Liposuction Tummy Tuck
Liposuction Tummy Tuck or Lipoabdominoplasty is the name given to a relatively new surgical procedure used to contour the circumferential abdomen and back. This method of practice combines aggressive liposuction and standard abdominoplasty techniques in the hopes of decreasing complications and reducing the use of postoperative drains while attaining a dramatic, sculpted result of the entire trunk.
Traditional forms of abdominoplasty (i.e. tummy tuck) use extensive sharp dissection between the abdominal wall and skin in order to release and thus remove the excess abdominal skin and soft tissues. This method, by nature of the technique, severs the blood vessels between the abdominal wall and overlying skin. Because of this altered blood flow to the abdominal skin, aggressive liposuction of the upper and lateral abdomen is cautioned for fear that remaining blood vessels may further be damaged by the performance of liposuction . Liposuction However, many plastic surgeons, including myself, safely perform liposuction of the flanks and hips to improve the overall contour. Additionally, because of the large areas of dissection, drains are often used postoperatively to collect fluid accumulations between the abdominal wall and skin (Please click here to learn about tummy tuck).
Liposuction Tummy Tuck relies on blunt dissection between the abdominal wall and skin in order to release and remove the excess abdominal skin and soft tissues. The blunt dissection is achieved with liposuction cannulas while aggressive liposuction is performed in both the deep and superficial fat of the abdomen. During the liposuction, attention is paid to preserve as many of the blood vessels between the abdominal wall and skin as possible. Because there is less theoretical damage to the existing blood vessels, aggressive liposuction is also performed in the upper and lateral abdomen, flanks, hips, and often the back. Sharp dissection is still used in the midline of the abdomen to facilitate tightening of the abdominal muscles, but total sharp dissection is approximately 30% less than with traditional abdominoplasty. Another technical difference between lipoabdominoplasty and traditional abdominoplasty is that the fascial layer (i.e. a fibrous connective tissue) separating the superficial and deep fat of the abdominal wall is preserved during Liposuction Tummy Tuck (lipoabdominoplasty) but not traditional Tummy Tuck. Proponents of this technique feel that preservation of the fascial layer may help absorb fluid accumulations between the abdominal wall and skin and decrease the length of time that drains must be used postoperatively. Earlier removal of surgical drains often increases patient mobility and return to normal activity.
No surgical procedure is free of risk, and that is true for both traditional Tummy Tuck and lipoabdominoplasty. Surgeons who primarily perform Liposuction Tummy Tuck Agree there is less risk for postoperative wound healing problems as there is less damage to the blood vessels that support and promote wound healing in the abdominal skin. Many surgeons also feel that there is a decreased risk of postoperative fluid collections and that the use of surgical drains can be reduced or even eliminated while using this technique.
Each patient is different and no single surgical technique can be universally applied to every patient in every setting. Thus, it is important for plastic surgeons to be knowledgeable and comfortable with all variations of the surgeries they routinely perform.
Jaime Perez, M.D.
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa