People with adiposity, who have finally achieved their dream weight through massive weight loss, often still do not feel comfortable in their skin.
If the weight loss exceeds a certain level, an excess of skin remains after weight loss, which does not recede on its own. This problem also often occurs after pregnancy.
Those affected not only suffer from the visual appearance of flaccid skin, but health problems are also a frequent result of not being treated.
Plastic-aesthetic surgery offers possibilities for the removal of an overhanging fat flap, which cannot be treated with other therapies.
What is meant by an apron belly?
The human skin is only to a limited extent able to completely regress after expansion. A too strong stretching stimulus, as in the case of large weight gain or pregnancy, can even lead to tearing and the formation of the typical stretch marks. As a rule, not only the skin itself is overstretched, but also the abdominal wall muscles.
The term apron belly is derived from the optical appearance of the large skin flap, which is usually most conspicuous in the abdominal area. The excess skin hangs down and looks almost like an apron. The greatest risk of developing an apron belly is a 50% reduction in body weight, which is a very realistic value after gastric bypass surgery. Another factor that makes the development of an apron belly more likely is age. During the aging process, the skin loses its elasticity and resilience and therefore tends to overstretch. The genetic prevalence of weak connective tissue can also be expressed in faster fat apron formation.
Which methods can be used to remove an apron belly?
An apron belly is an excess of skin tissue that cannot be removed in any other way than by abdominoplasty or abdominoplasty. An abdominoplasty can be carried out with various methods. The decisive factor in the choice of method is the extent of the existing apron belly. All procedures are usually performed under general anesthesia.
The total adominoplasty
For the majority of patients, a complete abdominoplasty is an option. With this technique, very large areas of skin can be removed. The incision is made from pelvic bone to pelvic bone just above the pubic area, as well as circularly around the navel. The skin is then detached up to the level of the ribs. If the abdominal muscles are also slack, they are now tightened. The detached abdominal wall is then pulled down, the excess skin and fatty tissue is removed, a new opening for the navel is made and the incisions are sutured.
The partial abdominoplasty
Minor excess skin, which essentially only affects the lower abdomen, can be removed with a mini-abdominoplasty. With this technique, the navel is not moved, and the lift is only performed up to the level of the navel.
Lower and upper body lift
Many patients who wish to have a skin tightening procedure suffer not only from their apron belly. If several areas of the body need to be tightened, the lower and upper body lift can be used. This procedure uses a combination of different lifting operations. It is possible to lift the abdomen, hips, buttocks, and thighs or the chest, upper arms, and back in one operation.
For whom is a fat apron operation suitable?
In principle, an apron fat surgery is suitable for all people who suffer from sagging skin and sagging skin flaps. However, the prerequisite for a successful operation is to maintain the current weight for at least half a year. If the patient has not learned to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle and gains weight again after the procedure, this can lead to undesirable complications. Exercise and slow weight loss can reduce the risk of fat apron formation. However, if the skin is overstretched to such an extent that independent regression is no longer possible, removal can only be achieved with surgical skin tightening after severe weight loss due to obesity or pregnancy.
What are the advantages of grease skirt removal?
Flaccid skin is perceived as aesthetically disturbing. Those affected often feel helpless because it is difficult to conceal the excess skin. This can dampen the joy of a severe weight loss. Skin tightening has already helped many patients to regain more self-confidence and physical well-being.
But not only the optical limitations can be remedied by an apron fat surgery. Under skin folds, moisture quickly accumulates, especially in summer. Together with the constant rubbing of skin against skin, the development of inflammations and even fungal infections is likely.
What are the risks involved in fat apron removal?
Skin tightening is one of the standard procedures in plastic and aesthetic surgery. Nevertheless, it cannot be assumed that these operations are always completely risk-free. The patient must be aware that, as a rule, clearly visible scarring is to be expected. The sutured wounds are under tension, which is why the scar is wider than in other operations. Their length can vary depending on the amount of excess skin and can often be easily hidden under swimwear in the lower abdominal area. On the inner sides of the thighs or upper arms, this can be more difficult, which is why it must be considered in advance whether the operation is really necessary for these areas. If the scar formation does not proceed as intended, scar correction may be necessary.
As with any other operation, skin tightening involves risks such as wound healing disorders, infections, swelling, bruising, and post-operative bleeding. For this reason, regular follow-up checks are essential.
Abdominoplasties in particular involves a certain risk of irregularities and dents. Sensory disturbances and numbness in the navel area are also possible.
The skin is an extremely stretchy organ and will stretch again after an abdominoplasty if a corresponding stretching stimulus is applied to it. Considering this aspect, it is obvious that strong weight fluctuations should be avoided. A tummy tuck does not mean that the skin will automatically remain taut afterward.
Since the wound is sutured under tension during tightening, stretching and bending in the abdominal area must be avoided as far as possible, especially in the first few days after the procedure, to prevent the sutures from tearing.
How do I choose the right clinic?
Due to the fact that an abdominoplasty is a routine procedure, the patient is literally spoilt for choice when looking for a suitable clinic. Making a decision can sometimes be very difficult. First and foremost, a certain sympathetic and trusting relationship with the surgeon is not only advantageous but a prerequisite for a satisfactory result. In addition, however, the clinic should also meet the latest quality standards and have well-trained staff.