Do you work hard to keep your body fit and healthy, but still look in the mirror and wonder, “what happened to my waist?” A round, sagging belly—and resulting lack of a waistline—is a common source of frustration for women after childbearing or weight loss.
It’s also one of the most common reasons that patients choose to have tummy tuck surgery, and for good reason—a tummy tuck can tighten loose abdominal muscles and remove excess, sagging skin to achieve a firmer, flatter belly. And yes, when performed by an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon, a tummy tuck can give you a waist again.
A skilled plastic surgeon can enhance your natural proportions, not only achieving a more noticeable “hourglass” shape with a tummy tuck, but also helping your breasts and buttocks look fuller.
There are several techniques that a skilled plastic surgeon can use to accentuate your natural curves and create a more aesthetically pleasing silhouette with a tummy tuck:
Sculpting the surrounding areas with liposuction
A tummy tuck alone will remove excess skin and firm the front of the abdomen, but will do little to address fat deposits, especially those on the sides, hips or back. By combining liposuction with a tummy tuck, a plastic surgeon can selectively remove fat from the hips, flanks, thighs, and/or lower back to sculpt a beautiful shape to the entire torso and enhance the definition of a patient’s waist.
Applying a specialized suturing pattern
During a standard tummy tuck, the abdominal muscles are tightened by placing permanent sutures along the fascia (connective tissue) that surround and connect the two rectus abdominus muscles, which run lengthwise on either side of your belly. Doing so helps to repair muscular separation and creates a flatter abdominal profile. By adding a layer of sutures laterally in the fascia, across the waist, a plastic surgeon can help gently coax the muscles to hold a more hourglass-like shape.
Both of these procedure techniques can dramatically enhance body proportions, not only helping to create a more noticeable “hourglass” shape, but also helping your breasts and buttocks look a little fuller in comparison, without any additional procedures.
Your natural proportions factor into your final shape after a tummy tuck
Even the best plastic surgery cannot change your natural anatomy; in fact, one mark of a skilled plastic surgeon is the ability to respect and work with a patient’s existing proportions to enhance her natural beauty. An expertly performed tummy tuck can accentuate your curves and sculpt a better-defined waistline, but don’t expect the procedure to make you look like Jessica Rabbit if you naturally have a straight-as-a-stick silhouette.
In general, patients who have adequate distance between their rib cage and pelvis, as well as those who were curvier prior to pregnancy, can expect to have an hourglass shape restored to a greater degree than those who are short-waisted or who have always had a more straight body shape. Additionally, an hourglass-like shape is usually easier to achieve for patients who are close to their ideal body weight, yet not overly thin, before tummy tuck surgery.
If you desire more dramatic curves than a tummy tuck can achieve, you may consider having breast augmentation as well to give your silhouette an additional boost.
Curious how a tummy tuck can enhance your curves? Ask an experienced plastic surgeon.
The best way to learn what a tummy tuck can do for you is to meet with an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon for a consultation. If you are in western Maryland, we invite you to contact us for a consultation with Dr. Henry Garazo. Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Garazo has over 20 years of experience in abdominoplasty. He will be happy to discuss your concerns and help you understand what results you might expect from a tummy tuck based on your goals and anatomy.