Let’s Lose that Stomach Pooch

Handsome young mans torsoEveryone wants a flat stomach. A whole industry of gadgets touted on late-night infomercials has arisen promising to deliver a flat abdomen or six-pack abs. Alas, most of us have some degree of a pooch on our lower abdomen. And if you’ve had children or have gained and then lost a good deal of weight, the stretched skin and separated muscles can’t tighten back down no matter what you do.

That’s where tummy tuck surgery with our three board-certified plastic surgeons at Miami Plastic Surgery® can come in. A tummy tuck removes the sagging skin and gives you that flat, contoured abdomen you remember from your younger days.

What is a tummy tuck?

Clinically known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck removes loose, sagging skin from the belly button down to the upper pubic area. In most cases, stomach muscles that have become separated are brought back to the center and reattached. Pockets of fat are also removed with targeted liposuction. The belly button is usually moved to a higher position.

Are there different options for a tummy tuck?

There are three types of tummy tucks our Miami Plastic Surgery surgeons perform — full, mini, and extended. Here are the differences between them:

  • Full tummy tuck — In a full tummy tuck, your Miami Plastic Surgery surgeon makes two incisions. The first runs from hipbone to hipbone, descending down to the upper pubic area so the scar is easily hidden under underwear or a swimsuit. The second incision is made around the belly button to address sagging above the navel.
  • Mini tummy tuck — A mini tuck usually only requires the single lower incision. The length of this incision varies depending on the degree of loose skin. Mini tummy tucks are good for patients with less overall sagging who still have a small pooch in the center of their lower abdomen. These patients still need to have good elasticity in this skin.
  • Extended tummy tuck — An extended tummy tuck also targets the flanks. It basically is a full tummy tuck, but the lower incision stretches past the hipbones all the way out to the sides of the hips. This incision can even slightly advance around the side of the flanks to the back.

Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?

If you still have good elasticity in your abdominal skin and your issues are primarily pockets of unwanted fat that you can’t get rid of through exercise of dietary changes, a tummy tuck isn’t the right procedure — you want liposuction.

But if you have loose, inelastic skin, with some pockets of fat, a tummy tuck is the better option (probably combined with light liposuction to remove some areas of the fat). Pregnancy is especially hard on the abdominal muscles because of the way it focuses the weight gain in such a small, localized area. This can permanently stretch and separate the abdominal muscles and the area cannot tighten back to its former contour without surgery. Excessive weight gain and subsequent loss can create the same issues.

Would you like to do something about that unwelcome stomach pooch that came into your life after having a child? Call the team at Miami Plastic Surgery, (305) 595-2969, and set up a consultation with Dr. Kelly, Dr. Wolf, or Dr. Polo for abdominoplasty.

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