Liposuction or Tummy Tuck SF Bay Area?

Posted February 14, 2016 in Home, Liposuction, Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty), Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

The question of Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck is one I get every week. In fact, this week the discussion of the differences between Liposuction and Full Abdominoplasty and Mini Tummy Tucks was had at least ten times.

I have discussed the topic several times here on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog, but it’s been a while and it seems like now is a good time to review the differences between Liposuction, Tummy Tucks and Mini Abdominoplasties. They are not interchangeable, and each has specific indications, advantages and limitations.

Liposuction

Liposuction Indications: Liposuction specifically and exclusively removes fat. It is designed to sculpt the body by removing localized pockets of disproportionate fat. It does so very well.

The most effective method is Tumescent Liposuction. The procedure involves injecting the tumescent fluid, a balanced salt solution with a local anesthetic and epinephrine added. The fluid allows for compression of the small blood vessels and less bruising. The anesthetic helps with post-operative pain, and the epinephrine helps to reduce bruising. Adding additional energy to the liposuction, like lasers and ultrasound, have been tried. They can cause burns, and have not demonstrated a significant advantage over tumescent liposuction alone.

Liposuction of the abdominal wall removes disproportionate fat and smoothes the belly.

Liposuction of the abdominal wall removes disproportionate fat and smoothes the belly.

Liposuction Advantages: The main advantages of Liposuction are: small scars, the ability to remove significant amounts of fat in a directed manner, relatively less expense when compared to procedures that remove (actually tighten) the skin less and less recovery time and discomfort. To be fair to the Tummy Tuck, the reduced recovery time and expense is because Liposuction is doing less; however, if less is what you need, Liposuction is a better option.

Liposuction Limitations: Liposuction requires smooth, tight and elastic skin over the area of fat removal. This allows the skin to tighten and the best possible results. Despite what you may see advertised, lasers, ultrasound, radio frequency, heat, cold, microwaves and other added modalities to not significantly shrink loose skin. Removing the fat from under loose skin will reduce girth, but this rarely looks better when the skin folds irregularly. The loss of support that occurs when the stuffing (the extra fat) is removed is the problem. When the skin is already folding, a Tummy Tuck is the better option.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Tummy Tuck Indications: Loose abdominal skin, loose abdominal muscles and disproportionate fat of the lower abdominal wall are all indications for Abdominoplasty. Unlike Liposuction, a Tummy Tuck can tighten the muscle behind the fat and tighten the skin in front of the fat. This is especially useful after weight loss or pregnancy, the two main reasons Tummy Tucks are performed.

The Tummy Tuck, or Abdominoplasty, removes fat like liposuction, but is also tightens the abdominal wall muscle and skin in one procedure.

The Tummy Tuck, or Abdominoplasty, removes fat like liposuction, but is also tightens the abdominal wall muscle and skin in one procedure.

Tummy Tuck Advantages: The open Tummy Tuck procedure allows for direct visualization of the abdominal wall muscles. When the rectus abdominus muscles are loose or separated (Diastasis Recti), the tough case of the muscle can be tightened like an internal corset to flatten the abdominal foundation and maximize the results of your Abdominoplasty. Likewise, the skin over the abdominal wall is tightened by removing any excess from the lower belly.

Tummy Tuck Limitations: Tummy Tucks do not work as well if you store your fat behind the abdominal muscles. It is best if this fat is lost, we’re talking diet and exercise, prior to surgical intervention. Trying to tighten the abdominal muscles when the belly is stuffed with fat is like trying to close a suitcase when it is stuffed full of clothes. Additionally, it can be hard to contour the upper abdomen when there is disproportionate fat in this area, or when the upper abdominal skin is very loose. Additional treatment, like staged liposuction or a Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck, respectively, may provide better results.

Mini Abdominoplasty (Mini Tummy Tuck)

Mini Abdominoplasty Indications: A Mini Abdominoplasty is best when any skin or muscle laxity is confined to the region beneath the belly button. The Mini Tummy Tuck has some of the advantages and disadvantages of both Liposuction and Full Tummy Tucks.

The Mini Tummy Tuck combines aspects of Liposuction and Abdominoplasty to repair abdominal laxity that Liposuction can't when a Tummy Tuck is too much.

The Mini Tummy Tuck combines aspects of Liposuction and Abdominoplasty to repair abdominal laxity that Liposuction can’t when a Tummy Tuck is too much.

Mini Abdominoplasty Advantages: The Mini Tummy Tuck’s recovery is closer to that of Liposuction, but it can do more than Liposuction alone. The procedure tightens the skin below the belly button by removing skin, like a Tummy Tuck, since less skin needs to be removed in patients who qualify for the mini procedure, the scar is shorter. Since less muscle is tightened, only below the belly button, there is less post-operative discomfort and a speedier recovery.

