Patients often have questions about visceral fat. What is it and how does it impact their long term results after a tummy tuck. For every tummy tuck patient, Dr. Albright has some simple tests for patients to determine if visceral fat might be an issue. Below is his introductory video for visceral fat.
Visceral fat is also known as intra-abdominal fat. This is fat that's stored inside your abdominal cavity around your intestines and organs. I use the analogy of your abdominal cavity as the inner balloon which contains organs, gas, urine, and visceral fat. The outer balloon is the skin and fat just underneath the skin.
For some people, they are more prone to storing fat inside their abdomen than other people. Typically fat storage is prioritized for each person. For some people, it is in their thighs, stomach, inner abdomen, back, etc. Typically the first place someone stores fat is the last place they will lose it. If you're prone to storing fat on the inside of your abdomen, liposuction is not able to get in to the abdominal cavity to remove that fat. If we can't remove this visceral fat, the circumference of the inner balloon may stay relatively large and it's going to limit how flat you can make your stomach.
As a follow up to the Part 1 video, we delve into the concept of visceral fat and how it can affect tummy tucks. Imagine your abdomen as having two balloons – the outer balloon represents the skin and fat we can see, which is addressed with liposuction and a tummy tuck. The inner balloon houses the abdominal muscles, organs, and in some cases, like pregnancy, an enlarged uterus. Visceral fat is like the uterus in this analogy; it occupies space inside the abdominal cavity, altering the shape of the outer balloon (your belly). If you're struggling to see your ribs clearly and your belly protrudes even when lying down or standing up, it might indicate an excess of visceral fat.To check for visceral fat, try lying flat on a bed – if your belly falls inward and your ribs are visible, it's a good sign. Additionally, when standing upright, you should be able to press your belly in and maintain that position without sucking it in with your diaphragm.
Sustainable weight loss is the only answer. Once you have learned how to check yourself for visceral fat and find that that has improved then this is the time to schedule your consultation for abdominal contouring surgery.
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