With swimsuit season upon us, focus turns to our physical appearance. The abdomen in particular is an area where people want to look their best. However, even those who are fitness and health fanatics can have trouble obtaining perfect toning with the accompanying six-pack of muscles.
The Dreaded “Pooch”
There are many causes of the “pooch” that sits on your lower tummy. Over time, your body goes through weight fluctuations, aging, changes in diet or fitness, pregnancies, or health-related events that can lead to loose skin and extra fat deposits. Gravity causes this extra skin and excess fat to sit on your hips and around your lower abdomen.
While diet and exercise can help tone your core muscles, they don’t always fix everything. An area of your core that is difficult to tighten and tone is called the inner girdle, which runs from your rib cage to your pubic bone and all across your abdomen. This area acts as a support system for everything inside your abdomen and prevents them from bulging out. In pregnant women, the inner girdle is stretched to accommodate the growing baby. Once the pregnancy is over, the inner girdle can remain loose even if the pregnancy weight is lost. Because it is so deep inside you, the inner girdle can be hard to target through exercise. This can contribute to the lower abdomen pooch.
Obtaining a tight abdomen is especially difficult if you have experienced significant weight fluctuations. Even if you are able to lose weight and burn off those excess fat deposits, that extra skin will still be there. All the muscle toning in the world won’t be able to tighten your skin or hide scarring from stretch marks or surgical procedures.
The Abdominoplasty Solution
An abdominoplasty can fix all these problems, from tightening the inner girdle to flattening your tummy. Commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, this surgical procedure is designed to give you a smoother and younger-looking abdomen. The doctor will be able to remove excess skin and fat, tighten the muscles and inner girdle, and hide, improve, or remove existing scars. Abdomens come in all different sizes and shapes, so your consultation will be very important in determining your personal anatomy and assessing your desired result.
Abdominoplasties are conducted under general anesthesia and can take anywhere from two to five hours. Two incisions may be made, one along your pubis bone, and one, if needed, around your belly button. Next, the surgeon will lift up the abdominal skin, revealing your abdominal wall and muscles. The muscles can be repaired and the inner girdle can be tightened from here. Excess fat deposits can also be removed. Once the inside of the abdomen has been adjusted, the skin will be pulled back down and excess skin will be removed. The skin will then be sutured back along the initial pubis bone incision.
You will likely find it difficult to stand or sit for long periods of time, so be prepared to lie down a lot. After about two weeks, you’ll be able to resume normal activity and get some light exercise. Avoid exerting yourself too hard for at least six weeks.
It’s also recommended that you wear a compression garment for your abdomen. This is like a fashion girdle that wraps around your tummy and compresses it slightly. This helps with the swelling and the healing process as a whole.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
Basile Plastic Surgery offers a free initial consultation. You’ll be able to meet with Dr. Andrea Basile, a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of abdominoplasty experience, and discuss your options. You may even be able to combine the abdominoplasty with other procedures so you can really take advantage of all the procedures and services we offer.
Call or visit our Naples, FL, office at (239) 514-8777 to make an appointment and be on your way to looking and feeling your best this summer!