Medically known as a pannus stomach, an apron belly is a flap of excess skin and fat that hangs from your stomach. A pannus can be relatively small or large enough to hang almost to the knees. The condition can be physically uncomfortable, pulling on the back and creating open sores and rashes under the area where the skin hangs. Apron belly also causes emotional distress and embarrassment for those living with the condition. It can be impossible to get rid of an apron belly without surgical intervention, and there are several surgeries to choose from.
Why is It So Difficult to Get Rid of Apron Belly Naturally?
Although it can stem from obesity, an apron stomach is usually caused by extreme weight loss, abdominal wall damage, or hormonal menopause changes. In the case of extreme weight loss, the apron belly is caused by stretched skin that can’t go back to its original size. There are no exercises that can correct this problem, and surgery is the only option.
It’s also common for the muscles of the abdominal wall to weaken or separate during pregnancy. They are often unable to heal themselves, resulting in a weak abdominal wall that can protrude and cause an apron belly. Pregnancy can also result in excess skin that hangs on the belly.
Menopause creates a similar issue. The hormonal changes of menopause encourage fat from the thighs and buttocks to move to the stomach while promoting fat deposits in the lower abdomen. Because these changes are hormonal in nature, diet and exercise usually won’t correct them. Surgery is often the only option.
Which Apron Belly Fat Removal Surgery is Right for You?
Surgery may be your only option, but you have plenty of choices when it comes to your apron belly surgery. Every patient is different, which is why our doctors never take a one-size-fits-all approach to plastic surgery procedures. You have several choices, and we want to help you pick the right one for you.
Liposuction/Lipo360 for an Apron Belly
If your apron belly is small, a liposuction procedure may be all you need to rid yourself of it. During liposuction, your surgeon will make a very small incision in your abdomen and literally suck the unwanted fat out of your body. If you’re sporting some love handles and a little extra fat on your lower back, a lipo 360 procedure can extend around your entire midsection, getting rid of your apron belly and any other extra fat you carry around your middle.
The Apron Belly Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is an excellent way to get rid of an apron belly and works no matter what the cause. Through an incision in your lower abdomen, your surgeon can remove your apron belly and repair any damage to your abdominal wall muscles. This can remove hormonal bellies while also correcting any damage caused by pregnancy.
If you don’t have any abdominal wall issues to address, your surgeon can change your tummy tuck into a panniculectomy. Although largely the same, a panniculectomy lets your surgeon remove your apron belly without doing any work on your abdominal muscles.
The Mommy Makeover
The mommy makeover is the power lifter of apron belly procedures. Although fully customizable to whatever safe combination of procedures you wish, a mommy makeover typically combines a tummy tuck with a breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction surgery. This allows you to address multiple issues in one surgery so you can get rid of your apron belly while sculpting and shaping other parts of your body that you may wish to change or enhance.
What is Apron Belly Surgery Recovery Like?
After your apron belly surgery, you may have surgical drains installed in your incision. These drains, installed at the discretion of your surgeon, help to prevent swelling and fluid accumulation at the surgical site. You will need to drain and clean them for a few days after surgery until your doctor removes them, but he will show you how to do so before you go home.
Regardless of the procedure you have, you may need to wear compression garments for a few weeks after surgery to help reduce swelling and encourage your body to settle into its new shape. You may experience mild aches and pains for a few days after your procedure, but your doctor will prescribe pain medication to keep you comfortable. If you’ve had a tummy tuck, your abdomen may feel tight at first.
You won’t be able to do any intense physical activity for 6 to 8 weeks after your procedure, but most people without physically strenuous jobs can return to work in a week or two.
Apron Belly Surgery Before and After – What to Expect
Although you’ll notice some swelling and inflammation after your apron belly removal, your results will be significant and noticeable as soon as you wake up from surgery. Your belly will be much flatter and your apron belly will simply be gone. You may notice further changes in your body over the first few months after surgery as your healing completes itself, but you’ll have a very good idea of what your new body will look like immediately after surgery.
What Will Scarring Be Like After Apron Belly Surgery?
The extent of your scarring will depend on the procedure you had. Liposuction scars are usually only 2 to 3 millimeters long and get hidden within the natural contours of your body whenever possible. Tummy tucks and panniculectomies, however, leave a low abdominal scar from hip to hip. This scar will fade over time, however, and sits low enough that you can easily cover it with a bikini bottom or underwear.
How Much Does Apron Belly Removal Surgery Cost
The specific cost of your apron belly removal will depend on several factors, including your surgeon, location, and specific needs. At Mia Aesthetics, liposuction starts at $3,700 while a tummy tuck starts at $4,300. Mommy makeovers start at $7,700.