Main differences between the hourglass tummy tuck and classic abdominoplasty
Main differences between the hourglass tummy tuck and classic abdominoplasty
The tummy tuck has been performed for many years now to help patients achieve a flat and firm abdomen after their tummy has been affected by different factors such as weight loss, multiple pregnancies, or the natural aging process. It is important to mention straight from the beginning that the tummy tuck is a safe and efficient procedure when performed by a board-certified, experienced plastic surgeon in an accredited medical facility. The procedure can boost spectacular results when it has a strong medical indication behind it. However, over the years, plastic surgeons have noticed that the classic tummy tuck alone can’t correct all the imperfections of the midline, and some patients undergoing the procedure are becoming rather dissatisfied with the results. Despite getting a firm and flat tummy, many are not happy with the square shape of the body that was left after the traditional tummy tuck was performed.
To improve the results on the body, we have developed a more advanced procedure called the hourglass tummy tuck that offers superior results for patients suffering from an unsightly appearance of the tummy, adipose deposits on the midline, and narrow hips.
In this article, we will discuss the main differences between the hourglass tummy tuck and the classic abdominoplasty procedure.
- Differences in terms of the surgical plan
When the classic abdominoplasty is performed, the plastic surgeon will decide the surgical plan according to the excess of tissue that will be removed. This means that one or multiple incisions are made in different parts of the tummy. For a classic tummy tuck, we will have an incision performed on the suprapubic area, sometimes going from one hip bone to the other if the surplus of skin tissue is considerable. In some cases, the navel also needs to be repositioned after the skin is re-draped on the tummy, so this means that another incision will be performed around it in a circular manner. For severe cases, incisions can also be performed on the hips to eliminate the skin excess on the flanks and even on the back. This can happen in the case of patients who had bariatric surgery and lost a considerable amount of weight before scheduling their plastic surgery procedure.
A classic abdominoplasty can take up to two hours, depending on the complexity of each case, and it is often performed with the patient under general anesthesia. A hospitalization period of no longer than a few hours is necessary after the procedure and a recovery period of about two weeks is recommended.
The hourglass tummy tuck entails the combination of classic abdominoplasty methods with liposuction and fat transfer to the hips. This means that the surgical plan that was designed for the classic tummy tuck will also be performed during the hourglass tummy tuck to improve the appearance of the tummy and correct imperfections of the abdominal wall. However, before this, liposuction will be performed on the flanks and the abdominal wall. Liposuction eliminates the excess of adipose cells and makes the waist as small as possible. This is something that the classic abdominoplasty doesn’t have as a goal. The tummy tuck is performed only after the excess of fat is eliminated from the flanks and tummy. The fat that is collected with liposuction is not discharged, but processed with a complex purification process and then used in the third stage of the procedure to be injected into the hips.
Liposuction entails small incisions of about 3 or 4 mm in size that will barely be visible when the recovery process is complete. A similar type of incision will also be made on the hips to allow the plastic surgeon to introduce the special syringe that transfers the fat. The procedure is more complex and takes longer than the classic abdominoplasty. In some cases, we are talking up to five hours of operating time. However, the hospitalization period is also a few hours after the patient recovers from the effects of the general anesthesia.
Two weeks off from work are recommended after the hourglass tummy tuck and the patient will have a different set of post-operative instructions to follow during the recovery period. It is important to pay attention to the plastic surgeon’s recommendations for post-operative care as the results of the hourglass procedure can depend on the patient’s commitment to following the instructions. For example, not sleeping on the sides of the body for a minimum of three weeks after the procedure is essential as otherwise the fat transferred to the hips can die due to the pressure excised before it got a chance to get a new blood network that would ensure its survival in the hips.
- Differences in terms of results
The results of the two procedures can be very different, even shocking when seen in patients with similar characteristics. This is why we always emphasize on the need to get an experienced plastic surgeon to advise you and play out the procedure. A talented plastic surgeon will know when the hourglass procedure is the suitable option depending on the anatomy of the patient and the condition of the tissues. If the patient has narrow hips, adipose pockets on the flanks and tummy, and saggy skin on the inferior part of the tummy, the right procedure to be performed is the hourglass tummy tuck as the classic abdominoplasty won’t correct all the imperfections of the midline, and chances are the patient won’t be satisfied with the results.
When the classic tummy tuck is performed, the patient will notice an improvement on the front part of the body. During the procedure, the plastic surgeon will fix imperfections of the abdominal wall, strengthen loose abdominal muscles, correct umbilical hernia if present, and eliminate the excess of skin. However, this won’t make the midline smaller or the waist more wasp-like. The dimensions of the waist will stay pretty much the same, especially if the skin sagginess is not severe.
This is why the hourglass procedure is recommended to correct the overall appearance of the body. Women want smaller waists and it is normal for them to get this, especially after undergoing a procedure targeting the improvement of the abdominal wall. Also, if narrow hips are preventing the patient from having a beautiful hourglass silhouette, this imperfection can easily be corrected by using the fat that was removed from areas where it was in excess, in this case, the midline.
The hourglass tummy tuck should give the patient not only a flat and firm tummy but also a smaller waist and larger hips. In other words, with the hourglass tummy tuck, we will try to correct a square shape and make curves in all the right places for the silhouette to become sexy and alluring.
The results of the hourglass tummy tuck are far superior to the results achieved with the classic abdominoplasty, but this doesn’t mean that all patients are eligible or should undergo the hourglass procedure. The recommendation towards one procedure or the other will be given by the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation. The hourglass tummy tuck can only be performed on patients who present an excess of adipose tissue on the midline.
The hourglass tummy tuck procedure was developed with the aim to correct the flaws of the classic abdominoplasty procedure. The procedure delivers spectacular results on patients who have loose abdominal muscles and skin relaxation on the tummy but also narrow hips and adipose pockets on the flanks and tummy. There are a few clear differences between the hourglass procedure and the classic abdominoplasty. First, we are talking about the surgical plan that is followed for each procedure. The hourglass tummy tuck includes the surgical plan followed for the classic abdominoplasty and combines a liposuction of the midline and a fat transfer to the hips to it. Then we have the differences in terms of the results, where the hourglass tummy tuck can significantly enhance the overall shape of the body as it aims to give the patient the beautiful and so sought-after hourglass silhouette, while the classic abdominoplasty has a limited action, only on the abdominal wall.
Keep in mind that if you want to maximize the results achieved with your hourglass tummy tuck, it is essential to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with a keen eye for detail and who performs this procedure routinely.