From multiple pregnancies to drastic weight loss to eliminating pockets of fat, people of all shapes and sizes are searching for a way to restore their midsection. Many variables contribute to a midsection gone by the wayside, but there are surgical options to combat the wear-and-tear. Dr. Stafford R. Broumand of New York City, New York discusses the issues associated with the abdominal area and how a board-certified plastic surgeon can solve the problem in a variety of ways.
and Adam McMillon
Why is My Midsection so Messed Up?
As time passes, a variety of reasons leads to a midsection that lacks the youthful, tight appearance that it used to have. “Multiple pregnancies and dramatic weight loss are two common reasons why the midsection can look unappealing later in life,” says Dr. Broumand. “Patients come in all the time and say that they’ve tried everything to get the area back to where it once was, and often times this is completely true. Sometimes exercise and diet is not enough to correct the issues.”
The standard abdominoplasty, commonly know as a tummy tuck, is a procedure aimed to repair the muscles of the midsection, where the problem truly lies. A common misconception about the tummy tuck is that the procedure is a bariatric, or weight-loss, procedure. “In actuality, the best case scenario and the best results comes from people who show up at my office having done everything possible to repair it themselves. They’ve exercised, followed strict diets, yet they’re still not getting the results they want,” notes Broumand. “In order to fully rejuvenate the area, the underlying muscles have to be addressed; exercising alone will not tighten the muscles back to where they once were.”
Not Your Mother’s Tummy Tuck
While the tummy tuck procedure has found success at rejuvenating the midsection, modern plastic surgery has expanded the tummy tuck into a variety of procedures that are tailor-made for the individual patient. “This is not your mother’s tummy tuck,” says Broumand. “When you come into my office, we will assess your needs on a personal basis. Have a little extra fat near your hips? OK, we can do a bit of liposuction in addition to your tummy tuck. Need to fix up your belly button? There is a wealth of science regarding belly button repair; we can fix it! Relatively thin? We can perform a modified tummy tuck that is not quite as extensive, but will be perfectly suited to your body type.”
Three main types of tummy tucks are the current norm for rejuvenating a struggling midsection.
- Full Tummy Tuck: The entire midsection, from the ribs to below the belly button, is corrected by tightening the muscles. Liposuction may or may not be done to eliminate pockets of fat. The scar resides right below the pant-line and is of moderate size.
- Modified Tummy Tuck: Again, the entire midsection is corrected, but the procedure is aimed at thinner patients who do not require a full abdominoplasty. Also, the scar is shorter and smaller, due to the fact that a thin person requires less of an invasive procedure to meet their and the surgeon’s goals.
- Mini Tummy Tuck: This type of abdominoplasty is aimed for those patients whose upper/middle midsection is in good shape, i.e. the muscles are intact and do not require tightening. In this procedure, the lower abdomen is addressed specifically, tightening the muscles in the area and leading, again, to a smaller scar that can be hidden well below the waist line.
The Best Results Come From a Customized Procedure for You
Body shape, size, how stretched the muscles are and your ultimate goals, all combine to give your surgeon the road map to get your abdomen back to where it used to be. While any surgeon has the tools to perform the procedure, only with a board certified surgeon will you get a procedure tailored to your own specific needs that can be handled with precision. “With our approach to your specific abdominal wall, we can make you look drastically better,” says Dr. Broumand. “You don’t have to accept a midsection that bothers you and lowers your self esteem.”