Getting A Tummy Tuck After Extreme Weight Loss: What You Need To Know

Many clinically and morbidly obese patients decide that after losing a significant amount of weight, they have sagging tummies and loose flesh that they would like addressed through plastic surgery. If you have gone through some extreme weight loss and would now like a little plastic surgery to reshape your body, a tummy tuck may be in order. Here is what to expect, since your procedure may be slightly different than that of someone who has not lost an enormous amount of weight.

Dealing with Belly Fat and Abdominal Fat

In your abdomen, there are two kinds of fat. The first is the kind of belly fat that builds up over the abdominal muscles and creates the large folds of skin that come with obesity. The second type is abdominal cavity fat. Abdominal cavity fat surrounds your intestines, stomach and other abdominal organs. (It lies behind your abdominal muscles and can cause your belly to have that pouch-y look.) It is present to keep your organs warm and functioning, but this kind of fat can build up too when you gain a lot of weight. Both types of fat need to be addressed prior to a tummy tuck or during your tummy tuck procedure.

Removing Excess Skin and Fat

Prior to your tummy tuck or during the same surgical procedure, your surgeon will excise some of the excess skin from your abdomen. Some fat will need to be removed from in front of the abdominal muscles so that the surgeon can get to the muscles and sew them up tighter. If there is excess fat behind the muscles, your surgeon may need to use a little liposuction to remove this as well so that when the abdominal muscles are tightened and sewn into position the excess fat behind them does not cause your muscles to stretch or pouch outward.

This is why many people have a little liposuction at the same time as their tummy tuck. In the case of someone who has gone through extreme weight loss it may come strongly recommended because there is still some fat hiding behind the loose skin and possibly behind the muscles too. With the excess skin and excess fat removed, the surgeon can pull the muscles and the overlying skin taught, creating the appearance of a flatter, smoother stomach.

Repositioning Your Navel

In morbidly obese patients as well as women who have given birth more than once, the navel (or belly button) often starts to sink southward. After a significant amount of weight has been lost or the female patients are done with child birthing, the navel may still hang quite low and may even be misaligned with the center of the body giving your torso a lop-sided appearance. When your surgeon removes excess skin and fat, and tightens everything up, he or she may also decide to reposition your navel and bring it up higher and in line with the center of your body. This small procedure makes a big difference in your post-surgery appearance and it does not take that much more time to do when your surgeon already has your abdomen open for your other procedures. Contact a business, such as the Laufer Institute of Plastic Surgery, for more information.