Loose belly skin is often left behind as a remnant of substantial weight loss or multiple pregnancies, or simply as a byproduct of the natural aging process, after the skin is excessively stretched beyond the point where it is able to “snap back.” While liposuction is usually recommended for patients who would like to specifically address pockets of excess abdominal fat, it’s important to note that lipo has no effect on lax skin or split abdominal muscles, another condition that can occur when a widening belly causes the abdominal muscles to actually split apart, leading to further abdominal protrusion. In fact, due to the removal of the underlying fatty tissue, sagging skin can sometimes become even more pronounced after liposuction. Dr. Daniel Greenwald, a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon at Bayshore Plastic Surgery in Tampa, FL, can explain how loose belly skin in certain patients can instead be surgically addressed through a tummy tuck.
In general, a tummy tuck might be an appropriate approach if a patient could benefit from the removal of both loose belly skin and certain types of excess abdominal fat. For instance, during an abdominoplasty procedure, a surgeon can remove any abdominal fat that is attached to the underside of loose skin while trimming away that loose skin. Additionally, a surgeon can tighten or repair weakened or split abdominal muscles.
On the other hand, a tummy tuck cannot address excess fat in the upper and mid-tummy regions. Instead, a surgeon will re-drape this fat along with its attached skin over the newly created abdominal contours. Furthermore, visceral or intraperitoneal fat that has accumulated within the abdominal cavity cannot be improved by liposuction or a tummy tuck. This type of fat can only be reduced through diet and exercise.
In sum, the best candidates for abdominoplasty:
- Have achieved a healthy, stable body weight
- Are troubled by overhanging or loose belly skin
- Are physically healthy
- Do not smoke
- Have realistic expectations
If you’d like to consult with Dr. Greenwald about possible ways to treat loose belly skin and damaged muscles, he’ll be pleased to meet with you at his clinic in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Greenwald can evaluate your specific needs and objectives, show you before and after images of patients he’s cared for, and help you determine whether a tummy tuck is right for you. To schedule your personal consultation, please call Bayshore Plastic Surgery at 1-888-840-3199 today.