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Explain the difference between a mini, full and fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty

Heartland Plastic and Hand Surgery welcomes men and women from Arnold, Sikeston and other nearby cities, including Marion/Carbondale, Illinois.

Oftentimes when we see a patient for an abdominal consultation, we will run through a checklist including liposuction, mini abdominoplasty, full abdominoplasty, fleur- de-lis or possible combinations.

A mini abdominoplasty takes out a roll of skin or loose skin immediately above the pubic area. Think of this as very similar to a C section scar. The lower down that incision, obviously, the less skin that can be removed. The higher the incision, the greater the amount of skin that can be removed. We will want to plan that incision so it will be hidden by a bathing suit. At the time of a mini abdominoplasty, we may tighten the muscles somewhat from the umbilicus down to the pubic area and do some liposuction along the remaining portion of the abdomen to help feather and blend the results.

A full abdominoplasty involves a longer incision, runs from the hip bone across the pubic area to the hip bone. A greater amount of skin is resected, oftentimes from that incision up to the level of the belly button. The muscles from the bottom ofthe ribs down to the pubic area are tightened, and a new opening is created for the belly button. There is definitely a greater amount of skin that is removed and a greater amount of tightening of the abdominal wall with a full abdominoplasty compared to a mini abdominoplasty. With a full abdominoplasty, I tell patient that the skin is removed in a north/south direction.

A fleur-de-lis involves not only the incision that I just described, but also a vertical incision in the mid line from the xiphoid, or bottom of the ribs, down to the pubic area. With this vertical incision, we can also take out some loose skin that is on the lateral sides of the abdomen. I very commonly will tell patients that a fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty not only removes skin in the north/south direction, but also the east/west direction. At the time of the consultation we will examine the patient in front of a mirror and explain which operation would give them the best outcome for their areas of concern.

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