does not remove excess fat. During a combined procedure, your plastic surgeon can remove small pockets of fat in the thigh and hip areas, too, delivering a more comprehensive approach. (The American Society of Plastic Surgeons)


Sometimes, even with diet and exercise, it can be difficult to achieve your personal body goals, especially when significant weight loss and pregnancy may have caused excess or loose skin and muscle. When this is the case, a tummy tuck can be an effective solution to help you love your natural curves and body shape. If you’re unsure about whether or not a mini or a full tummy tuck might be right for you, it’s best to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon. He or she will be able to provide a detailed assessment of your body, as well as listen to your needs and goals and design a surgical plan uniquely suited to you.

Premier Plastic Surgery & Dermatology in Pittsburgh and Wexford offers high-quality plastic surgery procedures performed by our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Heil. His years of experience, professional training, and attention to detail make Dr. Heil one of the most sought-after plastic surgeons in the Pittsburgh area. View our before and after photo gallery to see examples of real abdominoplasty results that Dr. Heil has been able to achieve.

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