The abdomen is the most common area of the liposuction in USA. It reduces subcutaneous fat and can result in conservative skin retraction. Therefore, it is a procedure that is not usually recommended for patients with marked overhanging skin which needs some skin excision. Three top reasons for this procedure are:
The abdominal muscles normally stretch during pregnancy but sometimes they do not retract after. This can cause the lower abdomen to bulge to a certain degree and the curvature of the abdominal wall muscles determines the shape of the abdominal silhouette after liposuction. Despite of this limitation, the majority of women who have been pregnant are extremely happy with results obtained by liposuction alone.
The incision scar and localized fat accumulation on the lower abdomen after previous abdominoplasty or C-section can be improved by liposuction and fat shifting by combining a laser resurfacing for example Fraxel or Deep FX.
Losing weight by eating less and exercise is different from losing fat from liposuction. In combination of liposuction and various kinds of laser or ultrasound technology, patient can get the significant degree of skin tightening result. If there is massive weight loss and large amounts of excess skin hanging, additional skin tightening laser treatment or skin removal surgery may be needed. The best way to determine if you are a candidate for surgery after significant weight loss is through a thorough consultation with Dr. Jane.
Know Your Abdominal Fat!
Abdominal fat can be categorized in two types: superficial and deep. The superficial abdominal fat is located between the skin and the abdominal muscles. The deep abdominal fat accumulates in the abdominal cavity on the intestines. Superficial subcutaneous fat can be reduced by liposuction; however, deep (intestinal) fat cannot be removed by liposuction because it would be too risky. Fat on the intestines can only be reduced by weight loss through a diet and exercise plan. Fortunately, most candidates have more subcutaneous fat than deep fat. Type of abdominal fat is a key factor in determining the success of abdominal liposuction. The best way to determine if you are a good candidate is scheduling a free consultation with Dr. Jane.
Also, the abdomen is an excellent donor source for fat grafts, and for this, fat is best harvested through traditional syringe aspiration techniques to minimize trauma and disruption to the adipocytes.
Combining With Tummy-Tuck
Tumescent liposuction of the abdomen is so effective that very few patients require the riskier tummy-tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty. Compared to liposuction, tummy tucks are associated with a much higher risk of serious complications, including fatal pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lung). Patients who are obese and have a pendulous lower abdomen, often find that abdomen liposuction will give a better cosmetic result than a tummy-tuck.
If a patient decides that a tummy-tuck is needed, it is usually much safer to separate the traditional tummy-tuck into two separate surgeries. Abdominal liposuction should be done initially. Then, one should wait a couple months to 6 months and evaluate the cosmetic results of liposuction before deciding to proceed to the skin-excision part of the tummy-tuck. The surprising aspect of using this two-stage approach to abdominoplasty is the high degree of satisfaction that patients find from liposuction alone. In fact, the vast majority of patients are so pleased with the results of liposuction alone that they decide not to pursue the second stage skin resection.
Abdominal liposuction can also be a necessary subsequent procedure for abdominoplasty to help further contour the abdomen if liposuction would have been unsafe to perform at the initial abdominoplasty.
Post-operative Pain and Healing
Most patients are afraid of post-operative pain; however, pain after abdomenal liposuction typically does not require any pain medications stronger than Tylenol for most of cases. The pain level is typically similar to the muscle soreness after a hard work-out.
With liposuction under local anesthesia, patients do not typically need any pain medication immediately after abdominal liposuction because the tumescent local anesthesia last for up to 18 hours. From 36 to 72 hours after surgery, patients experience the greatest degree of soreness and discomfort, but rarely need anything more than acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Dr. Jane uses smaller liposuction cannulas (microcannulas) for all her liposuction surgeries. Her technique may require more time to complete the surgery, but the post-operative pain is much less, and her results are much smoother. Because her incisions are smaller, they do not need to be sutured and the open incisions allow additional drainage for the tumescent fluid.
Even the day after surgery, the cosmetic improvement is easily noticeable and quite dramatic. For several few days, a gradual swelling will occur as the drainage ceases and the inflammatory healing process begins. The swelling will last one to three months. The edema that results from abdomen liposuction typically takes longer than edema in other treated areas. For the first one to four months, some swelling and lumpiness are normal.
Post-operative Activity and Shower
Dr. Jane advises her patients to have a short walk about inside or outside their home on the day of the surgery. There is no post-operative activity restriction. Her patients are expected to take a shower at least once or twice daily beginning the next day of surgery.
Things You Need to Know
To minimize any surgical complications, all liposuction patients’ medical history and condition will be evaluated by Dr. Jane. The following common issues needs to be resolved or understood before surgery:
Such above complications are extremely rare.