Archive for August, 2010

Addressing the Abdomen after Weight Loss

Monday, August 30th, 2010
Abdomen-After-Weight-Loss-c

After massive weight loss, many people are left with excess skin on their arms, legs, breasts, abdomen, and face. This loose, sagging skin can distort newly slimmed body contours and cause substantial frustration. There are a variety of plastic surgery procedures that may be used to get rid of that unsightly excess skin and refine weight loss results. Today, I’m going to focus on procedures to address just one area of the body: the abdomen.

To get your slimmer midsection looking trim, there are several procedures to consider:

  • Abdominoplasty—also called a tummy tuck, is one of the most popular Los Angeles body contouring procedures after weight loss. A tummy tuck removes excess skin and tightens weakened muscles in the lower abdomen and, in combination with liposuction, can help weight loss patients reveal their new figure.
  • Panniculectomy—similar to a tummy tuck, a panniculectomy will remove excess skin and fat, but it does not tighten the abdominal muscles or reshape the area around the navel. This is ideal for patients left with a “pannus,” or the extra skin and fat that hangs down on the lower abdomen that’s sometimes called an “apron.”
  • Lower Body Lift—also called a belt lipectomy, this procedure addresses the front and back of your midsection and can have a lifting effect on your outer thighs and butt as well. During the procedure, a “belt” of skin around your abdomen is removed and the skin and muscles are tightened. This procedure is more extensive than an abdominoplasty or panniculectomy, but it is more effective for those who have moderate to severe excess skin on the back as well as on their front.

Your plastic surgeon can advise you about which procedure will best achieve you goals. Even after you’ve selected a procedure, your surgeon should further customize the procedure to treat your specific concerns.

Why Compression Garments after Liposuction?

Thursday, August 26th, 2010
Compression-Garmets-copy

Most plastic surgeons will instruct you to wear an elastic compression garment after liposuction in Los Angeles. While it may seem like an inconvenience, wearing the garment is very beneficial for your recovery process and may actually reduce recovery time. Today, I’d like to help you understand how and why they work.

When used after tumescent liposuction, compression garments can help in several important ways. They can:
 

  • Encourage excess fluid to drain effectively
  • Reduce postoperative swelling
  • Minimize bruising
  • Help support your new body contours

With tumescent liposuction, there is always some fluid that remains after the procedure. While this is not dangerous, it may increase bruising, swelling, and tenderness. Traditionally, a plastic surgeon would suture the incisions shut after liposuction, forcing the patient’s circulatory system to filter out the remaining fluid often called a “closed-drainage” technique. More recently, surgeons have begun to use an “open-drainage” system, where the incisions are left open to encourage quick draining. When the fluid is allowed to drain quickly, the tenderness, bruising and swelling don’t last as long and the patient recovers faster.

While the length of your recovery will largely depend on the extent of your liposuction and your unique health and anatomy, a compression garment can help make this process shorter. It will encourage the excess fluid to either be absorbed more quickly or drained more quickly regardless of whether your surgeon performs a “closed” or “open-drainage” technique.

Dr. Grant Stevens

I am a board-certified Beverly Hills plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience researching and implementing new approaches to plastic surgery. At Plastic Surgery Insider, you get the benefit of my experience and authority when you read my perspectives on the latest news and procedures in plastic surgery.
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