If you’ve had children or if you’ve put on a good deal of weight and then lost it, you likely have a pooch. No, not the kind you have to walk every day, the sagging skin that creates a pooch on your lower abdomen. And no matter how many crunches you do, it doesn’t change.
That’s because the skin and muscle have both been stretched to such a degree that they can’t return to their former degree of tautness. In most of these cases, in fact, the muscles have become separated.
Would a tummy tuck help me?
Tummy tucks are often something that mothers seek, as their once-slimmer contours have changed due to the changes created by pregnancy. But, in reality, many people could benefit from at least some degree of a tummy tuck. Part of this is simple aging. As we age, the muscles and other tissue on our abdomen just aren’t as strong and tight as they were in our youth. If loose, sagging skin is your problem, a tummy tuck could be an excellent procedure for you.
Different types of tummy tucks
A tummy tuck is clinically known as “abdominoplasty.” Dr. Gurley uses one of three methods for these procedures.
- Mini tummy tuck— A mini tummy tuck involves very small incisions, so the procedure is sometimes called a “scar-less tummy tuck.” It is intended for patients who are fit but have a stubborn muffin top that won’t respond to exercise. The focus of the procedure extends from the lower abdomen to the navel.
- Standard tummy tuck— A standard tummy tuck removes more skin and tissue. The incision is long, usually running from hipbone to hipbone just above the pubic area. This scar can be hidden beneath a bikini bottom or underwear. Once she has made the incision, Dr. Gurley separates the skin from the abdominal muscles, which she then pulls together and stitches into place for a narrower, contoured waist. Next, she takes the skin flap and stretches it downward over the newly tightened muscles. Excess skin is trimmed and the skin re-attached.
- A standard tummy tuck often also includes a second incision at the navel area to address sagging skin above the navel. Dr. Gurley includes liposuction in many of these procedures to remove pockets of fat.
- Extended tummy tuck— If the patient has sagging beyond the abdomen, extending to the flanks and back, Dr. Gurley may use an extended procedure. Here, the incision will extend beyond the hipbone around the flanks and end somewhere on the back.