Lipoabdominoplasty combines liposuction and abdominoplasty to achieve the best results possible for your tummy tuck. If you are a good candidate for this surgery, your plastic surgeon can safely perform liposuction of the upper abdomen and flanks during tummy tuck surgery.
Although candidates for lipoabdominoplasty carry excess protruding fat and skin around the waist, obese patients are not typically considered good candidates. The fat distribution must be examined by a plastic surgeon in order to determine candidacy for lipoabdominoplasty. If the fat is located predominantly in the abdominal wall, the patient may benefit from this procedure.
Just like any other plastic surgery procedure, good candidates will be healthy, non-smokers with realistic expectations.
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First, the targeted fat is saturated with a tumescent fluid. A tiny tube called a cannula is inserted through small incisions. The upper abdomen, flanks and hips can be suctioned to sculpt the waist. The lower abdomen is not typically suctioned as this tissue is removed during the tummy tuck. Dr. Hess performs liposuction until the area passes a "pinch test" intended to measure optimal fat removal.
The incision is placed in the abdominal crease, low enough so the patient can hide the scar under clothing. The incision travels horizontally in a gentle upward curve. Skin and tissue is removed as necessary, the umbilicus or belly button is remodeled and the incision is closed with sutures.
After a tummy tuck, the abdomen will be swollen for a few days and some pain is likely. Dr. Hess will prescribe a pain medication to help you manage any pain or discomfort. As with any liposuction procedure a compression garment is worn for at least six weeks. This helps reduce tissue swelling and helps the skin to contract. In addition you will have two drains or tubes coming out from the lower abdomen. This allows the normal fluid your body tissues produce to be removed. The drains are removed after usually 7-10 days. Finally surface stitches and deeper stitches are usually dissolvable and do not need to be removed.
Complete recovery time may vary from weeks to months, depending on the individual and extent of the procedure. Those with stronger abdominal muscles will find a shortened recovery as their body more easily adapts. Regardless of physical condition, it is crucial to work out an exercise program, as this will help reduce the swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and work to further tone your new body.
Once fully recovered, lipoabdominoplasty can produce excellent results, generally lasting as long as a balanced diet and regular exercise are maintained.