Posted August 17, 2023 in Blog
Abdominoplasty surgery is a surefire way to regain a tight, flat stomach and get rid of any extra fat and skin that may be preventing you from achieving your ideal body. Repairing separated abdominal muscles and then excising loose skin from the stomach, be it from pregnancy or weight loss, can reduce bulging and create a more streamlined and contoured abdomen.
Even if you are diligent about getting your body back into shape and doing what you can to eat clean, work out and stay healthy, sometimes abdominoplasty surgery is necessary to tighten up and correct what diet and exercise just can’t. While the surgery reigns supreme as a popular way to improve the midsection, there’s still plenty to know about the procedure.
1. Liposuction is almost always part of an abdominoplasty.
An abdominoplasty hones in on loose skin and separated abdominal muscles but doesn’t remove excess fat pockets, which are usually present. That’s why an abdominoplasty is almost always performed with liposuction, which helps to enhance the results.
Several liposuction techniques can be used to remove the fat, but at the end of the day, the one your plastic surgeon feels is best for you and your body type is the one you will benefit most from. Some forms of liposuction may have a tightening effect on the skin, but it’s not nearly enough or comparable to what an abdominoplasty can achieve.
Performing liposuction with an abdominoplasty creates a more comprehensive surgery and a better outcome for a more dramatic transformation. Since a tummy tuck only focuses on the abdomen and not the surrounding areas, removing fat from the hips and waistline will create more of a holistic and complete appearance so that the lower and middle body all appear balanced. Some patients may also benefit from liposuction to the bra line and outer thighs for a more uniform look.
2. There are various types of abdominoplasty.
Some patients benefit from modified abdominoplasty surgeries depending on their bodies and goals.
A typical abdominoplasty, also known as a traditional or full tummy tuck, consists of addressing the entire abdomen through a low incision that runs from hip to hip. The muscles are tightened above and below the belly button through this incision, and loose skin is removed.
The most popular abdominoplasty variations include:
- The mini tummy tuck: Not everyone who undergoes abdominoplasty surgery has large amounts of skin to remove, nor do they always need muscle tightening. Mini abdominoplasties or mini tummy tucks address extra skin and loose muscle only below, not above, the belly button. The scar is also much shorter than the traditional abdominoplasty one, and the recovery is a little quicker and more manageable.
- Drain-free abdominoplasty: Some plastic surgeons rely on surgical drains to prevent fluid from building between the tissue and the abdominal wall. While drains are effective, they can be challenging and messy to manage. But the recovery is more comfortable by using a specific technique that enhances healing without the need for drains.
3. Your belly button and scar are the tell-tale signs of abdominoplasty surgery.
A dead giveaway that you’ve had an abdominoplasty is a not-so-good-looking belly button. While you can easily hide your under bathing suits and clothing, the belly button is more on display, especially when wearing bikinis and crop tops. That’s why it’s important to discuss what your belly button will look like after an abdominoplasty. Ideally, a natural, tucked-in, attractive-looking belly button is always the end goal.
Contrary to popular belief, the belly button is not removed during an abdominoplasty. It actually stays in place, and the skin that surrounds it is moved downward. An incision is made around the belly button so the skin can be released from around it, but the belly button always remains attached to its “stalk” in the abdominal muscles. Then, the skin is redraped over the stomach so that it is tighter, and a new opening in the skin is made for the belly button (that’s why some people think they get a new belly button during the surgery). In a mini abdominoplasty, the belly button is not touched since only the lower abdomen is addressed.
Creating the most natural-looking belly button requires a meticulous approach and careful techniques when suturing the belly button into its new opening. The belly button should be slightly oval in shape and not perfectly round or oblong. And it’s okay if there’s a little skin hooding at the top, which gives it a natural look.