The abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a highly popular procedure to reshape the stomach area. The aim of the abdominoplasty procedure is to create a flatter, firmer, tauter tummy, removing excess skin and fatty tissue, particularly if there is a hanging fold low down. Pregnancy, weight fluctuations and the ageing process can all have an impact on the appearance of our middle section, leaving us with stubborn pockets of fat, lack of muscle tone and sagging skin that just won’t tone up however much diet and exercise we do.
Depending on your individual needs and expectations, there are some variations to the abdominoplasty procedure. During a tummy tuck consultation at my Leamington cosmetic surgery clinic, we will discuss what you’re hoping to achieve from your procedure, but a physical assessment is essential for me to be able to advise on the most appropriate procedure for you.
Sagging skin and excess fat that extends the length of the abdomen
If you wish to flatten and firm up the abdomen both above and below the belly button, then a full tummy tuck is the ideal procedure. I will make an incision that extends from hip to hip and another incision around the tummy button (umbilicus). The skin and fatty tissue is then freed all the way up to the rib cage before pulling the skin down firmly for the excess to be removed and, coupled with removal of excess fat, produces a much flatter stomach. The umbilicus is then resited and held in place at its ‘natural’ position.
As well as removing sagging skin and excess fat, it is sometimes necessary to tighten up the abdominal wall muscles. Pregnancy, particularly multiple pregnancies, can result in a stretching of the connective tissue between our abdominal muscles, a condition known as divarication of the rectus abdominis muscles. These muscles then spread apart and women can often feel that they still look pregnant long after they have given birth.
During a tummy tuck procedure, it is possible to stitch those muscles back into place, using permanent sutures to ensure they remain in the same position. This can greatly improve the appearance of the abdomen.
A pouch underneath the belly button
Even very slim people can have a stomach pouch that no amount of diet or exercising will shift. A mini tummy tuck usually requires a shorter incision and is just for tightening the tissues in the lower abdomen.
Although a mini tummy tuck can seem an attractive option, in that it involves a shorter incision, no need to reposition the belly button and a quicker recovery time, most patients do require a full tummy tuck as a mini version can only achieve limited results and can therefore lead to disappointment.
Back fat and a muffin top
An extended tummy tuck is, as the name suggests, a more extensive version of the abdominoplasty, in that it not only removes excess skinand fat from the stomach but also from the flanks and back as well. Judicious use of liposuction may help to produce the best results.
Overweight or obese
Unfortunately, a tummy tuck is not really the right procedure for you: a tummy tuck is not primarily a weight loss option. To produce the best results possible, you should be at or near your ideal body weight to minimise risk and so that a good outcome can be successfully maintained afterwards.
For my information on the tummy tuck procedure or to arrange an assessment for your suitability, please call 01926 436341 to speak to one of the team or book a consultation.