Liposuction, abdominoplasty or both?

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There are many surgical procedures and treatments to improve the abdomen area. What criteria are used to decide whether liposuction and partial abdominoplasty are sufficient or a radical surgery or the combination of more methods is necessary?

Every client has a specific problem, but also a specific skin type and different amount of subcutaneous fat deposits.  Recommendations of the aesthetic surgeon in terms of procedure will depend on an individual assessment of every individual case. The basic procedures performed in abdomen include liposuction, abdominoplasty, partial abdominoplasty or a combination of these procedures.

When is liposuction sufficient?

One of the most common procedures is liposuction, during which the excessive abdominal subcutaneous tissues are removed. To achieve positive results from liposuction, it is important to have elastic enough skin with no excess. Currently, there are many liposuction techniques, ranging from classic mechanical suction of fat through a cannula to one of the latest method, which is ultrasound liposuction.  The term ultrasound liposuction is often confused with so-called ultrasound lipolisys, which consists in non-invasive moving of a probe over the treated areas. On contrary, ultrasound liposuction is an invasive method in which fat cells in hypodermis are destroyed using ultrasound waves, which dissolve fat cells. This procedure offers a more gentle and even treatment, which helps to tighten the skin after the procedure, reduces the risk of uneven surface skin and shortens the recovery time.

The type of liposuction chosen by the surgeon depends on many factors, particularly on skin type, elasticity, extent of excess fat and the location. The client should carefully choose the clinic where he or she has the procedure performed. A preference should be given to those institutes where all types of liposuction, be it classic technique, vibration liposuction or ultrasound liposuction, are performed.  The procedure is not too strenuous for the client and the effect is excellent in patients with the indication.

When something more is needed

Liposuction is usually performed if there is no excess skin. In some cases, it is suitable to combine it with more radical procedure, so-called partial abdominoplasty. The combination of liposuction and partial abdominoplasty is often used when there is excess skin in the lower abdomen, but only excessive fat deposits in the area above navel and no loose skin. Partial abdominoplasty is performed in the lower abdomen to remove the excess skin. Partial abdominoplasty can be also performed as a separate procedure.

If there is excess skin and subcutaneous fat deposits or the separation of straight abdominal muscles, it is necessary to perform a more radical procedure – abdominoplasty.  These procedures are indicated for women, as well as men. In case a woman plans pregnancy within next two years, it is recommended to postpone the operation until after the childbirth.  The effects of pregnancy are also the most common reason why women undergo abdominoplasty. Quality of tissues, substantial weight changes and other factors also play a role.

The abdominal wall is re-shaped during the surgery by removing not only the subcutaneous tissues, but also the excess skin from lower abdomen and the area above navel. An incision is made in lower abdomen around navel, the skin is stretched down and the navel sutured in the right position.  If the loose abdominal muscles are separated, they are sutured together during the surgery. Abdominoplasty may also be combined with liposuction during which fat deposits in adjacent areas are sucked.

The separate navel surgery is performed in rare cases, usually due to an abdominal hernia. If there is no problem with the surrounding tissue, there is no need to perform any other adjustments. The operation of abdominal hernia is performed through a small incision around navel; after the hernia is treated, the navel is fixed to the base.

New trends?

Although the aesthetic surgery remains rather its conservative in terms of abdominal operations, the combinations of different techniques are more and more popular.  Usually, it is the operation of abdominal wall in combination with some type of liposuction. These combinations of procedures have a very positive effect without posing any significantly higher risks than usual procedures. The pre-operative preparation depends on the planned extent of the operation and on the overall health of the client. However, it is necessary to avoid the combination of different aesthetic surgical procedures, for example to perform abdominoplasty together with breast augmentation.  These combinations are too burdening for the clients, presenting unnecessary risks.  Abdominoplasty suitably combines with liposuction in the same area.

To have a really nice abdomen, it is important to carefully select the clinic, research technical equipment and, of course, get references for the surgeon. After every abdominal surgery, it is necessary to follow the post-operative recommendations for a certain time, wear flexible clothing and avoid heavy exercise. Only then your tummy will be beautiful.

Updated: 2011-11-29

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