The abdomen is a common trouble spot for many people. Whether due to fluctuations in weight, pregnancy and childbirth, or simply the natural aging process, the stomach and abdominal area can go through many changes. Many adults develop areas of stubborn fat and loose skin that are resistant to diet and exercise. Those individuals who desire a more toned, shapely waist and abdomen may benefit from body contouring procedures such as liposuction or abdominoplasty. These procedures can help to flatten the stomach and shape the waist for a taut, rejuvenated appearance.
An abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a procedure that significantly flattens the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin and tightening the abdominal muscles. The best candidates for this procedure are overall healthy adults who have loose skin and pockets of excess fat. This surgery is not recommended for patients who need to lose a significant amount of weight, or woman who may become pregnant in the future, since significant changes in weight may alter results. A tummy tuck is performed in abut two to three hours. Recovery time will vary from patient to patient, though it typically takes anywhere from 6 weeks to a few months following surgery. The procedure will leave a scar on the lower abdomen spanning from hip to hip, though it is made low enough that it can easily be hidden with clothing or a bathing suit. With proper weight management and exercise, the results of a tummy tuck are long-lasting.
Liposuction is a less invasive and more customizable approach to body contouring. This technique works best for patients who are close to their goal weight but have pockets of excess fat in targeted areas. It is not a treatment for significant weight loss or loose skin. Liposuction sculpts and slims these areas by removing fat cells through a small suction tube, known as a cannula. Recovery time is typically much quicker.