Patients commonly come into the office with a history of an abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, and a desire to have a flatter stomach and curvier waist with a less boxy appearance.
Why is that?
The first is that liposuction of the front of the abdomen at the same time as a tummy tuck is very risky in regards to wound healing. Thinning out the layers of fat across the front of the stomach while at the same time removing excess skin and pulling down the remaining skin substantially decreases the ability to heal the area. Poor healing can result in skin loss and open wounds. Although this complication can be managed, it can be devastating to the patient and surgeon. So, the safe approach is to eliminate the trauma in the form of liposuction and concentrate on complete skin removal, muscle repair, and tightening of the remaining skin across the abdomen. Unfortunately this safety requirement can leave the results of a tummy tuck less than ideal in patients where there is an excessively thick fat layer across the entire abdomen.
The second reason, which addresses the square-shaped silhouette and desire to have more curves after a tummy tuck, is that either no liposuction was performed over the waist, flanks, hips, and back or that minimal liposuction was performed only over the front part of the flanks. Liposuction of these previously mentioned areas of the body is safe to perform during the tummy tuck because it is outside of the front of the abdomen and does not significantly jeopardize the healing of the tummy tuck incisions.
In order to get the most out of your tummy tuck there are some things to consider.
The ideal setting is a patient who is at or very close to their ideal body weight. A good way to determine this number is to obtain the recommended body mass index (BMI) for your height. The national institute of health determines a healthy normal BMI to be 25 or less. This can easily be obtained from online calculators. For example, a healthy weight for a 5 foot 8 inch woman would be around 145 lbs with the accepted range being from 125 lbs to 165 lbs. When a patient is undergoing a tummy tuck at their ideal BMI, then the front of their abdomen is flatter due to less subcutaneous fat underneath the skin and less visceral fat inside their abdomen.
The best surgical approach to maximize the tummy tuck is a combination of liposuction and tummy tuck. This is called a lipoabdominoplasty. The excess fat is removed from the waist, flanks, hips, and back using a liposuction technique. The weakened abdominal muscles, due to diastasis, is tightened like a corset from the lower breast bone to the pubic bone. The excess skin is removed from the belly button down to the pubic area from hip to hip. The result is a flatter tighter abdomen and a curvy silhouette.
Not all surgeons approach the tummy tuck with complete liposuction as we do and as is described above. Therefore, it’s important to review the details of the planned tummy tuck and especially discuss the extent of the liposuction.
It is not too late to take your tummy tuck to the next level if liposuction was limited or was not performed at all. We have elevated many tummy tuck results by fully liposculpting not only the waist, hips, flanks, love handles, and back but also the upper and lower abdomen. PRECISION SCULPT® 360 is one of our most popular awake procedures and it can have you fall in love with your tummy tuck results.
Below you will find a perfect example of a patient who came to us with a history of a tummy tuck but lacked thorough liposuction. This patient’s curves were enhanced and her stomach was slimmed using our awake lipo PRECISION SCULPT® technique.
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