Mini Abdominoplasty Limitations: Since less skin is removed with the Mini Tummy Tuck, it cannot tighten the skin as much as a Full Tummy Tuck. Since the belly button and its surrounding skin are left attached, the mini procedure cannot tighten the upper abdominal wall. A “Floating Belly Button” technique can be used when just a little tightening is needed above the belly button, but an in-person consultation is needed to make the determination. Since less muscle is tightened, bulges in the upper abdomen cannot be addressed with this procedure.

Abdominal Rejuvenation

Instead of trying to figure out which procedure is best for your belly on your own, schedule an in-person consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon like Joseph A. Mele, MD. Your Plastic Surgeon should be familiar with all the above Abdominal Rejuvenation procedures and many more. This allows them to evaluate your abdomen first, and then pick the procedure that will work best for your specific needs. To schedule a personalized consultation about your Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, give me a call at (925) 943-6353, and learn all your options.

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Tummy Tuck Options | SF Bay Area

Posted September 12, 2015 in Home, Liposuction, Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty), Mommy Makeover, Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

When I see a new patient for a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) consultation, I consider all the options. Usually, one method has the clear advantage, but occasionally there are multiple approaches to a good result. A Tummy Tuck may be the perfect fit, but sometimes less is more, like when Liposuction or a Mini Tummy Tuck will fix what’s broken. Other times, more is more, like doing a Mommy Makeover to combine belly and breast rejuvenation, or in case of a Fleur-de-Lis Tummy Tuck after massive weight loss. It’s good to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has experience with all your Belly Flattening options.

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Before and After Pictures

The full Tummy Tuck is the only true Abdominoplasty. Its triple threat of skin tightening, muscle tightening and lower abdominal fat removal is hard to beat.

The full Tummy Tuck is the only true Abdominoplasty. Its triple threat of skin tightening, muscle tightening and lower abdominal fat removal is hard to beat.

The Abdominoplasty is the go to procedure for fixing bellies. The Tummy Tuck removes the excess skin and fat from the lower belly, and it tightens the skin and muscle layers right down the middle, from the ribs to the pubis. For post pregnancy belly and after most weight loss, the Tummy Tuck gets the job of tightening the belly done right. For some patients, the Tummy Tuck is more than is needed, and for others, it is not quite enough.

When Less Tummy Tucking is Needed

For those patients who have less skin laxity there are several options. For the tight bellied person who has disproportionate fat, Liposuction may be the best choice. The procedure requires that the skin tone is good before surgery. When skin is folding on itself, the Tummy Tuck remains the better choice.

Liposuction Before and After Pictures

Liposuction removes disproportionate fat through very small incisions that can be placed away from the contouring. When the skin is tight, liposuction is an excellent way to reduce belly bulge and muffin tops.

Liposuction removes disproportionate fat through very small incisions that can be placed away from the contouring. When the skin is tight, Liposuction is an excellent way to reduce belly bulge and muffin tops.

The Mini Abdominoplasty

One step above Liposuction on the Plastic Surgery stairway to a better belly is the Mini Tummy Tuck. A Mini Abdominoplasty combines Liposuction with repair of the muscle below the belly button and some skin excision. Small amounts of lower abdominal skin redundancy and muscle laxity respond well to the Mini Abdominoplasty. If you have loose skin above the belly button, you will want to explore other options like a “floating belly-button” Tummy Tuck or a full Abdominoplasty.

Mini Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures

When there is less tummy to tighten, the Mini Abdominoplasty or Mini Tummy Tuck can give great results with a shortened recovery.

When there is less tummy to tighten, the Mini Abdominoplasty or Mini Tummy Tuck can give great results with a shortened recovery.

When More Tummy Tucking is Needed

More than a full Tummy Tuck is needed when the skin above the belly button is very loose. This is seen primarily in patients who have lost a large amount of weight. Whether you have lost weight from diet and exercise or after Bariatric Surgery does not matter. When the upper abdominal skin is very lax from side-to-side, a vertical scar is used down the middle of the abdomen to remove the excess. This is called a Fleur-de-Lis Tummy Tuck, and more about these Tummy Tucks and Lower Body Lifts (Belt Lipectomies) can be found here: Fleur-de-Lis Tummy Tucks, and on my Post Bariatric Plastic Surgery Page.

