3 Abdominal Contouring Options After Major Weight Loss

When you lose a significant amount of weight, you will likely have some excess skin. Depending on your shape, the amount of weight you lose, and your skin elasticity, your loose skin could be minimal or severe. There are several options that might work to give you the contours you want.

Traditional Abdominoplasty

A traditional abdominoplasty (or tummy tuck) is also available in a "mini" version. Generally, people who not only have loose skin around their lower abdomen but also need their abdominal muscles tightened are best suited for an abdominoplasty. The "mini" version simply requires a smaller incision to tighten the muscles and remove excess skin, which can be ideal for people who have smaller amounts of loose skin on their lower abdomen. During an abdominoplasty, the excess skin on the lower abdomen is removed and the belly button is freed from the abdominal muscles. Once the underlying abdominal muscles are tightened, the remaining abdominal skin is pulled downward toward the pubic area and attached. An incision is made in the remaining skin to relocate the belly button.

Extended Abdominoplasty

An extended abdominoplasty is similar to the traditional version, but the goal is to reduce excess skin that might be on the sides of the abdomen (love handles). This procedure requires a larger incision that partly wraps around the waist, but can often be concealed with undergarments or most swimsuits. Another benefit of the extended abdominoplasty is it can help reduce loose skin on the upper abdomen. Many people who tend to be more apple-shaped or generally gain weight around the middle will likely have loose skin on the upper and lower abdomen after weight loss. Since there is more loose skin to remove, the procedure will require a longer incision in order for the results to look the best.

Fleur-De-Lis Abdominoplasty

The fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty is quite different than other methods because the incision runs vertically (from the breastbone toward the pubic area) and may be combined with a traditional horizontal incision. This means the resulting scar will be more noticeable, but for many people, this is trivial in comparison to having significant amounts of excess skin. Although the fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty is less common, it is ideal for situations where excess skin not only droops downward, but it also spreads out (from side to side) making you look much wider. The vertical incision allows the surgeon to remove excess skin on the upper abdomen and pull it tight across your abdomen, reducing width. This can also reduce excess skin your back, creating smoother contours.

Depending on your specific needs after significant weight loss, there are various procedures available to remove excess skin and help you achieve your ideal figure.