From Flab to Flat: Options for Your Abs

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If you spent the winter dreaming of once again being able to lie on the beach or go swimming in a pool, the wait is almost over. While you might be ready to put on a swimsuit and go splash in the waves, you might still be less than happy about the shape your tummy is in. If you’re at or near your desired weight, but have extra skin or fat in your abdominal area, you have several options for getting the flat or defined abdomen you’re after.

Tummy Tuck

You eat a healthy diet and workout on a regular basis, but you can’t seem to flatten your stomach. In some cases, having a tummy pooch has nothing to do with your weight or level of physical fitness and everything to do with having a bit of extra skin or fat, or having loose muscles in the abdominal area. You can develop a pooch after a major life event, such as pregnancy, or after losing a considerable amount of weight.

If your stomach concerns are due to extra skin and fat and loose muscles, a tummy tuck might be the right option for you. During the procedure, the surgeon will lift the skin, remove extra skin and fat and tighten the abdominal muscles. Afterwards, the stomach area not only looks flatter, it also becomes more shapely and toned. Depending on the amount of extra fat you have, the procedure can also include liposuction to further shape and define the abdomen.

There are a few things to consider when thinking about a tummy tuck and deciding if it’s the right option for you. If you are a woman who is considering the surgery after having kids, you need to wait until you are finished having children. Having a tummy tuck, then getting pregnant again, can undo the results of the surgery, meaning you might need to have another procedure to restore the shape of your stomach.

It’s worth noting that your body shape and size can also determine if the surgery is right for you. If you are on the heavier side, you might not see the results you had hoped for.


It might be that a tummy tuck is too involved of a surgery for you and you might actually benefit from a less complicated procedure. For example, if you don’t have loose skin in the abdominal area and if your stomach muscles are tight, but you do have a bit of extra fat, you most likely don’t need a tummy tuck. Liposuction may be a more appropriate option for you.

There are a number of different options when it comes to liposuction. The procedure that’s best for you depends on how much fat you’d like removed and the amount of time you can dedicate to recovery or to waiting for results. Cool Sculpting, for example, is a non-invasive procedure that freezes away your fat.

During the treatment, the area you want treated is placed in a suction device, which then freezes the fat beneath it. The frozen fat is destroyed and your body naturally flushes it out over the course of a few months. While you do have to wait to see results from the treatment, you don’t have to take time off from work, as most people are able to get back to their regular activities right away.

If you have more than a bit of fat to be removed from the abdominal area, traditional liposuction or laser liposuction might be better options for you. When you have laser liposuction, a laser destroys the fat cells before they are suctioned out. Usually, a laser procedure can remove up to two pounds of fat and tends to have a shorter recovery time than traditional liposuction.


After spending hours a day at the gym doing crunches and other exercises to strengthen your core, you have a smooth, somewhat flat stomach, but you don’t have the six pack that people commonly associate with a toned abdomen. If you have a six pack that is simply covered in a layer of fat, abdominal etching, or liposculpture, can be an ideal procedure for you.

The procedure involves making incisions in the abdominal area and removing extra, so that the muscles are more visible. It can take a few months before the results are visible, and you might have some swelling in the area at first, so it’s a good idea to schedule the treatment well in advance of your first beach or pool trip of the season.

If you want to flatten your abdominal area or improve the way your tummy looks, Washington, DC area plastic surgeons Dr. George Bitar and Dr. Robert Centeno can help you  understand the options out there and help you pick the one that’s best for you. To schedule a consultation with either surgeon, call (703) 206-0506 today.