Sometimes, the Tummy Tuck will fix the Tummy, but more is needed elsewhere. A little Liposuction can be added around the sides and the back to reduce the Muffin-Top, or Breast Enhancement can be added for a full Mommy Makeover. When desired, other procedures are combined with the Abdominoplasty to help keep your body balanced.

Mommy Makeover Before and After Pictures

The Mommy Makeover combines abdominal and breast repairs in the same operation. The advantage is that there is only one recovery period.

The Mommy Makeover combines abdominal and breast repairs in the same operation. The advantage is that there is only one recovery period.

Belly Flattening Consultations

If you are considering Plastic Surgery to flatten your belly, be certain to visit a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon near you. In the San Francisco Bay Area, you have many excellent Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons to choose from. If you would like to schedule a consultation appointment, call (925) 943-6353, and I can review the options that are most suited to your body. You can explore your options fully, so that you will know that the decision you are making is the best one for your needs. If you have questions, many frequently asked questions are answered here on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog and my other websites, or you can ask via the contact form in the side column.

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Tummy Tucks in the SF Bay Area (Abdominoplasty)

Posted August 30, 2014 in Home, Mommy Makeover, Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

The Tummy Tuck remains one of the most popular Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedures. It reduces the belly bulge and tightens both skin and muscle. Also known as Abdominoplasty, the procedure is frequently performed as part of a Mommy Makeover and after weight loss.

Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures

No more Toddler Tummy. Pregnancy stretches the belly. A Tummy Tuck tightens it back up.

No more Toddler Tummy. Pregnancy stretches the belly. A Tummy Tuck tightens it back up.

What Does a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Do?

Abdominoplasty is a layered repair of a stretched abdominal wall. An incision is placed low across the abdomen, below the belt or bikini line, to remove the excess abdominal wall skin, but there is more to a Tummy Tuck than skin removal. The foundation of the abdominal wall, the muscle layer, is also repaired. Muscle fascia (case) is tightened down the middle of the belly from top to bottom underneath the skin. There is no visible scar from this portion of the procedure, as it is performed through the skin tightening incision. This further flattens the tummy. A third layer is also fixed. Between the muscle and the skin is another tough layer, Scarpa’s Fascia. Repairing this layer provides a third layer of support and helps relieve tension on the skin, providing a better scar.

Abdominoplasty Before and After Pictures

Abdominoplasty provides tighter skin and muscles after pregnancy or weight loss.

Abdominoplasty provides tighter skin and muscles after pregnancy or weight loss.

Beautiful Bellies After Babies

The Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures above show the improvement possible with Abdominoplasty. The loose, crepey skin draping over the belly button and collecting on the lower abdomen is removed. The after picture shows smooth skin, and now the belly button is visible. Moreover, the abdominal muscles are pulled together like a corset providing a flattened abdominal wall. The outer edges of the rectus muscle are visible above as shadows. In the before picture, the shadows are along the sides of the loose skin. In the after picture, they are the cut lines running vertically on the now flat abdominal wall. Tightening of the abdominal wall muscles is even more obvious in the Abdominoplasty Before and After Pictures below.

Abdominal Tightening Before and After Photos

The Battle of the Belly Bulge has been won. The Tummy Tuck removes lower abdominal fat and skin while tightening the abdominal muscles.

The Battle of the Belly Bulge has been won. The Tummy Tuck removes lower abdominal fat and skin while tightening the abdominal muscles.

The Secret to Tummy Tucks

Beware of gimmicks, brand name tummy tucks and mini procedures promising maxi results. The secret to you getting the best Tummy Tuck results possible is in the hands of your Plastic Surgeon. The skills of your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon are what make the difference between a good result and a great result. Do your homework, and find an experienced and Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who you can communicate with. It is easy to check them out online:

Is your Plastic Surgeon Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
Does your Plastic Surgeon have an Unrestricted California Medical License? (Other States)
Is your Plastic Surgeon a Member of the Aesthetic Society (the premier American organization of board certified plastic surgeons dedicated to cosmetic surgery)?

Tummy Tuck Consultations

As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with 17 years of Private Practice experience dedicated to Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, I know there is no substitute for an in-person consultation with a qualified doctor.

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, considering Abdominoplasty, call (925) 943-6353 today to make a personalized Tummy Tuck Consultation. While the generalized information available on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog and on the Internet can provide a generalized framework, during an in-person consultation your questions will be answered specifically to your needs.

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Tummy Tucks Mini vs Maxi – San Francisco Bay Area | Walnut Creek, CA

Posted August 10, 2013 in Home, Liposuction, Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty), Post-Bariatric Surgery (After Weight Loss), Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

We all like mini surgery, but we don’t want mini results. When is the mini tummy tuck good, and when is the maxi a must? The decision between liposuction, mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck is one I face daily in my San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgery office. We all want more for less, but when is more really more, and when is less, just less?

