When most people think of having a procedure done to tighten and stretch the skin in their ab region, they immediately call to mind the tummy tuck—the popular surgery to help stretch and tighten loose, flabby skin in the lower abdomen area. No doubt, this is a classic problem zone—even if you lose a significant amount of weight—because even after your hard work to shed extra pounds, sometimes skin in the ab area can remain lax, not fitting the shape of the smaller, contoured body beneath.

But let’s not forget: many people struggle with lax, loose skin in their upper abdomen, as well. This area – the skin above the belly button, too, can remain loose after weight loss. Solution? To tighten the skin in this area, you can undergo a surgical procedure known as a Reverse Abdominoplasty.

What Does a Reverse Abdominoplasty Entail?

During a Reverse Abdominoplasty, excess, loose skin in your upper abdomen will be completely removed. This is done by making incisions just under the breast area – the inframmary fold. Only skin is tightened during this procedure—whereas for a traditional “tummy tuck” muscles undergo tightening as well.

This outpatient procedure takes about four hours and all patients receive general anesthesia. The surgeon starts by making an incision in the crease where the breast tissue meets the upper abdomen, called the inframammary fold. He or she will then removes excess skin as well as some fat deposits. Finally, the surgeon tightens the skin throughout the upper abdomen, pulling it upward, but allowing the naval to remain in place.

The recovery time may come as a surprise—generally, it’s only one week of focused recovery! Sutures are removed about five to 10 days after the surgery is completed, and patients should avoid upper body exercises for four weeks to allow the body ample time to heal and rest.

Are You a Good Candidate for Reverse Abdominoplasty?

A Reverse Abdominoplasty is a viable option to tighten the loose skin in the upper abdomen. While the surgery is outpatient and recovery time is moderate, there are several things to take into consideration when choosing to go this route. And it can’t be stressed enough: speak with a reputable, experienced surgeon when considering a procedure such as this. Because it’s less popular than many plastic surgery procedures, it’s quite important to find a knowledgeable surgeon that you’re comfortable with.

Ideal candidates include:

  • People who have lax skin in their upper abdomen. This often occurs after major weight loss. Also, some patients may see this after they undergo the regular “tummy tuck” surgery.
  • Patients in good health, who do not smoke
  • Women considering breast surgery may opt to have this procedure done, as the two surgeries can often be combined and share the same incision site
  • Women who know they are finished having children. If having a baby may be in your future, you may opt to delay this surgery for post-child birth to avoid any reversal of intended results.

If you have any questions about this or any other procedure, contact us.

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