The History of Tummy Tucks: Advancements in Plastic Surgery

The tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States in recent decades. The surgery transforms waistlines, flattens abdomens, and provides a body confidence boost. Depending on the type of tummy tuck, the procedure normally involves an incision from one side of your hip to the other to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen. This in turn tightens the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall and requires significant downtime. But did you know that this procedure has been around since the early 1800s? Thankfully, the techniques and tools we use to perform modern tummy tucks have greatly improved over the past couple hundred years!

Read on to learn how tummy tuck techniques and results have changed and improved over the years. Fortunately, for men and women considering abdominoplasty, the latest plastic surgery techniques allow for even better results and a smoother recovery time.

Early 1800s Tummy Tucks & The Belly Button

Although the first tummy tucks were performed over 200 years ago, they were not for the same reasons as today. The main purpose of this procedure in the early 1800s was to remove excess skin from the abdominal area to cover up open wounds.

As one might imagine, a surgery used for critical wound care wasn’t exactly focused on cosmetics. Consequently, the result of the first tummy tucks often left patients without a belly button! In fact, even surgeons in the late 1800s who began performing tummy tucks for cosmetic purposes believed that it would be impossible to perform a tummy tuck while maintaining the appearance of the belly button.

Fortunately, this belief changed relatively quickly as the beginnings of the modern tummy tuck were forming.

Early 20th Century: Great Improvements in Tummy Tuck Procedures

After close to 100 years, French plastic surgeons were finally able to figure out how to preserve the belly button during a tummy tuck in the year 1905. They discovered that they could use vertical and horizontal incisions to create small flaps through which to work, rather than creating one large horizontal incision across the entire abdomen. This way, the belly button could be preserved, and the results were smoother and more sophisticated than ever before!

Still, abdominoplasty was not an extremely common procedure and was still primarily used to treat wounds, especially during World War I, which ended in 1918.

It wasn’t until the 1970s and 80s that doctors began using tummy tuck techniques to treat umbilical hernias, which would result in a bulging belly. Surgeons quickly realized that a tummy tuck could result in a smoother, tighter appearance, thus paving the way for the modern tummy tuck techniques we see today.

Modern Day Tummy Tucks: Better Than Ever

The tummy tuck has come a long way since the first coarse procedures were performed in order to treat wounds in the 1800s. Today’s tummy tuck techniques not only offer safer and much more effective solutions, but also cut down on recovery and healing time and provide better results!

Below are just some of the most notable advancements of the modern tummy tuck.

  • Mini Tummy Tuck

Before the mini tummy tuck made its debut in plastic surgery, any patient who wanted to address any amount of sagging abdominal skin would need to opt for a full tummy tuck. Today, thanks to the mini tummy tuck technique, also called a partial abdominoplasty, plastic surgeons can now use a much smaller incision to tighten a small amount of excess skin below the belly button!

  • Mommy Makeovers featuring the Tummy Tuck

Nowadays, tummy tucks are very commonly paired with other cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation or liposuction, in what is called a mommy makeover. In a relatively short amount of time, our board certified plastic surgeons can safely and effectively perform multiple procedures at once, requiring anesthesia only once and a single recovery period!

What is the best tummy tuck procedure for me?

Modern advancements in surgical tools and techniques have allowed for more tummy tuck options than ever before! Today, you can customize your tummy tuck procedure to best meet your specific needs and goals.

The best tummy tuck technique for you will depend on several factors such as your natural anatomy, a personal consultation and exam, and your aesthetic goals. At Synergy Plastic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeons utilize all of this information in order to create a personalized plan for you as well as help you decide which technique could be right for you!

If you are considering a tummy tuck procedure or mommy makeover, schedule a complimentary consultation with our board-certified medical staff today, and enjoy your personalized Synergy Experience.

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