A firm and tight abdomen is the desire of many. We all strive to be slim and toned, but, unfortunately, the abdomen is one of the most complicated areas to achieve our desired contour. Between heredity, busy lives, stress, and pregnancy, our midsections rarely reach a toned appearance on their own, even with diet and exercise. However, there are several surgical options that can provide some dramatic contouring and reshaping of our midsection. Two different options that both reduce abdominal/truncal fat while tightening loose muscles and managing excess skin are the traditional tummy tuck and the belt lipectomy, but how do they differ?
What Are These Procedures?
A tummy tuck has been used successfully for decades to help patients achieve a slender and more toned midsection. This surgery removes unwanted areas of fat and excess skin on your upper and lower abdomen while tightening the deeper, underlying muscles that may have stretched and become loose during pregnancy and/or weight fluctuations, impacting the overall contour and flatness of the abdomen.
Tummy tuck surgery can either be performed as a mini, standard/traditional, or more extended procedure aimed to try and minimize the scar length while still removing the necessary amount of skin. A mini tummy tuck primarily addresses loose skin and muscles that primarily exists below the navel area. A full tummy tuck is more completely able to address the abdomen both above and below the navel. An extended tummy tuck incorporates an additional midline scar, along with the low transverse scar, for those patients with more significant skin redundancy who require more extensive skin management.
A belt lipectomy is a combination procedure that includes a tummy tuck as one component. The incision/scar is then extended circumferentially around the posterior waistline over the upper buttock to provide elevation of sagging outer hips and buttock tissues. Buttock contouring procedures are commonly simultaneously incorporated to provide more projection and shape, and the end result can provide dramatic changes in body shape and contour.
Which Procedure Is Best for You?
Although not always the case, tummy tuck surgery is the ideal procedure for post-pregnancy or aging patients who experience increased stomach laxity and abdominal fat but still have definition and tone in their thighs and buttocks. If, however, you do struggle with excess skin or fat on your hips, thighs, or butt, then a belt lipectomy may be a consideration. A belt lipectomy is common and well-suited for those individuals who have experienced a significant amount of weight loss and have severe skin redundancy from weight change as a result. An essential component of either procedure is a thorough conversation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has significant experience with these type of body contouring procedures. Understanding overall recovery, risks, scar patterns, and alternatives are critical to a good result and patient/physician relationship.
If you are bothered by the contour of your abdomen, hips, or buttock and would like to learn more about these types of procedures, contact Dr. Al Cohn today to set up a complimentary consultation. Call his office at 205-930-1600.