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The abdomen is an anatomical region of the human body located in the lower part of the trunk. It is bounded superiorly by the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen, and inferiorly by the pelvic floor. The abdomen encompasses a large area that contains vital internal organs.

The abdominal wall is composed of various muscles, including the abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis, obliques, and transversus abdominis), which provide stability and support to the spine and contribute to body movements. Due to its physiological importance, the abdomen is a region of the body that requires special attention and care and is highly significant for people’s self-esteem, especially for those who were previously obese.

Abdominoplasty: redefining the centre of the body

«With the abdominoplasty procedure, excess skin is removed from the abdominal region,» says Dr. Francesco Russo, a specialist in plastic, aesthetic, and reconstructive surgery in Milan. «The result of the operation is immediate, and already the day after the procedure, the patient can appreciate a remarkable difference compared to the preoperative situation,» he continues, highlighting how abdominoplasty is one of the most important procedures to emphasise the centre of the body: the abdomen.

«Abdominoplasty is one of the most commonly performed procedures in plastic surgery. It is estimated to be the fifth most frequently performed,» says Agostino Bruno, an experienced abdominoplasty surgeon. «Often, the patients are young women who have had pregnancies and developed rectus diastasis. In these cases, home support is also essential to help manage everyday life,» he explains.

Prior to surgery, therapy

A flat, sculpted abdomen has always been considered a sign of physical fitness and well-being. For those suffering from obesity, the desire for a sculpted abdomen can lead to emotional, psychological, and physical problems. Pursuing an unrealistic goal can cause frustration, anxiety, and low self-esteem, as it is often challenging to achieve successfully. This situation could fuel a vicious cycle of self-criticism and self-sabotage.

«Obesity is manageable; it is treatable, in the sense that we have more and more means to help our patients lose weight and maintain it over time. But it is still a chronic disease, and therefore, the treatment must be understood by both the doctor and the patient as a long-term treatment,» says Luca Busetto, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in Padua, President of the Italian Obesity Society (SIO), and coordinator of the Obesity Management Task Force.

That’s why Professor Busetto emphasises the importance of a multidisciplinary treatment for those suffering from obesity. Abdominoplasty and liposuction alone are not enough to defeat this disease. «Being seen as individuals who are fundamentally inferior or less capable has very significant effects on the personality of people with obesity,» the professor concludes. Only after a therapy that includes psychological support does it make sense to proceed with abdominoplasty, to shape the centre of the body and restore a positive body image to those who have overcome obesity.

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