About Body Contouring

All About Abdomen and Waist Contouring

After childbirth and weight loss, various deformations occur in the abdominal area and waist line. Some of them are regional fat accumulation, loosening and cambering of the abdominal muscles, and sagging of the abdominal skin.

Body contouring procedures, also known as abdomen and waist contouring, are performed to eliminate these aesthetic problems. The primary ones among these are abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), waist line contouring, and liposuction.  Before mentioning about these surgical procedures, I’d like to discuss non-surgical alternatives.

Non-Surgical Abdomen and Waist Contouring

Weight Loss: Remember that losing weight is the healthiest and cheapest way to achieve this goal. If you have a BMI higher than normal, none of the surgical or non-surgical procedures discussed below are appropriate for you. Plastic surgery procedures, such as abdominoplasty and liposuction are not a weight loss method. In such aesthetic procedures performed on obese people, the risk of complications is higher and it is difficult to achieve a successful aesthetic result.

Although your BMI is within normal limits, you may still have regional fat accumulation in the abdomen and waist. In such a case, you can consider other regional slimming procedures.

Exercise: When done under the supervision of experts, regular sports and exercise programs, such as pilates, are extremely helpful in this regard. Exercise helps regional slimming, tightens the abdominal muscles, and also improves your psychological state to a significant extent.

Regional Slimming Devices: Hot, cold, ultrasonic waves, radiofrequency waves, or laser beams can be applied through the skin, with no subcutaneous penetration. There are devices intended to break down the fat cells beneath the skin (lipolysis) and tighten the skin’s connective tissues. Cold lipolysis, “Exilis Elite,” and “SculpSure” are examples of these.

When performed under the supervision of a physician who is fully aware of the device’s features, it is possible to achieve some weakening and tightening in mild cases. However, since various outcomes have been reported, the efficacy of such devices and the persistence of their effect are highly debatable. Skin sagging; on the other hand, may become more noticeable in people with loose abdominal skin because the skin will not be able to shrink enough as the subcutaneous fat tissue melts.

Chemical Lipolysis- Mesotherapy: It is a procedure in which substances such as phosphatidylcholine, deoxycholate, or others are injected into subcutaneous adipose tissue with the goal of breaking down fat cells and allowing them to be absorbed and discharged by the body.

Laser Lipolysis: As explained above, lipolysis procedure that uses a laser beam delivered by a device that is only applied to the skin is called “Noninvasive laser lipolysis”. In the procedure called “minimally invasive laser lipolysis”, on the other hand, a thin laser probe is inserted into the subcutaneous adipose tissue area through a 1-2 mm incision made on the skin under local anesthesia, and then the laser beam applied through this probe heats and melts the fat cells in a controlled manner.

In this procedure, the heated melted fat cells are not removed; instead, they are allowed to be absorbed and discharged by the body. A single session can involves a quite limited area.

Aesthetic Surgery Procedures

Aesthetic surgical procedures such as abdominoplasty and liposuction performed to contour the abdomen and waist provide the most effective and permanent results in eliminating regional excess fat and skin sagging in the abdomen and waist region, as well tightening loose abdominal muscles. I’d like to emphasize once again that such surgical interventions are not weight-loss methods. Before such surgeries, patients should get down to a weight that can be considered to be within normal limits. Candidates should also not have any physical or mental health problems.

Before the abdomen and waist contouring operation, you are evaluated to see if you are a suitable candidate for plastic surgery procedures, and if you are suitable, the best procedure for you is determined.

Which Surgical Procedure Is Most Appropriate for Abdomen and Waist Contouring?

When determining which aesthetic procedure is more suitable, many factors are taken into account. The nature of fat accumulation in the abdomen and waist area is analyzed, and the best surgical procedure is determined accordingly. The tightness (elasticity) of the skin in this area and the degree and location of skin sagging are evaluated.  The degree of abdominal muscular laxity is taken into account.

There Is No Sagging Abdominal Skin, But There Is Regional Fat Accumulation: Liposuction is the first preferred procedure in cases where the skin of the abdomen and waist area is not too loose and saggy, but there is regional fat accumulation. In this procedure, excess fat tissue is vacuumed out of the body using thin cannulas inserted through small incisions made on the skin. In this way, the number of fat cells in these areas is reduced permanently. Even if the patient regains weight, the number of cells does not increase.

Compared to non-surgical lipolysis methods, liposuction can involve more regions and remove more fat in a single session. With the help of the corset is put on the patient after the operation, skin tightening and regional tightening is achieved. In addition to the traditional liposuction technique, there are also liposuction techniques that involve the use of laser or ultrasonic waves. You can find detailed information about the liposuction procedure under the heading “body contouring” in the main menu of my website.

Sagging Abdominal Skin And Laxity Of The Abdominal Muscles Are Prominent: Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) tightens the abdominal muscles and flattens the abdomen by removing excess skin. If the sagging abdominal skin covers both the upper and lower regions of the abdomen, a full abdominoplasty (full tummy tuck) operation is performed. The belly button is reconstructed in this procedure. Particularly in cases where the excess abdominal skin is limited to the underbelly region, the mini abdominoplasty (mini tummy tuck) procedure is a more appropriate solution. Abdomen and waist contouring is not a standard procedure that involves the use of various surgical techniques depending on the size and location of the deformation.

In this procedure, only the muscles under the navel are tightened and the excess skin is removed by making a shorter incision. You can find detailed information about the abdominoplasty procedure under the heading “body contouring” in the main menu of my website.

There Is Sagging Abdominal Skin And Regional Fat Accumulation: If there is localized fat accumulation in the waist areas in addition to sagging abdominal muscles, liposuction is performed in conjunction with abdominoplasty. If the excess skin is only in the lower part of the belly, liposuction can be performed in addition to mini abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) in the same session.

There Is Sagging Abdominal Skin With Fat Accumulation: In such a case, two different paths can be followed. One of these is the removal of excess skin by performing the abdominoplasty procedure, followed by liposuction intended for sliming the remaining abdominal skin in the same session. The other approach is to first perform the abdominoplasty procedure and then, after the abdominal skin has healed, perform the liposuction on this area within the scope of a second operation.

In such a case, the aesthetic plastic surgeon’s experience and personal preference are of critical importance because the risk of complications increases when both liposuction and abdominoplasty are performed on the abdominal skin at the same session.

What is the best season for abdominoplasty and liposuction?

It is necessary to wear a corset for a period of 4 to 6 weeks in the recovery period after both surgical procedures. It is generally recommended to have these surgeries before the summer season, because summer is a busy time in terms of sports activities and the corset increases sweating in hot weather. However, if desired, these surgeries can also be performed in the summer.


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