Archive for the ‘Abdominoplasty’ Category

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
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When they’re considering a tummy tuck, many people may have heard about the option of a “mini” tummy tuck and wondered how it was different from a full tummy tuck. I explain to my patients that it’s important to realize that choosing between the two can actually be quite simple because they are appropriate for two distinctly different sets of patients.

Full Tummy Tuck

A full tummy tuck patient will be someone who has a great deal of excess skin and fat in the abdominal area, as well as weakened abdominal muscles. The full tummy tuck procedure will address these concerns –both above and below the belly button. The procedure may require two incisions instead of one and generally repositions the belly button. Recovery takes several weeks.

Mini Tummy Tuck

On the other hand, a mini tummy tuck patient will be someone with small fat deposits and very minimal excess skin located primarily below the belly button. For these patients, only a single small incision is made where it will be easily concealed by clothing or a bathing suit. While the improvement that can be achieved with a mini tummy tuck is not as comprehensive, it requires less time during surgery and less recovery time.

Your surgeon should be able to advise you as to which procedure can best accomplish your goals.

Addressing the Abdomen after Weight Loss

Monday, August 30th, 2010
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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.

Addressing Concerns about the Expense of Combined Procedures

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
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It is not uncommon for people to decide they’d like to make broad changes to their appearance that cannot be accomplished with a single procedure. This is often the case when women decide that they would like to rejuvenate their appearance after childbirth with a Mommy Makeover. For moms from Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, abdominoplasty, breast lift, face lift, and liposuction are high on the list of Mommy Makeover component procedures.

When people consider combined procedures, one of their major concerns is often cost. They think that having more procedures means spending more money. However, there are a few things that patients should take into consideration:

  • When the procedures are performed at the same time, as they are with a Mommy Makeover, they cost less than each of the procedures would cost if they were all performed separately.
  • When procedures are performed together, you are under anesthesia for less total time than if all were performed separately, and you do not have to go through multiple recovery periods. And, as several of my journal publications have shown, the risk associated with combining abdominoplasty and breast surgery is not significantly different than when performing each procedure alone.

If cost is still a concern, you may want to consider cosmetic surgery financing as an option. You can read more about cosmetic surgery financing here. Most patients feel that the great improvement in their appearance is well worth the expense of having combined procedures all at once.

Are You “Too Old” For a Tummy Tuck?

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
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Most of my tummy tuck patients are in the 30-to-50 age range, but every so often a patient who’s a good deal older will meet with me to find out whether they can have a tummy tuck. Sometimes I’ll advise against these surgeries simply because abdominoplasty is one of the more invasive surgeries and in some cases it might just be demanding too much from the patient’s body.

With that said, when the patient’s expectations are realistic and the physical factors line up properly, there’s really no reason that age alone should prevent someone from getting a tummy tuck.

Here are a few things I would expect to see from a patient of a mature age who wants a tummy tuck in Beverly Hills:

  • Healthy exercise habits and excellent motility
  • Good respiratory health and tissue vascularity
  • Absence of diabetes or other conditions that could compromise the healing process (or require medications that could cause problems like blood clots)
  • A genuine desire to see this procedure improve their quality of life

That last point isn’t technically a “must” for surgery, but in general I find that patients who are more invested in their procedure and have a stronger desire to see their results heal more quickly are happier with the healing process and the outcome. For both younger and older patients, a tummy tuck often means a chance to restore quality of life. And both younger and older patients are more likely to be happy with their surgery when they not only recognize the opportunity to improve quality of life, but also set specific goals and plans for how they want to enjoy their new shape.

Which Liposuction Technique Works Best with Abdominoplasty?

Thursday, October 29th, 2009
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Sometimes when patients are asking me if they’ll need a tummy tuck or liposuction, the best answer is really “both.” For moms and post-weight-loss patients particularly, a tummy tuck alone just won’t take care of the extra fat that usually collects near problem areas like the hips, lower belly, and thighs. Even for many men, it usually doesn’t make sense to deal with the muscle and skin, but ignore the fat altogether.

With so many different liposuction options available today, how do you know which to go with? In general, I prefer Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) and sometimes I will also use Ultrasonic or Smartlipo™ Laser-Assisted Liposuction. Here’s why:

  • PAL does a better job of dealing with larger fatty deposits. Abdominal fat tends to collect as a single large deposit instead of multiple smaller ones, and the gentle vibrations of PAL make it much easier for me to remove that large patch of fat without harming the muscle and the skin that I’ll need to take care of during the abdominoplasty.
  • PAL with UAL or Smartlipo gives better definition. For some patients this isn’t an issue, since an abdominoplasty in Beverly Hills by itself will do a pretty good job of emphasizing whatever muscle definition you already have. But very often I’ll have patients who want abdominal etching or microliposuction to help delineate their muscle tone a little better, and Smartlipo lends itself well to the very-small-scale fat removal that this kind of procedure involves.

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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