There are two types of cosmetic surgery for the stomach that are generally performed. The first type of stomach contouring surgery is called liposuction. A tummy tuck is the second common type of cosmetic surgery for the stomach. Both procedures are designed to help restore a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Liposuction — one common type of cosmetic surgery for the stomach — is a minor surgical procedure that only removes excess fat from various areas of the body, including the abdomen. The cosmetic procedure involves making small incisions in the navel area, after which a long thin tube called a cannula is inserted. Once the cannula is in place, the tube is attached to a fat-sucking vacuum. A cosmetic surgeon will then strategically move the cannula to the areas were fat loss is desired, sculpting the area for a more streamlined appearance. In most cases, this type of liposuction takes about one to two hours.
Fat cell removal performed by liposuction is thought to be permanent; however, if weight is gained, the remaining fat cells in the body will enlarge. While liposuction is an effective fat removal technique, it is not for everyone. Generally, the best liposuction candidates are healthy individuals who have good skin tone and elasticity; otherwise, liposuction can exacerbate loose skin.
Side effects of liposuction include scarring, dimpling and localized post-operative trauma. Scarring from liposuction is usually minor, about the length of a small scratch. Dimpling is a result of uneven fat removal, where one area has less or more fat than another. Localized post-operative trauma, such as bruising, swelling and soreness, is expected and should be short-lived. Barring any further complications, bruising, swelling and soreness generally completely subside in two to three months after the procedure was performed.
An abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is another type of cosmetic surgery for the stomach that removes excess fat along with loose skin. A tummy tuck is similar to liposuction, except the cosmetic procedure tightens the skin around the abdominal area as well. The surgical procedure consists of a large horizontal incision below the navel, allowing the surgeon to remove excess abdominal fat and repair underlying muscle. After the fat is removed and muscle correction is complete, any remaining excess abdominal skin will be pulled downward and removed.
Those who have given birth or have lost large amounts of fat within a short period of time usually benefit from cosmetic surgery for the stomach. Rapid weight loss has a tendency to reduce the elasticity in the skin, making it loose or saggy. Not only can a tummy tuck result in smoother and firmer skin, the procedure also restores weakened or separated stomach muscles.
Due to the complicated nature of a tummy tuck, side effects will usually be more serious as compared to liposuction. One of the most common side effects of a tummy tuck is prominent scarring. As a result of the surgery, a large horizontal scar will be visible just below the navel; this is much more noticeable than the small one associated with liposuction. Other side effects include infection, bleeding and blood clot formation.