Body Contouring Of The Abdomen - What Makes A Tummy Bulge?

Patients schedule an initial consultation for body contouring surgery because they are unhappy with their shape and proportion, usually in the form of a tummy bulge, love handles or a muffin top. The first step to a better shape is to determine the underlying problem by performing an evaluation of the abdomen. Fat, tummy muscle position, skin quality, and belly button shape all need to be assessed to determine the procedures that will give the patient the best results.
Fat - Excess fat is the most common reason that people have abdominal contouring performed. Fat may either be superficial or deep. Superficial fat is fat that is between the skin and the tummy muscles. Deep fat is fat located deep to the tummy muscles and is around the internal organs. Superficial fat can be removed and shaped, while the deep fat cannot. Determining the location of abdominal fat is a key indicator in predicting results from body contouring.
Muscle Position - The front of the tummy has a pair of abdominal muscles know as the rectus abdominis muscles. A band joins the two muscles in the center of the abdomen. This band has no elasticity, so when it is stretched a gap occurs between the two tummy muscles. This gap is known as the diastasis recti. Pregnancy and weight gain are the most common causes of diastasis recti. The abdominal bulge after pregnancy occurs not because the tummy muscles are weak; they are just in the wrong position. Repositioning of the tummy muscles by tightening the gap between them results in a flatter tummy and is a key component in a tummy tuck.
Skin - Both the elasticity of the skin as well as skin excess need to be addressed to determine the best body contouring procedure to perform. Hanging skin with stretch marks will usually not tighten after liposuction is performed and the excess skin would need to be removed. However, skin that is not excessively loose, has few stretch marks, and good elasticity would contour well with liposuction alone.
Umbilicus - The navel is another feature of the abdomen that should be evaluated during a consultation for abdominal contouring. If the belly button protrudes (an outie) or if a hernia is present, the navel may be repaired during an abdominoplasty. Alternatively, an umbilicoplasty can be performed if only the belly button needs to be reshaped.
The most common Plastic Surgery procedure performed on men and women is body contouring. Body contouring includes procedures such as liposuction, liposculpture, and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). The abdomen is the area of the body that is most frequently shaped. Determining the cause of the tummy bulge will assist the plastic surgeon to present the procedure that will give the best result to the patient.