Patients often ask if liposuction will create a flat abdomen or tummy. Only after a physical exam can this topic be discussed accurately and thoroughly. The abdominal wall has many layers. Each of these layers contributes to the structure of the abdominal wall.
If you stand up straight in front of a mirror, shoulders back from the infra memory crease – that area beneath your breasts – down to just above the pubic hair – and from side to side, this is the anatomic area of the abdominal wall. If a person is overweight, most likely the internal organs of the body will be slightly overweight in and of themselves. These organs along with the fatty apron inside of the body will contribute to the convexity or the outward curvature of the abdominal wall.
Starting from the skin and working our way inward we encounter a fatty layer – which consists of various thickness depending upon the person’s body fat composition and overall structure. Under this fatty layer are multiple abdominal muscles. This muscle system also contributes to the outward curvature of the abdominal wall. Once we get under the muscle layer we are now inside of the body.
As plastic surgeons, we can remove significant amounts of skin and fat – as well as tighten muscle layers.
We cannot go inside of the abdominal wall and the dress the in trough abdominal fat. Liposuction is a treatment that only removes large quantities of fatty tissue in a minimally artistic fashion. In most instances – where the patient selection is appropriate – good results can be obtained. It will not, however, create the flattest abdominal wall. It will reduce the volume of fat – not address the skin – and certainly not tighten the muscles. The appearance of the abdomen is oftentimes a measure of overall physical fitness. The best way to address excess body fat is to engage in the new lifestyle committed to moderate caloric intake and significant muscle strengthening and cardiovascular challenge.
Again – liposuction can be a good tool – but it just suctions fat away – does not deal with skin nor muscle.
THOMAS P. TREVISANI MD
BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON