Gut, pooch, or muffin top…no matter what you happen to call it, no one wants to have excess fat, tissue, and loose, sagging skin around their midsection. This phenomenon can be the result of several different causes, ranging from simple weight gain to a natural separation of the abdominal muscles resulting from pregnancy, a condition called diastasis recti. As a board certified plastic surgeon I have helped hundreds of men and women achieve the shape they desire with various body contouring plastic surgery procedures. Although it is important to remember that these procedures should not be seen as a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise routine, those who would like to have a more slender and contoured abdomen do have several options.
Those who are troubled by small, isolated pockets of fat that persist despite diet and exercise, but who have not yet started to experience a spreading of the abdominal muscles, can usually benefit most from liposuction. During this procedure, a thin tube, or cannula, is inserted through tiny surgical incisions, so that the fat can be sucked away. Liposuction generally works best on patients who still retain good skin elasticity, since removing small amounts of fat can sometimes leave behind loose skin that has been stretched out of shape. Liposuction cannot retighten loose musculature, but is a great way to efficiently treat highly-localized areas of concern.
As we get older, muscles become weaker and less elastic, and excess weight in the midsection can cause the abdominal muscles to separate so that no amount of exercise can restore them to their previous appearance. This often begins in the area below the belly button, and in the earliest stages is best addressed though a partial abdominoplasty, or mini-tummy tuck. By focusing exclusively on the muscles in the lower half of the abdomen, a mini-tummy tuck can achieve impressive, but subtle, results using smaller, less-conspicuous incisions and without having to relocate the belly button. This translates to less noticeable scars and a quicker post-surgical recovery time.
Full Tummy Tuck
Finally, a full abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is the last word in abdominal body contouring. An incision is made very low on the abdomen, usually from one hip to the other, and the skin between the rib cage and pelvis is stretched downward. Abdominal muscles that may have been stretched and distorted by weight gain or pregnancy are re-tightened and the excess, sagging skin removed, flattening the entire midsection. The incision is made low enough that the resulting scar can be easily concealed by underwear or a bathing suit, but the naval needs to be repositioned to an appropriate location on the new skin surface. Because it works with the muscles of the entire abdomen, a full tummy tuck is particularly effective in returning a woman’s body to its pre-pregnancy condition and is a fundamental component of a mommy makeover procedure.
Every patient is unique, so having a variety of options to choose from is the best way to ensure that you receive a treatment that is custom suited to your individual aesthetic needs. If you would like to learn more about any of the cosmetic plastic surgery procedures that I perform, please feel free to connect with me, Dr. James Namnoum, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for all the latest plastic surgery news and updates. If you are interested in discussing what plastic surgery procedures might be able to do for you, please contact my office to schedule a consultation today.