A number of circumstances can cause changes to the stomach appearance over time. Although improving diet and exercise is a key component of shaping the abdomen, sometimes weakened abdominal muscles can only be resolved through surgery. An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, removes excess fat and skin from the abdomen, and can repair muscles to reduce the appearance of a belly paunch.
Contact us online today to learn more about your options for a tummy tuck. The Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas helps men and women from Austin, Round Rock and throughout Texas. Count on our team to help you look rejuvenated through cosmetic surgery.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
Skin and abdominal muscles tend to relax with age. The constant downward effect of gravity affects both. Changes in hormone levels as we age cause the body to hold weight differently. This combination of looser muscles and increased fat storage in the belly can lead to a noticeable curve.
Pregnancy can also permanently affect the abdominal muscles. Although the body should return to its normal shape after pregnancy, the abdominal muscles can sometimes stay stretched, a condition that becomes more visible with age. A tummy tuck surgically repairs loose or separated abdominal muscles after pregnancy.
Excessive weight gain can also cause permanent changes in the abdomen. As in pregnancy, the muscles may have trouble returning to their normal placement. Rapid weight loss can leave behind excess skin that should be surgically removed for hygienic reasons. Tummy tucks after weight loss help flatten the belly. Additional procedures like a thigh lift or body lift are also commonly included after rapid weight loss.
It’s important to understand that an abdominoplasty is not a weight loss method. In fact, the ideal candidate for this procedure will have already reached a stable target weight and maintained it for several months. A tummy tuck is best to repair separated or loose abdominal muscles and excess skin and tissue that diet or exercise haven’t helped.
Understanding the Procedure
Abdominoplasty begins with an incision made across the low abdomen from hip to hip. Through this incision, your doctor accesses the abdominal muscles. The muscles are pulled together and stitched in place to restore a firm framework. With the muscle correction completed, excess skin and tissue are removed and the remaining skin is redraped. Incisions are sutured in layers to minimize scars.
During abdominoplasty, liposuction may be used to improve abdominal shape further. Although liposuction can’t repair loose skin or muscles, it offers additional fine-tuning for better abdominal contours. Combining procedures is a popular way to get the best results.
Along with the abdominoplasty, a panniculectomy can also be performed. This procedure removes the excess skin and tissue that hangs below the belly button. Unlike a full abdominoplasty, a panniculectomy does not address the muscles. Combining panniculectomy with abdominoplasty is very common, as the two procedures are complementary.
Recovery and Results
Most individuals experience some initial discomfort after either an abdominoplasty or a panniculectomy. It may feel painful to stand all the way upright at first, since that motion puts strain on the repaired area. You should notice a change in your appearance immediately. As healing continues, your final results will become more visible. Most people are able to return to work about two weeks after the procedure
An abdominoplasty from the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas will help resolve the appearance of a prominent belly due to muscular changes or excess skin and tissue. After the procedure, you can expect your abdomen to look flatter and smoother. Most people also notice a new boost in their self-esteem after their tummy tuck because they feel more positive about their appearance.