There are 2 distinct types of abdominal fat - Subcutaneous fat and Visceral fat.
Cosmetically we are concerned with subcutaneous, extra-abdominal fat or the fat that we can pinch up under the skin. The skin itself may be loose and surplus. This the fat we can reach with Liposuction and remove by surgical Abdominoplasty (Abdominal Reduction).
Excess belly fat medically referred to as Visceral fat or Intrabdominal fatis the mass of fat that surrounds your intestines and organs. It is inaccessible to Liposuction and surgical Abdominal Reduction. This visceral fat can be recognised as the tummy protrudes like pregnancy and feels quite tight. You cannot pinch up subcutaneous fat.
However, it is of great interest as its presence increases the risk of important health problems. The most common health conditions among people with excess abdominal fat are a metabolic syndrome, Heart Disease, Stroke, Cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. The only solution at present is dieting.
Sugary foods and drinks, in particular, contribute to the development of abdominal fat. High sugar intake is directly linked to excess abdominal fat. You will also gain excess abdominal fat when you take too much alcohol. Excess calories from alcohol are stored as intra-abdominal fat and suppresses the burning of fat. Other foods to avoid are processed foods, chips and white bread. and sweetened drinks such as sodas increase inflammation in your body. Inflammation usually hinders your body’s ability to lose abdominal fat.
There is another group of patients who have both intra - and extra - abdominal fat, (visceral and subcutaneous fat). We at the Cadogan Clinic see a lot of these patients from the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. Their profile can be improved significantly by reducing the extra-abdominal fat by liposuction and, sometimes, abdominoplasty. These patients can be made very happy and maybe healthier, but need to be counselled that the silhouette will not be perfect, because of the inaccessible intra-abdominal fat.
It’s important to know that non-surgical fat removal treatments are improving. We use Sculpsure in preference to Coolsculpting. Sculpsure will target unwanted fat cells. It works as well and avoids the complications that we have seen with freezing.
There are many causes of excess fat with genetics, hormones, health conditions and diseases, metabolic rate, diet, exercise, pregnancy and lifestyle (stress, sleep) contributing to weight gain.
Many people, who lead healthy lifestyles can struggle in shifting stubborn pockets of fat, especially visceral fat which is stored around the organs in the abdomen. Other common areas where people may wish to remove fat and redefine shape include the hips, thighs, buttocks, knees chin, upper arms and breasts.
Excess fat (including obesity) can be very detrimental to the health and wellbeing of an individual, so it’s imperative the diet, exercise and lifestyle factors are addressed before procedures are undertaken.