As we grow older, our bodies undergo significant changes. Our weight tends to fluctuate and we begin to lose skin elasticity, which can lower our self-esteem and cause us to feel self-conscious about our bodies. One of the biggest problem areas for both women and men is the abdomen. The abdomen is one of the areas where the largest amount of fat can be accumulated. Extreme weight loss or weight gain can also cause the skin around the stomach to become stretched for both women and men, but especially for women after child birth. Loss of muscle strength in the abdomen can lead to farther protrusion of the belly.
Luckily, there are plastic surgery procedures that can correct these issues, including liposuction and Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck), but choosing which, or both, procedures to undergo requires careful consideration.
For those who have an excess amount of fat in the abdomen, but who have retained skin elasticity and muscle mass, liposuction alone can drastically improve the appearance of the stomach. Liposuction removes the fat from beneath the skin and above the abdominal stomach muscles, revealing a toned and slender physique for both women and men. It is a great choice for those who tend to accumulate excess fat under the navel or around the hips and love handles. Lipoetching is a very popular choice for men who have less fat to lose, but desire an almost extreme athletic look. It removes fat from around the muscles of the abdomen, giving extreme definition and an athletic appearance that would take years – if even possible – to achieve through exercise and diet alone.
Because there is some skin contraction during the liposuction procedure, the results of the treatment will also include a firmer stomach overall, but for patients who have excess skin or whose have lost muscle definition, a tummy tuck may be the optimal plastic surgery procedure.
The tummy tuck often employs the use of both liposuction to eliminate excess fat in the abdomen as well as surgery to remove the excess skin in the area that has resulted from pregnancy or weight gain followed by loss. There are several types of tummy tucks to choose from as well, including a mini-tummy tuck, which is ideal for patients who have minimal stretching of the abdominal wall and whose excess fat is primarily stored under the naval. The traditional tummy tuck involves removing the loose skin and fat around the abdomen region and tightening the muscles of the stomach wall while creating a flat and smooth abdomen. There is also an endosopic tummy tuck, in which the muscles of the abdomen get tightened through a one inch incision, but this procedure is reserved for the few patients who did not gain weight and don’t have extra skin, but whose pregnancy severely stretched the muscles of the abdomen. The Grossman modified tummy tuck allows patients to have the muscles of the abdomen be tightened and extra skin of the abdomen get removed, all without the scarring around the belly button.
All are great choices for individuals who desire a flatter and more toned stomach, but because each patient’s body is different, what suits one person may not be ideal for another. Some prospective patients may have an idea of what treatment they want to undergo, but in reality, they may benefit from a different approach altogether. Those who are considering either liposuction or a tummy tuck should speak to an experienced plastic surgeon to determine the best option for their particular physique and cosmetic goals in order to ensure optimal results.