Saggy skin on the tummy: What can I do?
A variety of factors can cause saggy skin on the tummy, such as multiple pregnancies, considerable weight fluctuations, and the natural aging process. Some people have a natural tendency to develop saggy skin in different areas of the body sooner in life than others. However, when it comes to the appearance of the tummy, the factor that causes the most damage is probably pregnancy. While some women can just bounce back to their pre-pregnancy bodies, many more struggle to get in shape and get a beautiful tummy with no notable results.
In this article, we will discuss the imperfections of the tummy, especially saggy skin and what can be done to correct this condition.
Saggy skin on the tummy
Generally speaking, skin sagginess can occur either as a result of the natural aging process or the skin being overly stretched and then being unable to return to its previous shape. When we age, the skin loses elasticity, and it is more likely to start sagging. The abdominal area can be affected by skin sagginess, just as well as the arms, breasts, and the face. When saggy skin occurs on the tummy and is rather extreme, the patient can struggle to find suitable clothing and underwear.
When saggy skin occurs as a result of excessive weight loss, the discomforts can be more severe. When we lose a considerable amount of weight in a rather short time, the skin that was overly stretched won’t be able to retract on the new contours of the body. This means that for some patients who lose weight, the pounds will disappear, but the saggy skin will be left behind as a permanent reminder of how they used to look. It can be rather unpleasant and a real struggle to be confronted with an excess of skin folds on the tummy after weight loss. The unpleasant aesthetic appearance of the tummy can put a stain on the joy of achieving weight loss. Many patients discover that despite achieving their ideal weight with tremendous efforts in many cases, they still don’t look how they wanted to look. And this is when we start looking for solutions to correct this imperfection.
Exercise and diet for saggy skin
A thing that we have discussed several times before is the sagginess of the skin and physical exercise or diet. Sagginess can be accentuated even more if weight loss occurs as a result of dieting. The skin won’t be able to retract on the new contours of the body and hence will start sagging even more. This is one common effect of strict diets, especially on people over a certain age or with a poor skin quality.
Physical exercises are the next thing that come to mind when considering methods to improve the appearance of the body in general and the tummy in particular. But what can physical exercises do for the saggy skin on the tummy? Well, truth be told, not much as physical exercises are meant to tone and have an effect mostly on the muscles and the adjoining layer of fat, but do little on the skin.
In other words, exercise and diet are of no help when it comes to saggy skin on the tummy. Physical exercises can’t help the skin retract on the contours of the body; all they can do is make the muscles more toned. Diets can trigger weight loss and hence accentuate the sagginess even more. So, what can people do to correct saggy skin on the tummy?
Plastic surgery for saggy skin
Abdominoplasty is the procedure that can be performed to correct saggy skin on the tummy. The procedure can last between one hour and a half and four hours or more, and it usually uses general anesthetic for the comfort of the patient. Before scheduling abdominoplasty, the patient is required to have a pre-operative consultation with the plastic surgeon and a physical examination to undergo certain tests and to prepare for the surgery properly.
The tummy tuck is a serious and major plastic surgery procedure that should be considered carefully before going forward with it. It is associated with multiple benefits on the body and mind; however, it can also have certain risks and potential complications, just like any other plastic surgery procedure.
The tummy tuck can be performed following different surgical plans, but usually it entails an incision on the lower part of the tummy that will allow for the removal of the excess skin. The plastic surgeon will start by making this incision on the suprapubic area. The incision can be as long as from one hip bone to the other. If the skin sagginess is extreme and associated with an excess of skin on the flanks as well, the plastic surgeon might need to perform additional incisions. This is called an extended tummy tuck and is often recommended for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight in a short period of time.
Not correcting the saggy skin on the flanks can lead to an unpleasant appearance of the body with a flat and firm tummy but what we call “dog ears” on the flanks.
After the incision is done, the surgeon will use it to remove the skin tissue from the abdominal wall and elevate it to the level of the rib cage. This grants access to the abdominal wall muscles that often need to be brought together on the median line and straightened with sutures to create a firm and flat tummy. If umbilical hernia is present, it will also be corrected at this point. If the skin sagginess is severe and present on the upper part of the tummy and not only the lower part, the plastic surgeon will need to make an additional incision around the navel. This incision is used to reposition the belly button so the plastic surgeon can correct the skin sagginess on the upper part of the tummy as well.
The skin is then re-draped on the tummy and proper tension is restored. The excess of skin is removed, and the incisions are sutured. This is how a classic tummy tuck is performed. However, in some cases, the recommended procedure is a bit more complex than traditional abdominoplasty.
For patients concerned with saggy skin on the tummy and also adipose deposits on the flanks and narrow hips, there is another procedure that can be recommended. This procedure is called the hourglass tummy tuck, and it is actually a combination of three different plastic surgery procedures. The hourglass tummy tuck combines the techniques used for liposuction, abdominoplasty, and fat transfer to the hips to help patients achieve not only a flat and firm tummy but also an hourglass body shape. The hourglass silhouette is considered the most feminine body shape since the beginning of time. However, less than 10% of women are born with it. The hourglass tummy tuck is a procedure that can be used to gain an hourglass body and restore the firm and flat appearance of the tummy. The procedure is recommended for women of all ages, but to sustain the results it is recommended to avoid ulterior pregnancies, as well as weight fluctuations.
A talented and experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon can guide you to achieving the best results possible when trying to correct saggy skin on the tummy with the help of plastic surgery. The procedure has certain risks that can be minimized by choosing an experienced plastic surgeon and following his recommendations for post-operative care to the letter. Also, keep in mind that the only way to sustain the results is to avoid ulterior weight fluctuations. More than 2 kg per month in weight fluctuations can alter the beautiful results.
The tummy is very important for the overall appearance of the patient. Saggy skin on the tummy can lead to a lack of self-esteem, aside from other emotional and even physical discomforts. The only effective method to correct skin sagginess that is available nowadays is surgery. The tummy tuck is the procedure performed to eliminate loose skin on the tummy, but the plastic surgeon can also correct other imperfections such as distended abdominal muscles and umbilical hernia. If you have saggy skin on the tummy, the best thing you can do is schedule a consultation with a talented and experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon and discuss what type of tummy tuck is suitable in your particular case.