The loosening of the abdominal skin can be caused by pregnancy or significant weight loss. Sometimes it is genetic. Strong muscle training is of limited help, because its effect on the weak connective tissue is only minimal. An abdominal skin that sags in folds would hang in the same way over a muscle layer toned up be physical exercise. In many cases the abdominal skin has fissures, known as `striae,` or stretch marks. This is a sign of irreversible loosening of the connective tissue.
Apart from physique problems in bikini or tight clothing, the medical problem is strong sweating in the skin fold that develops above the pubic area because of sagging tissue. This skin area is frequently subject to redness and inflammation. In many cases, the mons pubis is abnormally increased and prominent. Many women do not go to the beach in bikinis anymore. Men have problems with finding a stable position for the waistband; the belt doesn’t help.
These unsightly changes can be corrected by a tummy tuck. There are maximal and minimal versions of this depending on the extent of the skin weakening.
The mini tummy tuck is carried out through a small curved incision in the lower abdomen. The umbilicus doesn’t have to be displaced, since the tightening primarily affects the skin below it. This intervention can be performed under sedation with local anaesthesia.
The principle of the upper arm lift is the removal of excessive skin. The upper arm lift is carried out through incisions on the inner aspect of the arm. If there is an excess of fat tissue, it can be removed at the same time. Additional contouring of the whole upper arm can be achieved by means of liposuction. A good-looking silhouette of the arms can be achieved.
The procedure can be carried out under local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia, depending on how extensive it is. A special pressure dressing should be worn for 2-3 weeks after the intervention. The upper arm skin undergoes progressive sagging after marked weight loss or due to very loose connective tissue. Patients with this problem often feel uncomfortable wearing T-shirts, short-sleeve tops or bikinis in summer. Many women with very soft, loose upper-arm skin wear tops that cover the upper arms even in warm temperatures.
Large fat collections on the thighs can often be removed in young women with sufficiently elastic skin by means of liposuction alone. The skin becomes much looser starting around the age of 40. The contours of the legs can be improved and the circumference can be reduced, but the skin quality cannot be changed. The inner aspects of the thighs in particular have softer and thus looser tissue. Some women complain of the inner sides of the thighs rubbing against each other when walking. The thigh lift focuses not only on the fat, but particularly on tightening the loose skin.
The thigh lift only makes sense in obese patients if a reasonable weight has been achieved and there are no more plans to lose significant weight. The excessive skin is measured and marked right before the operation. This determines the position of the future scar. The excessive skin and, if necessary, fat tissue can be removed through an incision on the inner side of the thigh and possibly in the groin area. The circumference of the thigh can be reduced by liposuction at the same time.