Tummy tuck improves the appearance of the abdomen, which is not an ethnically “sensitive” area (unlike the face, particularly the nose and eyes). Nonetheless, ethnic skin or darker complexion is known to have an increased risk of hyperpigmentation and keloid scar.
Tummy tuck traditionally uses a hip-to-hip incision to remove the skin and fat rolls. Most patients can also benefit from muscle repair in which the two vertical muscles along the midline are sutured closer together, resulting in a flatter appearance.
With muscle repair and the removal of excess skin and fat, a good number of patients can expect a more athletic appearance of their anterior abdomen (because of the small grooves caused by the two vertical muscles positioned in a side-by-side orientation).
While there is no ethnic tummy tuck per se, patients with darker complexion may entail a more proactive scar prevention and treatment due to the perceived higher risk of keloids. The use of silicone gel sheets over the [healed] incisions for several months is known to reduce the incidence of aggressive scarring, says leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
Occasionally, the concomitant use of bleaching agents and/or laser could help prevent or reduce risk of hyperpigmentation of the scars.
Meanwhile, the inconspicuous placement of tummy tuck scar—it should be very low that it is easily concealed by the patient’s underwear—remains important regardless of one’s predisposition to keloids.
As with any body contouring surgery, the success of tummy tuck boils down to meticulous physical analysis and consultation. Another thing to keep in mind is that women of Hispanic and African descent often desire for fuller curves, while Caucasians usually prefer a more petite figure.
By being sensitive to culture-based beauty ideals and the patient’s cosmetic goals, doctors offering tummy tuck surgery typically achieve high patient satisfaction. After all, the purpose of any aesthetic surgery is to elicit a smile from patients.
To achieve fuller curves, some patients ask for a simultaneous Brazilian buttock lift, i.e., buttock augmentation via fat injection. In reality, this is not always a deviation from tummy tuck, which often entails liposuction of the flanks to remove the “fat rolls.”
Instead of discarding the fats collected during liposuction, these are purified and injected into the buttocks to improve their shape and projection. Of course, this additional procedure results in longer operative time and more cost.