The truth is, many men miss out on the benefits of cosmetic surgery simply because they feel they must rely on diet and exercise alone to improve their physique. But this is changing: today, a record number of men are having tummy tucks to remove stubborn belly fat and contour their abdomens.
In this post, Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Basu discusses:
- What is a tummy tuck?
- Why are men turning to plastic surgeons to enhance their abdomens?
- How do tummy tucks differ for men?
- Am I a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
- What other procedures can I use to enhance my body?
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is surgery that slims and firms the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin from the middle and lower abdomen. A tummy tuck also tightens the muscles and fascia of the abdominal wall, which can improve posture, reduce back pain, and help prevent injuries.
During a traditional tummy tuck, incisions are made around your belly button and between your hips, just above the pubic bone (though the exact location will depend on your body and the severity of sagging to be corrected). Through these incisions, your surgeon will tighten your belly muscles, remove excess skin, and perform liposuction as needed to remove belly fat. Some men add on additional liposuction along the flanks and back to remove love handles and back fat.
Why are men turning to plastic surgeons to enhance their abdomens?
In general, plastic surgery continues to grow in popularity among men. According to a study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 1.3 million cosmetic procedures were performed on men in 2018. The organization also revealed that there was a 23% increase in liposuction and a 12% increase in tummy tucks for men from 2013 to 2018.
With plastic surgery stereotypes clearly evaporating, men are finally embracing the tummy tuck as a way to reclaim their confidence and pride. And, just like women, men choose abdominoplasty because they have stubborn exercise and diet-resistant belly fat.
While most women strive for an “hourglass” body, men typically want a trim and athletic-looking physique, meaning a flat abdomen and narrow hip-thigh area.
But a tummy tuck also repairs conditions that no amount of personal effort can change. Many tummy tuck patients suffer from diastasis recti, a condition in which one’s abdominal muscles are separated. While women commonly develop the condition in pregnancy, men can suffer from diastasis recti after gaining fat or muscle weight, or developing a hernia. This condition causes the midsection of the belly to protrude and, in addition to being embarrassing, diastasis recti can also cause constipation and poor posture. With a tummy tuck procedure, we tighten separated abdominal muscles, flattening the “pooch” caused by diastasis recti.
There’s one more thing a tummy tuck or body lifting procedure can do that no person can do on their own: remove excess skin. It’s a great option if you have sagging skin following weight loss (either via natural means or due to weight loss surgery).
How do tummy tucks differ for men?
A male tummy tuck procedure is similar to a female tummy tuck, but with a few key differences:
- Contouring. While most women strive for an “hourglass” body, men typically want a trim and athletic-looking physique, meaning a flat abdomen and narrow hip-thigh area. Make sure your surgeon has experience performing tummy tuck surgery for men to get the best results.
- Incision sites. Men’s incisions are placed somewhat differently for the sake of concealment in their clothing. (Scars will be hidden in the naval and below the beltline and, with proper care, typically fade to near-invisibility over time.)
- Liposuction. Liposuction can add further definition to the torso by removing love handles, back fat, and fat sitting on the pubic bone. Liposuction can also be used for abdominal etching to achieve a more fit appearance.
Sometimes liposuction alone can be enough to remove unwanted belly fat in men if they have tight skin and strong muscle definition underneath their fat. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, I will discuss your individual procedure options with you to identify which surgery will best meet your aesthetic goals.
Am I a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
An ideal male candidate for a tummy tuck is generally in good health, can take time off of work and other obligations to recover, and has realistic expectations of their surgery. You may be a good candidate if you:
- Have stubborn belly fat and/or excess skin.
- Have recently undergone massive weight loss surgery and want to contour your abdomen.
- Don’t smoke or use nicotine regularly.
- Are at an ideal weight and don’t plan on losing or gaining a significant amount of weight after your surgery.
- Have a BMI under 40 and are not looking to remove abdominal visceral fat (fat situated around the internal organs), as this cannot be liposuctioned.
- Don’t have to return to a physically demanding job soon after your surgery.
What other procedures can I use to enhance my body?
Men and women typically have very different goals when it comes to their appearance. I mentioned that women often strive for an hourglass body shape, and the ideal male physique is a broad chest and shoulders, a narrow waist and hips, and strong arms and thighs. While a tummy tuck is going to target the waist and hips, the following surgeries can help define the rest of your body:
- Gynecomastia surgery, aka male breast reduction, can flatten and lift your breast tissue for a broader, more masculine chest.
- Liposuction can be performed around the face and neck for an overall slimmer, younger, and more defined appearance.
- A facelift can tighten jowls and the skin around the eyes, nose, and mouth, taking years off your face and providing a refreshed and alert look.
- A body lift can eliminate excess fat and hanging skin left over from weight loss surgery to highlight your natural muscle tone and improve your mobility.
Learn more about tummy tucks for men in Houston
As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Bob Basu has extensive experience performing male tummy tucks and other aesthetic procedures for men in the Houston area. To find out more about body contouring and tummy tucks for men, schedule an appointment with him online or call (713) 799-2278. Dr. Basu is happy to answer all of your questions and help you decide if tummy tuck surgery is right for you.