You’ve dieted, exercised – you’ve tried everything – but you just can’t get rid of that tummy! You no longer feel comfortable wearing the style of clothes that you like, and you don’t even want to think about a bathing suit. Don’t worry — you’re not alone. Last year, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), nearly 60,000 Americans had a “tummy tuck” to get rid of troublesome bulges and loose abdominal skin.
A tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, is designed to firm and smooth your abdomen. The procedure removes excess abdominal skin and may also reduce fat and tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The result is a flatter abdominal profile.
Did your mother or father have the same problem? Not surprisingly, bulges and loose skin in the abdominal area can sometimes be an inherited condition. In other instances, people will have loose, hanging skin following significant weight loss. Women may experience separation and weakening of the abdominal muscles as a result of pregnancy. A tummy tuck can tighten these muscles and may also somewhat improve the appearance of stretch marks, particularly those located below the navel.
Both women and men can be good candidates for a tummy tuck, but the procedure is much more common among women. In 1999, ASAPS reports only 4 percent of abdominoplasties were performed on men..
There are a variety of techniques for performing a tummy tuck, and your plastic surgeon can advise you on which one is best for you. Usually, the incision within or above the public area can be designed to fall discreetly within the lines of your bathing suit or lingerie.
When there is not a lot of loose skin and the bulge in your tummy is located below the navel, your plastic surgeon may be able to perform a “mini” abdominoplasty.
Sometimes lipoplasty (liposuction) alone can be effective in reducing abdominal fat, or lipoplasty may be performed along with a tummy tuck.
Unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight or become pregnant, your abdomen should remain firmer and flatter for many years to come.