Tummy Tuck - Before and afters showing fat removal plus tightening of skin and muscle of the abdominal wall.

Tummy Tuck – Before and afters showing fat removal plus tightening of skin and muscle of the abdominal wall.

Choices in Abdominal Rejuvenation

Whether you were born with the genes for a loose belly, or you earned it with childbirth or weight loss, there are three main choices for abdominal rejuvenation:

  1. Liposuction
  2. Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty)
  3. Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Indications for Tummy Tucks and the Alternatives

The Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Procedures listed above each have specific indications, benefits and risks. Each option improves the results of diet and exercise, but none can replace them. And while achieving or keeping your weight close to ideal helps with maintaining an attractive tummy, plastic surgery can offer improvements in ways that diet and exercise cannot. The procedure are not an alternative, but are complementary, and the results speak for themselves.

How to Get a Great Tummy

Yes, there is no way to get around taking care of yourself. Maintaining your weight and breaking a sweat once in a while help. However, there are times when a little extra attention is needed.

Weight Loss

Weight Loss is the first line of offense when striving for a great gut. There is no surgical way to remove internal fat. This fat fills the belly from inside and pushes the abdominal wall muscles forward. Most common in men, excess intraabdominal fat is unhealthy, and makes a big hard belly. Losing this fat improves health and appearance.

On the other hand, I see many patients who are close to their ideal weight, who retain disproportionate fat around their waist. These stubborn areas form muffin tops or love handles, and despite the affectionate nicknames, no one really likes them. External fat is something I can help with.

Liposuction

Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss, but it provides laser beam focus on the problem areas that just won’t go away. Unlike weight loss, liposuction allows you to pick which fat cells are leaving. Those stubborn areas around the waist or thighs are the most frequently aspirated areas. Tumescent Liposuction can safely and effectively remove unwanted bulges, as long as the skin is tight.

Liposuction Before and After Pictures

Liposuction - Before and afters show the removal of disproportionate abdominal fat, and delineation of the abdominal muscles.

Liposuction – Before and afters show the removal of disproportionate abdominal fat, and delineation of the abdominal muscles.

Exercise

Exercise has many health benefits. Tightening up our core helps us with both work and play. It makes us look and feel good too. The absence of strong abdominal muscles allows the gut to push the abdomen forward. Strong muscles make for strong support and a flatter tummy. Exercise also helps eliminate intraabdominal fat, and with less internal stuffing, the abdominal contours improve.

So why do so many of us still feel like our bellies are fat after weight loss? Why can’t all the mommies hitting the gym correct the belly laxity caused by pregnancy? The problem may be that the strong muscles are stretched out of shape. The case around the muscle, called fascia (fash-ya), it stretched with pregnancy and weight gain. Just like the skin, the fascia does not always return to its prestretched tone.

Mini Tummy Tucks (Mini Abdominoplasty)

This is where the tucks come in. Tummy Tucks allow a plastic surgeon to tighten what nature won’t. Abdominoplasty means literally abdomen changing. Loose muscle fascia is tightened, like an internal corset, and excess skin is removed along with the redundant folds around the middle that it causes.

When the problem is isolated to below the belly-button, a Mini Tummy Tuck may be just what the doctor orders. The Mini Abdominoplasty allows for tightening of the skin below the belly button and tightening of the lower abdominal fascia. It is half the operation of the full tummy tuck, so the both the recovery and the results are reduced.

Mini Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures

Mini Tummy Tuck - Before and afters reveal significant tightening of the lower abdomen and a more flattering figure.

Mini Tummy Tuck – Before and afters reveal significant tightening of the lower abdomen and a more flattering figure.

Tummy Tucks (Abdominoplasty)

The bigger the damage, the bigger the repair. When the entire abdominal wall from ribs to pelvis is stretched out, a Mini Tummy Tuck is not going to cut it. A traditional, full Tummy Tuck has been around a long time because it works. It provides tightening of the entire abdominal fascia, from top to bottom, and allows for improvement above the belly-button. The amount of excess that can be treated still impresses me, and I have done a lot of Tummy Tucking.

Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures

Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck: Before and afters show flattening of the abdomen from top to bottom, with removal of lower abdominal fat and tightening of both skin and muscles.

Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck: Before and afters show flattening of the abdomen from top to bottom, with removal of lower abdominal fat and tightening of both skin and muscles.

So Who Qualifies and Who is Qualified for Tummy Tucks?

