Yes, a Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty can certainly narrow your waistline. Tummy Tuck surgery, when done well, can smooth contours for a leaner look or thinner waist along with creating a flatter tummy. This depends somewhat on your body and your aesthetic needs.
Panniculectomy refers to the removal of a pannus or simple excision of excess, overhanging abdominal skin. Although this is an important component of abdominoplasty procedures, this intervention alone will not have much effect on your waistline as it typically addresses the front of the abdomen and does not deal with fat removal at all. If a patient were to expect dramatic reshaping results from a Panniculectomy, they may find themselves disappointed.
A cosmetic Tummy Tuck will involve much more than just skin removal. When an experienced Plastic Surgeon plans to reshape, repair and artfully transform your abdominal area, they will be looking at a few key areas. The “muffin top” or flanks are the sides of your waist just above the hips where fat deposits tend to collect and protrude over the waistline of clothing. Both men and women can have issues with this area and supplementary liposuction of the whole abdomen and sides is usually necessary to help sculpt and re-contour the waist. You may discuss adding additional areas such as back or thighs to be treated with liposuction at the time of your Tummy Tuck.
Additionally, diastasis recti can play a significant role in creating a bloated appearance and protruding belly area. When researching the benefits of a Tummy Tuck, you may hear about, “muscle repair” often performed along with a Full Abdominoplasty procedure. Lax, expanded abdominal muscles can contribute to the look of a wide waist. The thin layer of tough material which surrounds and connects our muscles is called fascia. Dramatic weight gain can stretch the fascia surrounding your abdominal muscles, and typically this is related to pregnancies. When fascia is stretched, it can retract a little but it will usually remain permanently stretched after dramatic expansion from pregnancy. For women, diastasis recti can be the result of maternal hormones softening muscle and connective tissues along with the dramatic, abdominal wall stretching which occurs during pregnancy – especially multiple pregnancies. A visible, vertical ridge or bulge along the midline of the belly can appear more prominent when flexing and exercising. This space of 2-5 cm will often allow abdominal contents to protrude and spread out the circumference of your waist, wider than it was before childbirth.
Your Plastic Surgeon will be able to assess for diastasis recti and fat distribution during an examination at your Tummy Tuck consultation. If you have these issues contributing to the look of your abdomen, it means that repair or pulling together of this space during a tummy tuck procedure will tighten and slim your waistline – drawing abdominal muscles closer together like a corset. This element of repair along with supplementary liposuction and removal of excess, bulging skin all work together to ensure a new, slimmer waistline.
Talk with your Plastic Surgeon about all your areas of concern and what you can expect from your Tummy Tuck procedure.
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