If you've lost a lot of weight that you used to carry in your abdominal area, you may need reconstructive surgery to restore the appearance of your abdomen and repair torn muscles in the area. Sometimes, abdominal reconstruction is necessary for medical reasons and other times you may want the surgery to improve your physical appearance. Here are some things to discuss with reconstructive surgeons.
Panniculectomy To Remove Excess Abdominal Tissue
When you lose a lot of weight, the skin and excess tissue that remains over your abdomen can hang down and form an apron over your upper thighs. The panniculectomy procedure removes this excess skin and tissue so your abdomen has a flatter appearance. However, this type of surgery is often needed for medical reasons rather than cosmetic. An apron can cause back pain and the skin under it can become sore and infected due to moisture problems. The apron can interfere with your ability to be active and mobile, so removing it can be a benefit to your physical and mental health.
This surgery involves making incisions over your abdomen to cut out excess tissue and skin. Then, the skin is pulled tight and sutured together. It may be necessary to re-position your belly button when the skin is moved. This surgery is usually done once you're at a stable weight since losing or gaining can affect the abdominal apron and the results of the operation.
Abdominal Wall Reconstruction To Tighten Muscles
A panniculectomy procedure by itself doesn't address the abdominal muscles. However, abdominal reconstruction might be done at the same time. This could involve a tummy tuck procedure that tightens muscles or repair of torn muscles from a hernia. A hernia is a possible complication of carrying too much weight in your abdomen. Once you've lost weight, your doctor may recommend you have hernia repair surgery. In the case of a complex hernia, reconstruction with surgical mesh might be necessary.
The result of skin removal and muscle repair surgery on your abdomen results in a more normal body shape with a flatter abdominal area. You may even notice an improvement in your stretch marks since some of them may be removed along with the skin that's taken off. The improvement in your shape eliminates annoying and potentially serious problems with an abdominal apron, and the improvements can boost your self-confidence and make the months of sticking to a diet or going through weight loss surgery seem worthwhile.
It can be disheartening to lose a lot of weight and still have an undesirable shape due to excess skin and damaged muscles in your abdomen. Reconstructive surgery could be the solution when diet and exercise can't improve your condition.