Mild abdominal laxity

The ideal abdominal contour is that of taut abdominal skin with a thin layer of subcutaneous fat and a well-toned muscle wall. In women, the ideal abdominal contour is one that is maximally tapered at the waist at the level of the umbilicus, smoothly transitioning from the chest to the abdomen and then on to the thighs, also commonly known as the hourglass figure.

There are many complementary procedures that enhance a female’s silhouette, these include breast augmentation, breast lift, and liposuction, and help them restore their pre-pregnancy body. These are collectively known as “mummy makeover” procedures.

How Does It Manifest?

Mild abdominal laxity manifests as excess skin in the lower abdomen. This skin sometimes drapes downwards and outwards over the undergarments or clothes, resulting in a “muffin top”. The skin may develop striae (stretch marks). There are often areas of persistent fat deposits despite weight loss. Men tend to deposit fat in the flanks (“love handles”) and the lower abdomen. In contrast, women tend to have deposits in the side boobs, inner arms, hips, thighs, and lower abdomen. There is often a generalized lower abdominal bulge, even if the individual is of normal weight. Individuals may be distressed with these findings and may adversely affect body image, self-confidence and social functioning.

Mild Abdominal Laxity - Mini Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) in Singapore

How does it arise?

The common causes of abdominal laxity are weight loss, following pregnancy or advancing age. Anatomical changes develop at the different layers in the abdomen. Previous obesity or pregnancy causes stretching and thinning of the skin and results in striae (stretch marks). There are areas of persistent fat deposits due to changes in adipocyte (fat storage cells) metabolism that render them resistant to weight loss. The lower abdominal muscle wall is irreversibly stretched by previous pregnancy or obesity, and results in generalized abdominal muscle weakness and bulge that persists even after returning to normal weight. The vertical rectus abdominis muscles, a pair of abdominal muscles that lie in the midline, may become horizontally separated (rectus diastasis) and contribute to the muscle bulge.

 

Mini tummy tuck | Mini abdominoplasty

The mini abdominoplasty addresses the changes in the different anatomical layers involved in lower abdominal laxity. It removes excess skin, tightens the abdominal wall muscle and restores the body silhouette through a small and concealed incision in the pubic region. It produces exquisite, bespoke and sustained results for lower abdominal rejuvenation. Successful reversal of these anatomical changes helps individuals restore their self-confidence and social functioning. The mini-abdominoplasty is performed as an ambulatory procedure under intravenous sedation or short general anaesthesia.

The following are good candidates for mini abdominoplasty:

  • Stable weight for at least 3 months and normal or near-normal BMI
  • Abdominal bulge and/or skin excess limited to the lower abdomen
  • Individuals with suboptimal results from previous non-surgical treatment(s), including fat freezing (cryolipolysis) and external lipolysis procedures

The mini abdominoplasty improves the body silhouette using short and well-concealed abdominal scars that are hidden within the underwear or swimwear. The excess skin folds are removed to recreate taut abdominal skin covering the muscle, including excision of striae in the lower abdomen. Abdominal muscle wall tightening is performed which recreates tapered waists that accentuate the chest and hip contours.

Individuals are advised to stop herbal supplements and traditional medicine 7 days prior to surgery to minimize bruising and swelling.

The excess skin and fat and proposed scar is marked out preoperatively. The design is individualized to ensure optimal results. A short incision is performed within the bikini line, and the skin and subcutaneous fat lifted off the abdominal muscle wall up to the level of the umbilicus. The abdominal muscles are tightened, and the excess skin and fat excised. The optimal amount of skin and fat to be excised is a fine art: sufficient to restore an aesthetic contour, yet within appropriate limits to avoid excessive wound tension and complications. Additional proprietary techniques are used to further bring in the waistline, and the wound is closed meticulously for optimal postoperative outcome.

Mild swelling and bruising is expected, which will mostly resolve by the 10th postoperative day. Many individuals are able to resume work after the 7th postoperative day.

Stitch removal is unnecessary as the stitches used are self-dissolving. Showering is possible from the 2nd postoperative day onwards. Scar management is commenced two weeks after surgery to optimize wound healing. Individuals may return to their regular exercise routines 3 weeks post surgery. An abdominal binder is used for a month postoperatively to protect the underlying muscle tightening and repair and prevent recurrent abdominal bulge.

Complementary procedures | Mummy makeover

Females tend to develop multiple shallow forehead wrinkles, whereas men have few but deep forehead wrinkles. This is due to inherent anatomical differences in the muscle structure: women tend to have thinner and weaker forehead muscles, whereas men tend to have thicker and stronger muscles. These anatomical differences affect treatment planning between the two genders.