Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Many women and men seek the expertise of Dr. Joseph Mele when considering surgical correction of loose abdominal skin. Abdominal laxity is frequently seen after weight loss and pregnancy. Liposuction alone may be sufficient if the skin is tight, and you have disproportional fat of the abdomen. When the abdominal skin or muscle is loose, liposuction alone will often leave loose, deflated skin.
An Abdominoplasty, on the other hand, can not only remove fat, but can remove loose skin and tighten loose abdominal muscles. When laxity of the skin and muscle is confined to the lower abdomen, a mini-tummy-tuck (mini-abdominoplasty) may be a better option.
Mini Abdominoplasty (Mini Tummy Tuck)
Mini Tummy Tuck procedures are great for patients who seek surgical correction of loose abdominal skin and muscle weakness localized to the area below the belly-button. Abdominal laxity in this area may be something you were born with, seen after pregnancy or the result of moderate weight loss. Pregnancy and larger weight loss, usually require a full Tummy Tuck.
Liposuction is almost always used as part of the Mini Abdominoplasty, to address the upper abdomen and feather the hips and waist. The belly-button is not moved with a Mini Tummy Tuck, so there is no scar around the umbilicus. This also limits the ability to correct loose skin or muscle above the belly-button. If you cover from your belly-button down, and you like the way you upper belly looks, you may be a candidate for the mini procedure.
Advantages of a Mini Tummy Tuck include a faster recovery, a shorter procedure and a lower cost.
Liposuction can spot remove disproportionate, localized accumulations of fat. Liposuction allows for the selective removal of fat. The ability to sculpt the adipose cells has led to the term Liposculpture. For liposuction to work, the overlying skin must be firm, with good elasticity. Elasticity allows the skin to return to a smooth aesthetic contour, flattening the bulge, after the fat is removed.
Liposuction is not a replacement for diet and exercise, but it is a great complement for removing stubborn fat deposits that just won’t go away. Areas treated in our Walnut Creek Liposuction practice include the abdomen, flanks, back, buttocks, thighs, arms and neck. For men, liposuction of the chest can help with mild to moderate gynecomastia.
Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction
Wondering if tummy tuck surgery or liposuction would be better for you? The appropriate answer depends on the specific abdominal concerns you wish to address.
Mommy Makeover (Belly and Breast Enhancement)
The Mommy Makeover allows mommies to undo some of the damage that childbirth can cause to their bodies. The belly and the breasts often take the biggest hits. Even after shedding pregnancy weight, your pst-pregnancy shape may be different. The belly gets stretched, and the breasts often change size and shape. Diet and exercise can help, but sometimes it is not enough.
The combination of belly enhancement and breast enhancement is requested often enough that is has been given the nickname, Mommy Makeover. The most frequent combination is Breast Augmentation with a Tummy Tuck, but the procedures can be modified to provide each Mommy the individual enhancement she desires.
Brazilian Butt Lift (Fat Grafting to the Buttocks)
For Buttock Enlargement and shaping, the Brazilian Butt Lift may be just the ticket. The procedure is a two-step to a bigger booty. The first step is Liposuction. During liposuction, fat is removed from areas where the fat is disproportionate. Often fat from the lower back and upper posterior thigh is removed as part of the liposculpture. The collected and cleaned fat is then used in the second step: Fat Grafting to the Buttocks.
Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
In cases where the upper arm has loose, sagging skin, liposuction alone may not be enough to correct the problem. This is a common problem after weight loss. Unlike liposuction, Brachioplasty, or the Arm Lift, can remove the excess arm skin in addition to removing disproportionate arm fat. This outpatient procedure can be performed alone; however, since it often seen after massive weight loss, it is often combined with other skin tightening procedures. Some of the more common procedures which can be combined with tightening the arms include: Breast Lifts, Tummy Tucks, Lower Body Lifts and Facelifts.
Thigh Lift (Thighplasty)
Thighplasty is the Cosmetic Surgery term for Thigh Lift, and literally means “Thigh Changing.” Removing excess thigh skin can also be life changing. If you have loose skin, especially on the upper, inner thigh, a Thighplasty can tighten and smooth the area. Disproportionate upper thigh fullness is removed with the excess skin, and the remaining thigh skin is lifted. The result is slimmer, tighter thighs. After a Thigh Lift, clothes fit better.
Thighplasty is most commonly performed after significant weight loss or Bariatric Surgery. Weight gain stretches the thigh skin, and after weight loss, the skin may remain redundant. If you have recently lost a significant amount of weight, is is worth waiting 6-12 months to give your skin a chance to shrink. Post-Bariatric Surgery patients need to wait a year to allow their body to adjust to their new physiology.
Body Lifts After Massive Weight Loss
The amount of skin laxity seen after massive weight loss is usually much greater than the skin laxity caused by pregnancy or smaller fluctuations in weight. I have many patients who have lost 100 pounds or more that seek excess skin removal surgery to complete their weight loss transformation. For most patients, the greatest area of concern is the trunk, though the neck, breasts, arms and thighs are frequently tightened too.
Body Lifts tighten the skin of the abdomen and back in a single procedure. The most common body lift is a belt lipectomy, which is a combination of tummy tuck and back lift. By utilizing an incision that runs around the belt line, the lower body lift removes excess skin from the abdomen and lower back, circumferentially tightening the trunk.