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Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that helps to flatten and shape the abdomen. The procedure removes excess abdominal skin and may also reduce fat and tighten the muscles of your abdominal wall. It is frequently performed to correct muscle weakness and loose skin that can occur following multiple pregnancies or significant weight loss.
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are in good physical condition with pockets of fat or loose skin that haven't responded well to diet and exercise. Older, slightly obese people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity can also be helped. Abdominoplasty can be useful for women with stretched skin and muscles from pregnancy, although results from the procedure will diminish if they continue to bear children. For this reason, women who plan to have children again are advised to delay abdominoplasty. Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight are also encouraged to wait before undergoing the procedure, since skin in that area typically loosens after substantial weight loss.
The procedure takes approximately two to five hours and can be performed with general anesthesia.Â Abdominoplasty may be done on an outpatient basis or may require a brief overnight hospital stay.Â Dr.Conkright will make two incisions: one from hipbone to hipbone close to the pubic area, and one around the navel. Skin is separated from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin flap is stretched down and over the newly tightened muscles, excess skin is removed, and the navel is reattached. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.
Abdominoplasty will likely leave a permanent scar stretching between the hips, although it should be low enough for even a bikini to conceal it. Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery should know that their old scars could be raised, stretched or generally more noticeable after the procedure.
The day after surgery, you are encouraged to get out of bed and walk for short periods to promote blood circulation.Â You may be instructed to wear a support garment for several weeks and will have drains for a least the first two weeks following your procedure. You will need to avoid strenuous activity for a while, but should be able to return to work within two weeks. Recovery time ranges from two weeks to a few months, but with a balanced diet and regular exercise results are long-lasting.Â
After the swelling subsides and the drains are taken out you will start to see a difference. You must realize that the underlying tissues have been cut and that an Abdominoplasty is considered a very invasive procedure. Give your body time to heal and you will reap the many benefits of the procedure.
Rare post-operative complications include infection, blood clots, and poor healing, which may require further surgery.
The most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the U.S. today, lipoplasty sculpts the body by removing undesirable fat from areas such as the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, chin, cheeks, neck and upper arms that have not responded to diet and exercise. Lipoplasty, also called liposuction, removes localized collections of fatty tissue to give you a smoother and slimmer body contour.Â For the best results, you should be at a relatively normal weight with extra fat localized in specific areas such as hips, buttocks, and abdomen.
Lipoplasty is neither a substitute for proper diet and exercise nor a method for overall weight loss.Â It cannot eliminate cellulite or correct loose, hanging skin. Â In fact, the best results from lipoplasty are achieved when you have healthy, elastic skin with the capacity to shrink evenly after surgery.Â If your skin has lost much of its elasticity, you may need a skin tightening procedure such as a tummy tuck or arm lift.
The best candidate for Lipoplasty/Liposuction are patients who are in good health, relatively normal weight, have appropriate skin characteristics, complain of localized fat deposits that are diet and exercise resistant, and who have realistic expectations.
During your consultation, Dr. Conkright will discuss whether or not Lipoplasty/Liposuction is the appropriate procedure for you.
Local anesthesia or general anesthesia may be used, and the procedure can last anywhere from one to five hours depending on the amount of fat being removed. There are several different methods surgeons use when performing liposuction, including tumescent liposuction, the super-wet technique, and ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL).
In all types, a tiny incision is made in as inconspicuous a place as possible. A cannula (small tube) is inserted and moved back-and-forth beneath the skin, breaking up the fat layer and suctioning it out. Tumescent liposuction and super-wet liposuction use fluid injection, which facilitates fat removal, reduces blood loss, provides anesthesia during and after surgery, and helps to reduce the amount of bruising after surgery. UAL liquefies fat with ultrasonic energy and is highly precise.
After surgery, drainage tubes, compression garments and antibiotics may be needed to facilitate the healing process. Patients are encouraged to walk as soon as they are able and many return to work within one to two weeks, although strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month. Results are visible immediately, though improvement may continue as swelling subsides during the first three months. A good surgeon takes great care in making small incisions. If you have a large area being treated, or have many sites being treated, Dr. Conkright will pay extra attention to keeping the incisions small.Â Other irregularities in appearance are possible, such as asymmetric or "baggy" skin, numbness and pigmentation changes. Final results vary from patient to patient and depend on age, areas treated, the amount of fat removed and individual healing speeds. Some patients see immediate results that improve steadily while others have weeks of swelling. Both of these outcomes are normal.
Risks are uncommon when the procedure is performed by a qualified surgeon but may include infection, delays in healing, fat clots or blood clots, shock, fluid accumulation that must be drained, burns, perforation injury, lidocaine toxicity, and unfavorable drug or anesthesia reactions.
After substantial weight loss, weight gain or simply from the effects of aging, skin on the upper arms can become inelastic, loose and flabby. Arm lifts, also known as brachioplasty, remove that excess skin and fat. Patients who have significant amounts of fat may want to consider combining the procedure with liposuction.