Tummy Tuck, anyone?

Who is a good candidate for an abdominoplasty? Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck , is a very popular operation for improving the contour and look of the abdomen. Many women I talk to express dissatisfaction with the look of their abdomen. They often tell me they work hard to stay fit and watch what they eat but can not seem to get the abdominal contour that they desire.

The most frequent factor that tummy tuck patients share is a history of pregnancies. As wonderful as having a child is, pregnancy often creates a change in the abdominal wall that is not reversible. Even when a woman returns to her pre-pregnancy weight there are usually some focal deposits of fatty tissue in the central abdomen that seem to be resistant to slimming efforts. When coupled with the presence of stretch marks this can lead to a lack of pleasing contour of the abdomen.

When a patient and I discuss abdominoplasty, I explain that there are three components that comprise the problem area. These are the skin, muscle, and fat. Abdominoplasty can address all three areas to some extent, through removal of some excess skin, tightening of the muscle layer, and removal of excess fatty deposits.

The muscle layer is actually made up of not only muscle but a tough substance called fascia as well. The fascia is the part that stretches out during pregnancy and can be tightened surgically to give a flatter abdomen.


Here I tighten the fascia during an abdominoplasty. You can see the gap close as I tighten the suture.


To finally answer the original question… who is a good candidate for abdominoplasty? A woman who is fit, active and able to maintain a healthy weight. In addition she must be a non smoker. The best candidates are those who have done all the hard work of controlling dietary intake and ensuring regular activity, who are happy with how they look but would like a flatter abdomen.