Even people who aren't fat sometimes have a lot of extra skin, especially after pregnancy or weight loss. The skin can be tightened up with a procedure called an abdominoplasty, popularly known as a "tummy tuck."
In a few patients the excess skin is all below the belly button. By making a short crosswise incision just above the pubic area and extending out toward the hip bones, it is easy to take out the excess and tighten up what is left. This technique is a minor tummy tuck.
When the extra skin is above the belly button as well as below it, all the abdominal skin must be pulled down and tightened. To avoid dislodging the belly button, it is left in its original position on the muscles and brought out later through a new hole in the skin. If the abdominal muscles are loose or separated, they can be repaired at the same time. This is called a standard tummy tuck or abdominoplasty.
The tummy tuck is an excellent operation with a low complication rate. It is performed much less frequently now than it was a few years ago because fat suction is a simpler and better solution for many of the problems that used to require a tummy tuck. General anesthesia is usually required for this operation, and is provided without additional cost.
The main potential problems are the scar around the belly button, which is usually minor but can be conspicuous, and the scar across the lower abdomen, which tends to widen but is usually concealed by a reasonable bathing suit. A tummy tuck will not fully correct "love handles" in the flanks, and even if the abdominal skin is tightened as much as possible there may still be a little "roll" present when you sit down.