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Adam G. Tattlebaum M.D.

Fleur De Lis Tummy Tuck: Anatomy of a Procedure

fleur de lis tummy tuck

A Fleur de Lis tummy tuck is something you may never have heard of. In fact, it may be something you will never need, but for a large percentage of my patients, particularly patients who have lost a great deal of weight, it is at least something that they should be made aware of.

A standard Tummy tuck gives a downward pull to lax abdominal skin. This is fine for the average postpartum mom who has gone up and down in weight with pregnancy. We are lucky that this works for most patients because it is really not how weight loss goes. When weight goes up and down it is a 360-degree event not just top to bottom. For patients with significant weight loss, they are loose side to side as well. 

When Should I Consider a Fleur de Lis Tummy Tuck?

When most of these patients come to my office and demonstrate their loose skin,  they tend to pull it in from the sides and create a big lump of skin in the middle to show me what they want tightened. What they are demonstrating is horizontal laxity, not vertical. I then demonstrate, by grabbing the lower abdomen and pulling it tight that a standard tummy tuck pulls down and does not address this horizontal laxity.

fleur de lis tummy tuck

For most of my weight loss patients, a light bulb goes off when they figure out the difference between horizontal and vertical laxity. A Fleur de Lis tummy tuck, whose preoperative markings look like the French flower for which it is named, leaves a scar right down the middle of the abdomen pulling not only top to bottom, but side to side as well. Some patients will look at me as though I’ve lost my mind if they have never heard of this kind of tummy tuck before. 

Fortunately, most will go home, search the web, and discover I speak the truth and understand why it was part of our discussion. Even if that weight loss patient does not want a Fleur de Lis tummy tuck, it is important to me that they know about it. With a standard tummy tuck, they will still have horizontal laxity, which is ok, as long as they understand why. The consult is always easier when the patient has at least heard of it ahead of time.

If they have horizontal laxity, but don’t want a Fleur de Lis tummy tuck, they must also understand that this may limit the amount of muscle tightening I can accomplish. Muscle tightening, for most, flattens the abdominal wall, but it also pulls excess skin into the middle of the abdomen. In a patient who already has severe horizontal excess, I may have to limit the degree of tightening, or in some cases, avoid it so that we don’t wind up with a bulky wad of skin in the midline. That issue goes away with Fleur de Lis tummy tuck because I can literally throw away that excess skin.

All Surgeons Don’t Offer This Tummy Tuck Procedure

Many surgeons don’t offer this kind of tummy tuck, and because of that, many will not even discuss it with weight loss patients. I find that disappointing. Patients should at least know about it as an option. In many ways, I find it easier than a standard tummy tuck because I am not working inside a tunnel. The exposure for muscle tightening is unparalleled. While there is an additional incision to close the surgery is not much longer in duration than a standard tummy tuck.

You may not need this tummy tuck, and fortunately, most don’t. Even if you are a candidate for it, you still may not want it. But if you have lost a lot of weight and have horizontal laxity, it is my hope as you read this that at least you know about a Fleur de Lis tummy tuck as an option to consider.

Choose Dr. Tattelbaum for a Fleur De Lis Tummy Tuck

Dr. Adam G. Tattelbaum, MDPC, is a double-board certified plastic surgeon. He enjoys the process of teaching his patients as much as he loves performing surgeries. If you are considering surgery and would like to know more about a Fleur De Lis tummy tuck, call Dr.Tattelbaum’s office at (301)-656-6398 or contact us online.

 Dr. Tattelbaum offers in-person consultations at his offices in Mclean, Virginia and Rockville, Maryland. Virtual consultations are also available.

November 23, 2020 8:15 am
Categories: Blog, Tummy Tuck

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