Ask a Plastic Surgeon: How Can I Get a Slimmer Abdomen?
For nearly half a century, Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. has been recognized throughout the medical community as the premier cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery center in the Southeast. Our board certified plastic surgeons, all recognized experts in the field, have published numerous articles on various plastic surgery topics and conducted lectures, presentations, and live surgical demonstrations around the world. In this ongoing blog feature, “Ask a Plastic Surgeon”, we will ask those physicians some of the questions that are most frequently asked by patients so that they can provide insight into the latest facial rejuvenation and body contouring plastic surgery procedures.
QUESTION: For the majority of my life I have made an effort to take good care of myself. I stayed reasonably active, exercised regularly, and watched what I ate. Two years ago, when I was 34, my husband and I had our first child and ever since then I have been disappointed by my inability to get back into shape. Specifically, I simply cannot seem to get rid of this “pooch” in my lower abdomen not matter what I do. Why doesn’t any exercise seem to work on this area and is there a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure that can help?
ANSWER: This is an excellent question that we hear quite frequently from many patients. While it is important to note that every case is unique and requires an individual diagnosis, it is likely that you are experiencing a condition known as diastasis recti. Significant fluctuations in the size of the abdomen, which may result from either long-term weight gain or pregnancy, can sometimes “stretch out” the abdominal muscles. Sometimes, particularly as we age, these muscles may not return to their original condition even after the extra volume has been lost. Once this occurs, there will most likely be a persistent “pooch” around the abdomen that never seems to go away, no matter how carefully you watch your diet or how much exercise you do. An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck procedure, not only re-tightens these abdominal muscles, but also removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen to give the stomach a tighter, flatter, and thinner overall look.
If your abdominal muscles are in relatively good shape but small deposits of excess skin and fat still persist in the lower abdomen, you may be a candidate for a partial abdominoplasty, or “mini-tummy tuck” instead. As a much less invasive procedure that focuses exclusively on the area below the belly button, a mini-tummy tuck requires a much smaller incision and a much shorter post-surgical recovery time. A partial abdominoplasty may be performed on men and women of any body type but is most appropriate when the muscles of the upper part of the abdomen are strong and toned. Many of those who undergo a mini-tummy tuck procedure also choose to have liposuction performed on other areas of concern to further refine the contours of the torso and achieve a more sculpted and seamless look.
If you have other areas of concern and would like to learn more about the various plastic surgery options that are available, please contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. so that we can schedule an appointment for a consultation. During that meeting, you’ll have an opportunity to discuss your goals, look over before and after pictures from previous patients, and in some cases even use advanced computer imaging technology to preview potential results so that we can formulate a treatment plan that is customized to your specific needs. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for all the latest plastic surgery news.