The Tummy Anatomy
Whether you’re going through with a tummy tuck or you’re just researching your options, this article will introduce you to the different types of tummy tucks, the common glossary terms, and the anatomy of the tummy (abdominal) wall.
Tummy Tucks are one of the most popular procedures our surgeons perform. Patients often want to get rid of that persistent and annoying belly bulge or excess skin. Furthermore, patients often tell us they have lost confidence and don’t feel comfortable wearing swimsuits or tight-fitting clothes because it makes them feel vulnerable and they don’t want to reveal their excess fat and skin, these are natural things and you shouldn’t feel ashamed. However, you always have the choice to improve how it looks and regain that confidence.
Tummy Tuck, Extended Tummy Tuck, Abdominoplasty, Apronectomy and Fleur-De-Lis surgery are all procedures offered by our plastic surgeons to get rid of excess belly fat. Some causes of excess skin and fat include pregnancy or weight loss, as well as other health or environmental factors like medication.
What is the anatomy of the Tummy/Abdominal wall?
“Abdomen” is the medical term that refers to the belly or tummy. The abdomen is a cavity that contains different organs like the kidneys, digestive tract, liver, spleen, and more. This cavity is surrounded by the abdominal wall, which consists of several layers of connective tissue, muscles, and fat. The abdominal wall is mainly made of:
- Muscles: The abdominal wall is made of several layers of muscles. From deep muscle to superficial, they are the transverse abdominis, the internal oblique, and the external oblique. An additional muscle, the one that’s responsible for 6-packs, runs down the middle and is called the rectus abdominis. It extends from the rib cage down to the pubic bone.
- Fascia: Fascia refers to the layers of fat and connective tissue that are under the skin and in between the muscles. They attach, stabilise, enclose, and separate muscles and other internal organs. This can be weakened by pregnancy, excess weight gain or other surgery. When we talk about excess belly/tummy fat we are referring mainly to subcutaneous fat (the fat that’s directly under your tummy’s skin). Many times, it’s persistent and does not go sway with a simple diet and exercise.
Visceral fat is the fat within the abdominal cavity and is in between organs like the liver and intestines. A tummy tuck removes the excess fat and skin from the abdominal wall and does not tackle visceral fat at all.
What causes excess belly fat and skin?
There are several causes that might make you want to get an abdominoplasty to improve how your tummy looks:
- Childbirth through c-section
- Weight loss
- Natural genetics
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove the excess fat, tissue and skin around your belly. It involves’
- Pulling the skin tight and removing the excess skin
- This may also result in the repositioning of the belly button.
- One long incision is made along the lower border of your abdomen. In other words, along your pubic bone.
- Fortunately, this means that the scar is typically hidden.
- A qualified plastic surgeon will do your procedure.
- They will also discuss with you if you want the procedure done independently or in conjunction with other procedures. For Example a Mummy Makeover or Torso Makeover.
- We get a lot of inquiries from Mums about this surgery. This is due to the fact that many women find themselves with persistent belly fat post-pregnancy/post-childbirth.
What’s the difference between a regular tummy tuck, fleur-de-lis, and mini tummy tuck?
There are several types of abdominoplasty, with specific characteristics depending on what the patient needs. You’ve probably heard or seen the following terminology before but were unsure of the differences, we are here to clarify the differences for you.
A traditional tummy tuck is when the surgeon does an incision along the lower abdomen, near the bikini line, removing excess tissue and fat, pulling the skin taut, and closing with stitches.
Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck
This type of abdominoplasty is ideal for patients who have excessive amounts of fat and skin that a traditional tummy tuck just can’t resolve. In addition to the horizontal incision along the bikini line, another vertical incision goes up the midline, as seen in the picture to the right. Although the additional scar is unfortunate it allows the surgeon to pull the skin tighter on the sides of the abdomen and prevents bulging.
Mini tummy tuck
The scar is much smaller than that of a traditional abdominoplasty. This type of tummy tuck is perfect for mums who have just a little leftover fat and lax skin after childbirth. Unlike others, this form of tummy tuck does not include any muscle repair.
Your surgeon will assess you and discuss which type of tummy tuck they believe is best for you factoring in your tummy anatomy/body and goals.
Some important glossary related to abdominoplasty
- Abdominoplasty: Also called a tummy tuck – A surgical procedure to remove the excess fat, tissue and skin from your abdomen.
- Diastasis: Separation of the muscles, it usually happens after childbirth or excessive weight gain and is treatable during abdominoplasty.
- Liposuction: Refers to the removal of stubborn fat with the use of suction, often done in conjunction with abdominoplasty to obtain a more desirable contour.
Our surgeons are some of the top plastic surgeons in Australia. They offer surgery for the whole body from the face to the breast and body. We also offer a range of non-surgical skin and scarring treatments too. So, if you want to learn more about Tummy Anatomy or what procedure might be best for you, call us to set up an appointment with one of our surgeons or to learn more about what we can do to help!