Who is a candidate for cosmetic abdominal surgery?

tummy tuck (abdominoplasty); body lift; lower body lift; belt lipectomyPatients frequently present to me with complaints about their abdominal contour.  The female patients that I see frequently fall into one of three categories:

1) The nulliparous patient (who has never been pregnant) who has had either a slow down in their metabolism as they have aged, or a slight gain in their weight. These patients generally have good muscle tone to the abdominal wall but have distinct pockets of fat along the abdomen, hips and flanks. These patients frequently are excellent candidates for liposuction of these troublesome areas along the torso.

2) Mothers (particularly following multiple pregnancies and twin pregnancies) frequently develop severe laxity of the abdominal wall muscles (diastasis rectus), umbilical hernias, excess fat deposition (lipodystrophy) of the hips and flanks, scarring (from C-sections) and excess stretched out or hanging skin. These patients are often great candidates for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), umbilical hernia repair (when present), and liposuction of any localized fat pockets.

3) Massive weight loss patients have skin that behaves very differently than non-massive weight loss patients and therefore almost always require abdominal contouring to some degree. Since patients who lose a massive amount of weight (either through surgical weight loss such as gastric bypass or lap band, or through diet modification and exercise) tend to lose fat content around their entire waist and abdomen, they are commonly candidates for a lower body lift (aka belt lipectomy). This operation is similar to an abdominoplasty, except that it corrects laxity of the hips and buttocks by extending all the way around the waist and onto the lower back.

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