As the fifth most commonly performed plastic surgery procedure (according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons), tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) are more popular than ever. Perhaps one of the reasons for the rise in the popularity of this body contouring procedure is its versatility. There’s more than one form of tummy tuck, and the various surgical techniques can address a surprisingly wide variety of different needs and areas of concern. Here are just a few of the many things that tummy tucks can do:
Correct Damage to the Abdominal Wall
Many mistakenly believe that the tummy tuck procedure is always done for purely cosmetic reasons. Significant weight fluctuation, pregnancy, or even congenital abnormalities can cause a weakness in the connective tissue between the muscles on the left and right halves of the abdomen. If this condition is further exacerbated by excessive strain, even during relatively normal activities, the tissue can permanently stretch, resulting in a condition called diastasis recti. Once this occurs, the belly distends and droops, creating a “pooch” that cannot be fixed with diet or exercise. A full tummy tuck is designed to retighten this connective tissue and restore the abdominal muscles to their proper position, alleviating many of the potential health problems that can result from this condition.
Restore the Body’s Shape after Pregnancy
Carrying and giving birth to a child inevitably causes many changes in the body. For some, a diligent diet and exercise plan may be all the body needs to get back to the shape it once was, but for others some additional help may be required. A mommy makeover is a combination of procedures, usually including a tummy tuck, breast lift, breast augmentation or reduction, and/or liposuction, that is custom-designed to address the specific changes that pregnancy tends to cause. Since pregnancy usually has the most pronounced effect on the abdomen, a full tummy tuck is usually required to tighten abdominal muscles that have been stretched out and restore a more tapered and contoured physique.
Trim and Shape the Abdomen
The majority of people who want to reduce fat in their abdomen can benefit from a combination of liposuction and abdominoplasty techniques (lipo-abdominoplasty). Lipo-abdominoplasty is the most common of the various tummy tuck techniques. It includes extensive liposuction of the soft tissues of the abdomen with removal of excess skin. It’s often combined with repair of diastasis recti but can be done without this repair if desired by the patient. Most often, liposuction of other areas such as the flanks and thighs is coupled with abdominal contouring procedures such as a tummy tuck. In some rare cases, lipo-abdominoplasty can be performed with a shorter scar and no incision around the belly button. These mini cases generally remove skin below the belly button only and often do not require abdominal wall tightening.
Most tummy tucks can be performed without drains, and long-acting numbing medicines provide a 72-hour respite from pain and have revolutionized pain management. Every patient is unique, and understanding each person’s particular needs and goals is ultimately the best way to achieve consistently excellent plastic surgery results. If you’re interested in learning more about tummy tucks, or about any of the other cosmetic procedures that I perform, contact me, Dr. James Namnoum, to schedule a consultation today. Don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get all the latest plastic surgery news and updates.