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Abdomen

Abdominal contouring with liposuction or body sculpting is best suited for patients with good skin elasticity and a moderate amount of excess subcutaneous fatty tissue. Most patients are near normal weight and desire permanent contour changes. Liposuction of the abdomen is a popular procedure in Chevy Chase, MD, and the Washington, DC, area.

Liposuction is intended to produce a permanent improvement in the contour and proportion of the abdominal area. A more flattering figure or physique, in or out of clothing, is another goal of liposuction of the abdomen.

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Liposuction is done on an outpatient basis. General anesthesia is usually used for safety and comfort. Small suction tubes (cannulas) are inserted through very small incisions placed in inconspicuous locations and excess fat is removed. A tumencent fluid is injected into all areas before liposuction to minimize the amount of blood loss during the procedure. In most cases, only 1% of what is removed is blood! This means less bruising and faster recovery.

Ultrasonic and Power-Assisted Liposuction are options for certain candidates. Additional energy added to the cannula by this technology requires less force to be used by the surgeon to remove the fat. This means less trauma to the tissue and a faster recovery for the patient.

These improved techniques now allow larger amounts of fat removal than ever before. Liposculpture can even be useful to moderately overweight individuals even though is not a weight loss method.

Once the surgery is completed, the patient goes home with a compression garment covering the abdominal area. This may be a binder (wrap with Velcro) or a body suit with zippers. Compression is advised for about a month as it helps reduce swelling after liposuction. Once pain and soreness decrease, it is frequently more comfortable to wear Lycra or spandex. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. Bruising and swelling usually subside in 2 to 4 weeks. The final result takes shape over 2 to 3 months.

Liposuction of the abdomen is considered cosmetic and therefore is not covered by insurance. The patient is responsible for payment.

The specific risks and the suitability of liposuction of the abdomen for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare. Find out more about this popular procedure in Chevy Chase and the Washington DC area by calling Dr. Lynch.

You are not a good candidate for liposuction alone if there is a lack of skin elasticity or if there is already excess hanging skin in the lower abdomen (typically seen after pregnancy, weight gain with subsequent weight loss and aging). Skin with stretch marks typically lacks elasticity and shrinks poorly after liposuction sometimes making the skin look saggy and excessive after liposuction of the lower abdomen.

You may be a candidate for a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) if you have loose or sagging abdominal skin frequently associated with abnormal relaxation of the abdominal muscles (common in women who have had multiple pregnancies or prior surgery). You may also be a candidate for tummy tuck if you are unable to tighten your abdominal skin with exercise or have excess skin or stretch marks.

An abdominoplasty is intended to give you a smoother, flatter stomach. It is a popular procedure in Chevy Chase, MD, and the Washington, DC, area.

THE ABDOMINOPLASTY PROCEDURE:

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Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty is usually performed under general anesthesia in a hospital or surgery center as an outpatient procedure. There are a variety of different types of abdominoplasties that can be done. This will vary from patient to patient. Mini-abdominoplasties can sometimes be performed under sedation and local anesthesia.

Mini-abdominoplasty

A mini-abdominoplasty addresses the lower portion of the abdomen and has the shortest incision. Liposuction is usually used in the upper and lower abdomen but skin is only removed from the lower abdomen. Abdominal muscles are tightened from the level of the navel to the level of the pubic bone. Weakened muscle above the navel is not addressed.

Standard abdominoplasty

A standard abdominoplasty will help with the upper and lower abdomen and includes tightening of the muscles above and below the navel, removal of excess skin, and liposuction for contouring. The incision for this procedure is low and usually stays within the hip bones. A small incision is also made inside the belly button.

Extended abdominoplasty

An extended abdominoplasty addresses all the same issues as a standard abdominoplasty, but in addition, it addresses additional excess skin of the flanks and hips region. This procedure is usually reserved for those that have had massive weight loss. This incision is the longest and extends beyond the hip bones and onto the hip (hidden in the bikini line). Some patients my even require skin removal from their back making the incision circumferential. This is often called a “belt lipectomy” and leaves the scar where you belt would typically be found.

Abdominoplasty can be one of the more uncomfortable plastic surgery procedures and probably requires more time-consuming and limiting recovery. You will be encouraged to be moving and walking within one to two days. Light activity is comfortable in 3 to 5 days. Stationary bike and walking on a treadmill or outside is comfortable at 2 weeks and running, jogging and higher impact sports will not be comfortable for about 4 weeks.

Additional procedures available in Chevy Chase, MD, and the Washington, DC, area, which may enhance the result of a tummy tuck are Liposuction, Breast Procedures, or a Thigh Lift. Abdominoplasty is considered cosmetic and therefore is not covered by insurance. The patient is responsible for payment.

The specific risks and the suitability of abdominoplasty for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare. Find out more about this popular procedure in Chevy Chase, MD, and the Washington, DC, area by calling Dr. Lynch.