Correcting the abdominal area with plastic surgery
Correcting the abdominal area with plastic surgery
The appearance of the abdominal area is affected by many factors. Among them to name just a few are pregnancy, weight fluctuations, unhealthy life habits, and even the natural aging process. Unwanted adipose tissue, as well as saggy skin, can start accumulating on the tummy over time and create an unsightly appearance of the abdominal area. Many patients try exercise and diet to correct the appearance of the abdominal wall before resorting to plastic surgery. In some cases, the appearance of the tummy can only be corrected surgically, namely when we have an excess of saggy skin or when fat pockets are resistant to other methods of eliminating them.
In this article, we will discuss correcting the appearance of the abdominal area with plastic surgery.
Procedures that can be performed on the tummy
Nowadays plastic surgery offers different means and methods to correct different imperfections. This means that depending on the imperfection creating the unsightly appearance of the tummy, the plastic surgeon will recommend one procedure or the other and even a combination of procedures. The procedure that is most suitable to help the patient achieve his aesthetic goal will be decided during the pre-operative consultation after the surgeon has performed a medical examination on the patient and also discussed his expectations and desires from the surgery.
In many cases, the procedures that can be performed on the tummy to improve its appearance are liposuction and the tummy tuck, or a combination of the two procedures.
- Liposuction to correct the appearance of the abdominal area
Liposuction is a surgical procedure designed to remove unwanted fat deposits located in specific areas of the body such as the chin, neck, cheeks, arms, armpits, as well as the tummy, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. Liposuction is no substitute for a way to lose weight, but it is an effective technique for treating localized fat deposits that are resistant to dieting and a proper exercise routine. While widely performed nowadays, liposuction is still a plastic surgery procedure that entails certain risks and complications and can have long-term consequences when performed by an unexperienced doctor. Make sure to find out all the details before moving on with the procedure.
Liposuction is able to improve your physical appearance, but it will not necessarily transform your body radically. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your goal, what you expect from the operation, and discuss it with your surgeon. The ideal candidate for liposuction has a weight close to normal with the persistence of fat deposits in certain specific areas, namely the abdominal area and the flanks. You must be healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic about what you expect from the procedure to be an eligible candidate.
A firm, elastic skin is the guarantee of a good final result and also a mandatory condition to be a good candidate. Otherwise, liposuction can leave behind skin that is unable to retract on the new contours of the body and will remain saggy on the abdomen. If the patient has poor skin tonus, liposuction can and should only be performed with a tummy tuck.
When liposuction is performed on the abdomen and surrounding areas, the patient will be under a general anesthetic. The procedure can last up to an hour and a half, and the plastic surgeon will only perform very small incisions that will allow him to introduce the cannulas. With these cannulas, a back and forth movement is performed that will dislodge the fat and make it easy for it to be suctioned into a medical vacuum device that is connected to the cannulas. The plastic surgeon needs to be very careful when performing these movements so as not to hurt the surrounding tissues such as the muscles. This is why it is important to choose an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon to play out your procedure.
The results of liposuction are visible months after the procedure when the side effects have subsided. To sustain the results, the patient needs to keep a stable weight with little to no fluctuations over the years.
- Abdominoplasty to correct the appearance of the abdominal wall
If the patient has a poor skin tonus or saggy skin on the tummy, abdominoplasty is the procedure that will correct these imperfections. The tummy tuck is a procedure that aims to deliver a flat and firm abdomen to patients confronted with saggy skin on the inferior part of the tummy. If the skin on the tummy is distended and marked by stretch marks, chances are the patient needs an abdominoplasty. Often the muscles are also loose and have lost their tonus due to multiple pregnancies and even considerable weight loss.
The tummy tuck is always recommended after bariatric surgery or if the patient has lost a considerable amount of weight because the tummy is one of the features of the body most affected by weight loss.
This procedure is more invasive than liposuction, and it entails one or multiple incisions localized on the tummy and sometimes the flanks, depending on the complexity of each case. The complications that can occur after this procedure are more significant than in the case of liposuction.
When abdominoplasty is performed, an incision on the suprapubic area allows the surgeon to peel off the skin of the tummy, to cut off excess skin and fat tissue, and then to put back tension on the muscles of the abdominal wall. The healthy skin is then draped down. The navel is repositioned in some cases. The incisions could extend to the flanks if the plastic surgeon performed the extended tummy tuck, which entails the removal of excess skin from that area as well. Before abdominoplasty is performed, the patient is advised to undergo a series of medical tests, including blood tests, EKG, and even a pregnancy test.
General anesthesia is also used when the tummy tuck is performed, and the patient is advised to follow certain instructions to the letter during the recovery period. Compression garments are mandatory to be worn non-stop for the first few weeks after the tummy tuck and for a few more weeks only during the day. The same recommendation is valid for liposuction as well. In the case of the tummy tuck, the patient needs to avoid lifting anything for a month after the procedure as any unnecessary pressure on the tummy can trigger the opening of the incisions that could lead to other, more severe complications.
- Liposuction and tummy tuck
A very popular combo of plastic surgery procedures nowadays is liposuction with a tummy tuck. The procedures are often combined as they can deliver spectacular results together. Not only do you get rid of the excess fat tissue from the flanks and abdominal area, but also the muscles are strengthened, the excess skin is eliminated, umbilical hernia is corrected, and the tummy is firm and flat as the patient desires it.
The benefits of undergoing this combo of procedures are obvious. The patient only has to undergo general anesthesia once and go through the recovery period one time. Also, the cost of the combo is reduced compared to paying for two separate plastic surgery procedures. Moreover, the procedures can complement each other. One reduces the thickness of the adipose layer while the other strengthens muscles and removes excess skin. The whole abdominal area can be slimmed down and remodeled completely after the procedures.
To sustain the results of the combo for longer, the patient needs to follow the recommendations given for both liposuction and the tummy tuck and also to keep a balanced and healthy eating regimen with plenty of physical exercise.
Correcting the appearance of the abdominal area with plastic surgery can be done either using liposuction, tummy tuck, or a combo of the two procedures. Liposuction is recommended for patients with an excess of adipose pockets on the tummy or the flanks and with a good skin condition and tonus. For patients with a poor skin tonus and saggy skin on the tummy, abdominoplasty is the suitable procedure that will effectively correct these imperfections. For patients concerned with both issues, fat deposits, and saggy skin, the plastic surgeon might recommend a combination of liposuction and tummy tuck.
When the combination of procedures is performed, the results can be spectacular as the waist and abdominal dimensions are smaller, the muscles are strengthened, and there is no excess skin left on the tummy. Make sure to choose a talented, board-certified plastic surgeon and schedule a consultation with him to find out the suitable method for your particular case.