Many individuals look to improve their waistline silhouette, especially when it loses its definition after weight fluctuations, pregnancy, or age. Dieting and exercise are often not effective in combating a protruding abdomen or an overhanging apron of skin. This is why more and more people are moving towards cosmetic surgery to address this problem because it is simply more effective and efficient.
Liposuction removes excess fat from the area, while an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, removes excess skin. Both procedures have been practiced for years, either individually or in tandem, but with high complication rates. It wasn’t until the procedures were combined and revolutionized around the turn of the century that its efficacy was highly accepted and risks were minimized. The resulting procedure was called a “lipoabdominoplasty.”
What is lipoabdominoplasty?
Lipoabdominoplasty is a combination of liposuction and a tummy tuck. This procedure will remove excess skin and fat, flattening the stomach area while tightening the abdominal muscles.
Lipoabdominoplasty sought to address the inability of overweight patients to undergo an abdominoplasty procedure because of its severe complication rate. Initially, these patients were told to do both procedures individually, but this in turn created its own complications and therefore was still considered high risk. In 2000, a Brazilian surgeon named Osvaldo Saldanha combined the two procedures and has since solidified it into the popular procedure being performed today.
By removing excess fat first, the abdominoplasty procedure is much less traumatic to the surrounding nerves, arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels, resulting in fewer complications and superior results. The tummy will not only appear slimmer through tucking and contouring, but will also be thinner from the liposuction.
Benefits of Lipoabdominoplasty
Lipoabdominoplasty is the perfect solution for individuals who wish to lose excess fat and skin around the belly, and end up with a perfectly flat stomach. There is a high patient satisfaction rate for this procedure because the skin and tissues are much easier to work with after the fat has been removed, resulting in a better tuck.
Lipoabdominoplasty vs. Traditional Tummy Tuck
- Safer, reduced risk of postoperative complications including abdominal numbness, which can occur in traditional abdominoplasty
- Less traumatic, less swelling, bruising, and pain
- Shorter recovery period
- Improved results, better definition of abdominal muscles
About the Lipoabdominoplasty Procedure
The lipoabdominoplasty procedure can last anywhere from four to eight hours, depending on the extent of liposuction required and how much skin is to be excised. Treatment starts with extensive liposuction of the abdominal area using the body-jet (aqua-lipo) or CoolLipo systems. Removing a significant amount of fat helps minimize complications as fat is a parasite of the abdominal flap’s blood supply. The liposuction will thus discourage any necrosis of the skin flap, as well as infection or contour irregularities. Liposuction also minimizes blood loss since tumescent solution will be injected into the area. After liposuction is completed, selective undermining beneath the skin is performed, preserving most of the nerves and blood vessels. Again, this will promote better blood flow and tissue oxygenation, aiding in the healing process. After such undermining is completed, the skin flap is able to reach down to the lower abdomen where the skin excision is made. Excess skin and tissue is then removed from the lower abdomen, while the abdominal muscles are tightened with sutures. Other sutures will be applied to advance the flap, relieve tension to increase flap vascularity, and eliminate dead space, which will prevent complications such as seroma. Finally, the physician will pull down and close the flap with multiple layers of dissolvable sutures that will minimize scar tension, spreading, and wound dehiscence. After the procedure, the patient will spend a few hours in recovery before being discharged.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
What are the risks of lipoabdominoplasty?
Although very rare, post-operative complications such as poor healing, swelling, infection, and blood clotting can occur with lipoabdominoplasty. These complications are more associated with traditional abdominoplasty, but as mentioned before, the removal of fat greatly facilitates the abdominoplasty procedure, therefore lowering these risks. Hence, lipoabdominoplasty does not carry the stigma of complications that either traditional liposuction or abdominoplasty have. Having been refined over the past decade, and with all the advances in technology, lipoabdominoplasty is considered a very safe procedure when performed by an experienced surgeon. For information on the risks of liposuction, please refer to our body-jet (aqua-lipo) orCoolLipo page.
Will there be a scar?
After the procedure, there will be a scar. However, the size of the scar is significantly smaller than one associated with traditional abdominoplasty. In addition, it will be located just under the bikini line, hidden from view. This way, you will be able to show off your new physique with no telltale signs.
Who is a good candidate for lipoabdominoplasty?
There are many reasons why individuals may want to undergo a lipoabdominoplasty procedure. In general, anyone looking to flatten out their distended midsection may be a good candidate for lipoabdominoplasty Women who have given birth have weakened abdominal muscles and are looking to get rid of that excess fat and skin. Men may also seek to lose fat from the middle and lower abdomen, which doesn’t respond well to diet and exercise. Older patients that have protruding abdomens as their metabolism and skin elasticity diminish with age, can also benefit from this procedure. Patients should be in overall good health. Individuals who need to lose a lot of weight should postpone surgery as they will not have good results. They may benefit from undergoing a medical weight loss program first. Women who are considering future pregnancies should also wait, as more weight fluctuations may erase the results of the lipoabdominoplasty procedure. Heavy smokers are also at high-risk for cardiovascular complications, thrombosis, and wound dehiscence and should be counseled to setup a non-smoking plan before the date of surgery.
Why come to Renaissance Cosmetic Laser & Surgery for your lipoabdominoplasty procedure?
Our physician, Dr. Taek Kim, was the first doctor in the Midwest to employ body-jet liposuction (aqua-lipo). He is considered a luminary in the field by Human Med, body-jet’s manufacturer, and has trained most of the Chicagoland doctors who perform the procedure. Being a board-certified gynecologist and also a Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Kim has also performed thousands of surgeries on the abdominal area, and has therefore developed an acute knowledge of the surrounding anatomy. With decades of surgical experience under his belt, you can feel comfortable knowing that Dr. Kim will be your surgeon.