Patients with loose skin on their stomach suffer from a very common condition, specifically excess loose skin of the abdomen that may or may not have stretch marks, excess fat and loose tummy muscles. The cause for loose tummy skin is usually childbearing and childbirth. During the pregnancy the baby expands the tummy skin beyond which the elastic recoil potential that the tummy skin will allow and there is damage to the elastic fibers resulting in excessive skin laxity.
Loose skin is particularly common above the belly button and just above the pubic line. If the skin is stretched too much there will be actual tears in the soft tissue matrix of the skin resulting in stretch marks. Stretch marks are white, silvery, soft, wide displeasing lines on the skin that can be a source of aesthetic concern. Additionally, during childbearing the tummy muscles, called the rectus abdominus, splay apart and may never return to the midline, resulting in lack of support for internal organs which push forward leading to a bulge or “pot”.
There may also be extra fat and subcutaneous tissue under the loose skin and out towards the love handles, which may contribute to a cosmetically unattractive tummy contour. Other causes for loose tummy skin include excessive weight loss and weight gain and normal aging.
The most common treatment for loose abdominal skin is a mini tummy tuck or standard tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty.
The procedures aim to remove all the loose skin and improve the appearance of the stretch marks, unwanted fat and tighten the internal muscles. A tummy tuck can deliver a very nice abdominal contour for properly selected patients. The tummy tucks are often performed under local anesthesia and sedation.
For extra left over fat, the surgeon may utilize liposuction techniques to remove the obtrusive fat, helping in tightening of the skin.
Patients can return to light activities within a few days.
Our clinic utilizes many non invasive treatments for loose tummy skin and they include a number of different lasers, radio frequency devices and infrared systems that may result in tightening of the abdominal skin. These devices can improve the quality of the skin and in lighter skin types; the fractional carbon dioxide resurfacing of the stretch marks can improve the quality.
After your non surgical body-contouring enhancement any weight gain from your non invasive treatment program can result in recurrence of the abdominal distended skin, which ultimately leads to laxity and soft tissue looseness.
Weight maintenance, exercise and once or twice yearly treatments with the Zerona laser slimming device or other skin tightening non-invasive procedures can help keep your abdominal contour intact and tight.