What is Abdominoplasty, or Abdominal Wall Surgery?

Abdominoplasty, or abdominal wall surgery, is a surgical procedure. It's not only aesthetic, but is also used as part of health treatments. Those who benefit the most are usually those who have undergone a process of considerable weight loss.
What is Abdominoplasty, or Abdominal Wall Surgery?
Leonardo Biolatto

Written and verified by the doctor Leonardo Biolatto.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Abdominoplasty, or abdominal wall surgery, is a surgery that has been gaining momentum and becoming more and more well known in recent years. Although most people think that it is a procedure that contributes to weight loss, that’s not the case.

We also know this surgical procedure as abdominal plastic surgery. It consists of removing excess skin from this part of the body, which is usually necessary for people who’ve experienced sudden weight changes.

In addition to removing excess flaccid skin, abdominoplasty can serve to remove some of the abdominal fat. Even to correct the abdominal muscles, which may also be more flabby than normal.

It’s one of the most in-demand surgeries these days. It helps not only aesthetically, but also improves a person’s self-esteem.

Therefore, in this article, we’ll explain what an abdominoplasty is and why it’s performed.

What is abdominal wall surgery?

When we suffer sudden weight changes – both large increases and losses – it can alter the skin due to excessive stretching. This causes it to lose elasticity and not recover its natural shape, becoming flaccid and stretched out.

So, abdominal wall surgery involves removing this excess skin to achieve a flatter and firmer abdomen. In addition, it also corrects excess abdominal fat and muscle flaccidity that accompanies these alterations.

There are different types of abdominal surgery, among which are the traditional type and mini-abdominoplasty. Traditional abdominoplasty requires general anesthesia and a hospital stay of several days. It lasts between 2 and 6 hours and involves a larger incision.

On the other hand, doctors perform mini-abdominoplasty when only the area below the navel requires treatment. It’s a simpler and shorter procedure. The incision is smaller and so is the recovery time. Recover is also easier than in the case of traditional abdominal wall surgery.

Excess belly fat.
An abdomen that remains flabby after a sudden weight change can be solved with a tummy tuck.

Who gets abdominal wall surgery?

Although it’s thought that abdominoplasty is a surgery that helps in weight loss, that’s not its main objective. In fact, it’s performed on people who are slim but have an excess of skin in the area. Also, when there is an excess of fat that doesn’t improve with diet or exercise.

The first candidates for this surgery are women who’ve had several pregnancies. This is because, after several pregnancies, sometimes the skin and muscles of the abdomen fail to regain their initial shape.

Ideally, if it’s performed, for this reason, the woman shouldn’t become pregnant again. If the skin and muscles that have become distended are corrected, when a new pregnancy occurs, they may stretch too much again, making the surgery pointless.

Another group that can benefit from abdominoplasty is people with obesity who’ve lost a lot of weight. In these cases, it’s common for the skin to hang down and may even weigh many pounds on its own.

A woman who's had various pregnancy and is going to have tummy tuck.

You may be interested in: Discover Strategies to Fight Obesity

What should be taken into account?

This procedure is very useful. After all, in addition to fixing an aesthetic problem, it can notably help to improve the person’s self-esteem. It’ll also improve the individual’s comfort, considering that major excess skin can be quite a burden.

However, we can’t forget that it’s a surgical procedure. Therefore, it’s not risk-free. First of all, it’s important to understand that the remaining scar will surely be very visible. It’s a large incision that can modify the position of the navel.

In addition, as in any other surgical procedure, there’s a risk of infection or poor healing. There are also risks regarding the use of anesthesia. What’s more, there’s even the possibility of altering the sensitivity of the area.

Finally, it’s essential to know that, before performing abdominoplasty, it’s best to keep your weight stable for at least six months. For all these reasons, you should be properly informed and your doctor’s the one who should help you make the decision.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.