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A tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, is a body shaping procedure that can help men and women achieve beautiful midsection contours after weight loss or pregnancy. But the wide array of tummy tuck options may prove confusing to any patient. Here is a closer look at the four M’s of abdominoplasty.

Micro

A micro tummy tuck is for patients with a minor contouring needs. The procedure uses small incisions in the upper umbilical hood (a part of the belly button) as well as the area just above the pubic region to tone the lower abdominals and remove small amounts of isolated fatty tissue if needed. This is commonly performed in combination with more aggressive liposuction for the treatment of localized fat.

Mini

A mini tummy tuck is a step up from the micro. Still reserved for patients with relatively minor contouring needs, the mini goes a step further by removing excess tissue throughout the lower abdomen in the region below the belly button. The lower abdominals can be tightened and the skin covering the area above the groin is pulled taut while any excess is trimmed away. This is commonly performed for correction of C-section scars that have healed with an unacceptable appearance. In this procedure, liposuction still plays an active role to enhance abdominal contours.

Midi

In a midi tummy tuck, all the benefits of a mini are applied while the abdominal muscles in both the upper and lower abdomen can be repaired. This procedure is ideal for patients with abdominal separation throughout the stomach but little to no excess skin in the upper abdominal region. This is indicated for patients with minimal skin laxity but marked muscle separation with modest fat deposits.

Maxi

A maxi, also known as a full tummy tuck, is the most common tummy tuck procedure. Excess skin and fatty deposits throughout the stomach can be removed while the abdominal wall can be tightened or repaired in full. Typically, the belly button must be replaced to a natural position following skin tightening. When liposuction Is performed it is typically directed to the hips and flanks (muffin top).

Other

For patients with more pronounced contouring needs, there are a variety of other tummy tuck options, including an extended abdominoplasty or a Fleur-de-lis.

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