Best abdominal procedure

Published: March 1, 2019

Plastic surgery to improve the appearance of the midsection is popular for both men and women. Procedures can correct many issues including post-pregnancy laxity or simply extra weight in the midsection. The board-certified or board eligible plastic surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery are experts in abdominal procedures.

Even though there is a growing popularity for minimally invasive body-focused procedures to address this area, according to recent statistics, there does not appear to be a corresponding decrease in patient interest in abdominoplasty (tummy tucks). Since the year 2000, the number of tummy tuck operations performed annually has more than doubled.


Patients who are looking for sleeker, smoother abdomens often ask whether a stand-alone tummy tuck or if liposuction combined with a tummy tuck is the best choice for them. Dr. Nathan Leigh, Dr. Robert Wilke and Dr. Michael Philbin offer free consultations, and will advise the patient as to which procedure would best achieve their goals.

There are three very important factors that are taken into consideration during a consult for abdominal procedures:

  1. Skin quality
  2. Muscle tightness or unity
  3. The presence and location of excess, protruding fat

These factors vary widely in patients; specific variables can include genetics, age, diet/exercise and whether pregnancy and childbirth have occurred.

The abdominal wall can be tightened during a tummy tuck

For patients with excess, lax skin and/or stretched-out muscles of the abdominal wall a tummy tuck would be an appropriate procedure. And while addressing the excess abdominal skin is strictly cosmetic, the abdominal wall repair may be performed for both cosmetic and functional improvement.

After experiencing massive weight loss or pregnancy and childbirth, centralized abdominal muscles which were previously firm, can loosen and weaken, sometimes to the point where they separate from each other. This is known as diastasis recti. Even the most intense, ab-focused workouts cannot restore their position. Diastasis recti can also occur in women and also in middle-aged and older men, especially those with abdominal obesity.

Besides contributing to a bulging appearance of the abdomen, the condition diastasis recti compromises overall muscular support. This can result in functional issues such as lower back pain, constipation, urinary leaking or incontinence.

In some cases patients benefit most when liposuction is combined with a tummy tuck

The plastic surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery do case-by-case evaluations of each patient and determine the best procedures to achieve the patient’s goals.  Frequently, liposuction is used in combination with abdominoplasties to achieve the best results.

Three things you should consider

If you are a prospective patient who would like to improve the appearance of their midsection, there are three things you must bear in mind.

First, you should consult with a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has extensive experience in both procedures with successful results. Dr. Nathan Leigh, Dr. Robert Wilke and Dr. Michael Philbin of Edina Plastic Surgery all meet this criteria.

Second, based on their assessment, you must be open to the possibility that your surgeon may recommend a different course of action than the one you may have in mind. You might have planned on having just a tummy tuck, but it might take a combination of a tummy tuck and liposuction to reach your goals.

Finally, you need to be committed to following all post-surgical instructions, including maintaining a long-term healthy diet and exercise regimen to sustain your results.

Abdominal procedures have a very high satisfaction rate

In general, tummy tucks and tummy tucks combined with liposuction have a very high satisfaction rate with patients. Here are just a few testimonials from patients who came to Edina Plastic Surgery for their procedures:

“When I met Dr. Leigh, I knew he was my surgeon for my tummy tuck. He was funny, personable, and he made me feel beautiful. My results have been beyond my expectations! My belly button looks so much better than some of the other results I have seen. I am happy and satisfied, and I highly recommend Dr. Leigh for tummy tucks.”

“Dr. Wilke, thank you so much for the awesome work you have done on my body with my tummy tuck. I really appreciate it. I feel great just being able to put on a pair of jeans and a shirt and not have to hide my belly. I’m a completely new person because of you and your work. Thank you!”

“For many years after my children were born, I debated about a tummy tuck. Even though I am a competitive athlete, I could never regain my previous shape. When I began to consider having the procedure, I asked a friend whom she recommended and without any hesitation she recommended Dr. Philbin. The day of the procedure was smooth and professional. Dr. Philbin, your caring bedside manner was unbelievable! You made yourself available to my family in the event they had any questions about my recovery overnight. Thank you Dr. Philbin for all you have done to help me! P.S. My husband loves my new flat stomach too!”

Schedule A Consultation