Cosmetic surgery is widely accepted in our society as a means of losing our imperfections quickly and efficiently.

With the muffin top being notoriously difficult to get rid of it’s no surprise, then, that surgery in this area is becoming more and more popular.

While I don’t recommend surgery, I can understand how you feel if you are considering it and I know I’ve felt that way too in the past. That’s why I’ve decided to give some valuable information on muffin top surgery; so that you can be informed before you head to the doctor’s office.

Liposuction

Liposuction is the most common form of cosmetic surgery in this area.

The surgeon will give you a physical examination to check that you meet the requirements beforehand and then discuss the desired effects and talk you through the procedure if you are eligible (practises will usually only accept you if you are within 10% of your goal weight, as liposuction is not meant as a cure for obesity).

On the day of your surgery you will meet with the surgeon again and be marked (they will draw the areas to be treated and the injection sites on you with pen) and photographed (with your permission).

You will then be taken to theatre under general anaesthetic, where a cannulae, or liposuction tube, will be inserted into the fatty deposits of your muffin top and moved in a back and forth motion to break up and suck away the excess fat.

The procedure can take anywhere between half an hour and two hours, depending on the severity of the case and whether or not you are having any other treatments at the same time.

Once finished, the surgeon will suture the small incisions and dress the area in a compression bandage to encourage fluid drainage and reduced swelling.

If the surgery was fairly minor it is common to be able to return home the same day. The nursing staff will give you post-op care information, painkillers and a compression garment, which will need to be worn for the first week or so.

For the first four to five weeks normal physical activity is not recommended as the site of the surgery will be very painful and tender. Many patients will notice a large amount of swelling and bruising, as well as changes in sensitivity and texture in the skin (often reporting sensations of numbness and lumpy areas).

These symptoms will generally disappear after this five week period, although residual effects (particularly bruising) can be seen for months and the whole area will only fully settle after 18 – 24 months have passed.

Abdominoplasty

A common concern involved with muffin top is the overhang at the front of the trousers, not just at the back. This is where abdominoplasty, or the tummy tuck, can be brought in (often alongside liposuction).

As with liposuction, there will be a physical examination before going on to discuss the effects and procedure if you qualify. You will also be marked and photographed on the day of surgery and put under general anaesthetic before being taken to theatre as with the other procedure.

Once there, however, the operation is very different.

The surgeon will make an incision from hip to hip across the pubic area; trying, where possible, to make it as discreet as they can.

The skin and thin layer of fat which lies over the abdominal (stomach) muscles will then be peeled up, either to the belly button for a ‘mini’ tummy tuck, or to the lower ribs for a full tummy tuck, with the belly button being separated from the flap of skin and left on a stalk in the middle.

The exposed abdominal muscles will then be sewn together in certain areas to create a tighter, more defined appearance.

The flap of skin is then brought back down over the muscles, the belly button is popped back through a new incision and any excess skin is removed before the whole area is sutured up, with drainage tubes placed under the skin to encourage the removal of excess fluids. ftm top surgery

Tummy tucks generally take between one and two hours, although this can vary.

When you come round you will have a compression bandage around your waist to encourage drainage and reduce swelling. You will also have drainage tubes in place and your legs bent on pillows to reduce stress on the stomach muscles.

For the first few days you will be encouraged to remain in this position in bed, walking occasionally, but bent over so as not to damage the abdominals.

This is a major procedure and the after effects are painful and long lasting. Patients will notice a large, red, raised scar from hip to hip and around the belly button. There will also be a large amount of bruising and swelling and feelings of numbness.

These effects should subside after four weeks or so, although they will not disappear completely for 18 – 24 months, or possibly longer in the case of scarring.