Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, is a very common and popular procedure. Despite good health and a reasonable level of fitness, some people may still have a body with disproportionate contours due to localized fat deposits. These areas may be due to family traits rather than a lack of weight control or fitness.
Liposuction slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits, thus improving body contour and proportion, and ultimately enhancing self-image.
Liposuction can be used on many parts of the body including the thighs, arms, neck, hips, waist, back, inner knee, chest, cheeks, chin, calves, and ankles. Liposuction can be performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures such as a facelift, breast reduction, or a abdominoplasty.
Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity and is not a replacement for regular exercise and healthy eating habits. People with stubborn areas of fat and who exercise regularly are the best candidates for this procedure.
An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is designed to correct a protruding abdomen resulting from weak abdominal muscles, weight gain, weight loss or pregnancy. These conditions may not respond well to diet or exercise if the skin and underlying muscles have stretched.
The goal of an abdominoplasty is a narrower, flatter abdomen. It may also somewhat improve the appearance of stretch marks, especially those located below the navel. Liposuction to the hip roll is often combined with an abdominoplasty to better the overall shape and contour.
Dr. Chalekson will help you determine whether a full or mini abdominoplasty is right for you. A full abdominoplasty involves fully lifting the skin and fatty tissue of your abdomen off the underlying muscles, up to the lower level of the rib cage. This is followed by tightening the abdominal wall muscles in most patients. The stalk of your belly button is temporarily released from the skin of the abdomen and will be replaced in a new position once the skin of your abdomen is re-positioned, having removed the excess tissue.
A mini abdominoplasty also involves removal of extra skin. This procedure is more appropriate if your excess skin is not as abundant as it may be in patients who undergo a full abdominoplasty.
In a mini abdominoplasty, an external incision around the belly button can be avoided, provided there is little skin looseness above your belly button.
Realistic expectations are important. Abdominoplasty surgery is not a substitute for weight loss. Patients on a weight loss plan should be close to their target weight before having surgery. Women planning future pregnancies should delay having an abdominoplasty, as pregnancy may promote further abdominal stretching.
Post-surgical discomfort is controlled with a pain pump and prescribed medication. Complications are uncommon. Seromas, which are fluid collections beneath the skin, are most common, but can be easily treated in the office. Smokers are required to stop smoking (including nicotine patches and gum) at least 4 weeks prior to and after the surgery. Smoking causes delayed healing.