Abdominal Contouring 411
Many men and women come to the plastic surgeon looking to improve the appearance of their abdomen. Genetics, weight changes, pregnancy, surgery and medical issues can lead to an abdominal appearance that may cause personal dissatisfaction and merit improvement. Here is the 411 on abdominal contouring.
Generally abdominal contouring falls into two main categories: liposuction and tummy tuck. Sometimes the 2 methodologies may be combined.
Liposuction is a method of removing fat through barely perceptible incisions. Whether performed with traditional, power-assisted or ultrasound-assisted technique, the goal is to flatten the abdomen and reduce the torso through fat removal only, with the expectation of some skin retraction from scarring. If the fat is believed to be inside the abdomen around the bowels, liposuction is not beneficial. If someone has lax skin or abdominal muscles, significant abdominal scarring or hernias, liposuction is not typically the best option. The benefit of liposuction is that when performed in the right patient, a healthy individual with focal fat deposits, the results are fabulous and recovery is easy.
Tummy tuck is a more involved approach to abdominal contouring. It improves contour by tightening the abdominal muscles that may split with pregnancy, weight changes, or prior surgery; with significant skin removal and tightening, and adjunctive liposuction to the waist and hip, as needed. The incision tends to travel from hip to hip, and around the belly button. Recovery may take as little as 2 weeks, or longer depending on the exact procedure performed. The results of tummy tuck are tried and true. It is important to follow instructions around the time of surgery to achieve the best results and recovery.
It is important to meet with a Board-certified plastic surgeon with all the tools in her/his belt to achieve the contour results you desire most safely and appropriately. Other doctors who provide cosmetic surgery are typically limited in their scope, training and knowledge about complex abdominal issues. Tummy tuck and liposuction are amongst the top 5 surgical procedures performed by plastic surgeons because the results are successful in reaching a high level of patient satisfaction.