The San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog cannot substitute for a carefully performed, in person consultation with a qualified Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. If you are considering any sort of abdominal rejuvenation, be certain to consult with an experienced member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), or a member who has shown further dedication to the cosmetic side of plastic surgery, by also joining the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Members of these two organizations determined well before their training that plastic surgery was what they wanted to do, and that they had the grades and the drive to make it into a highly competitive, accredited plastic surgery training program.

If you are considering Plastic Surgery, whether it be Liposuction, Tummy Tuck or any elective cosmetic procedure, you are not just choosing a procedure. You are choosing the person to trust with performing that procedure. Learn what you can online, but be prepared to learn more, specifically what will work best for your body, at your consultation appointment.

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Consultations

If you would like to schedule a personalized consultation appointment, give us a call at (925) 943-6353. My staff will do their best to get you a convenient, private appointment, and I will do my best to provide you the information you need to make a safe and informed decision about what will work best for you.

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Mommy Makeover – Tummy Tuck & Liposuction – San Francisco Bay Area

Posted May 03, 2013 in Home, Liposuction, Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty), Mommy Makeover, Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty), Videos

My most recent KRON4 Body Beautiful television appearance featuring Mommy Makeovers is packed with information that every woman considering Breast Enhancement or Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) can use.

What is a Mommy Makeover

Mommy Makeover is a generic term for a combination of procedures that restore both the breasts and the belly. Since this is very desirable after childbirth, mommies are the number one patients for Mommy Makeovers. The combination is also common after weight loss, when breast volume is lost and the abdominal skin remains stretched out. A Mommy makeover can also be performed to cosmetically enhance the results of Bariatric Surgery. As a member of the American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons, Mommy Makeovers are an area of particular interest to me.

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tucks)

The previous post reviewed the options for remodeling the upstairs (Breast Enhancement). This Mommy Makeover Video concentrates on downstairs (Body Enhancement). The mainstay of Body Enhancement is the Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty. The procedure allows a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to tighten the abdominal muscles and remove excess belly skin and fat. The result is a smoother, firmer tummy.

Mini Tummy Tucks (Mini Abdominoplasty)

When the upper abdominal wall looks good (above the belly-button) and just the lower tummy needs tucking, a Mini Tummy Tuck may be a better choice. The Mini Abdominoplasty operation is a smaller procedure, with a quicker recovery. The fact that it’s a smaller procedure also means it is not a substitute for when a full Tummy Tuck is indicated.

Liposuction

Liposuction can also be used for body sculpting. Liposuction allows areas of disproportionate fat to be removed via small, discretely placed incisions. If your skin has good elasticity, it will smooth out after the fat is removed. The skin over an area of liposuction can shrink due to it’s own elasticity, but if the skin is loose prior to liposuctioning, a Tummy Tuck is almost always a better choice.

Mommy Makeover Video – Breast Augmentation

The Mommy Makeover video segment below was broadcast live on the San Francisco Bay Area’s News Station, KRON4. The (415) number shown in the feature was for callers to ask questions during the show. If you have questions about Mommy Makeovers, Breast Augmentation or Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tucks) please call (925) 943-6353 for more information, or use the contact form on this page to email me.

Mommy Makeover Frequently Asked Questions

This Mommy Makeover Video includes answers to many of the frequently asked questions about Tummy Tucks and Abdominoplasty. Other tummy shaping procedures are also discussed including, Mini Tummy Tucks, Mini Abdominoplasty and Liposuction. Some of the Mommy Makeover Information covered includes:

  • What diet and exercise can and can’t do.
  • What is the definition of the Mommy Makeover
  • Can Tummy Tucks be safely combined with Breast Implants?
  • Do only Mommies benefit from Mommy Makeovers?
  • How can a Mommy Makeover help after pregnancy?
  • How can a Mommy Makeover help after weight loss?
  • What differences are there with Tummy Tucks for Women and Men?
  • Will Liposuction tighten loose skin?
  • What are the advantages of a Mini Tummy Tuck?
  • What are the limitations of a Mini Tummy Tuck?
  • Why are Mini Abdominoplasty scars shorter?
  • Does an Abdominoplasty cut the abdominal muscles?

More Mommy Makeover Information

Thank you for watching part two of Mommy Makeovers. Be sure to watch the rest of the show. Links are provided below:

More Mommy Makeover information is available under the Categories menu to the left and on my websites. Click the links below to learn more:

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Mini Tummy Tuck | Modified Abdominoplasty with Liposuction | San Francisco Bay Area | Walnut Creek, CA

Posted November 24, 2012 in Home, Liposuction, Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty), Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

What does the mini in Mini Tummy Tuck mean to you? In Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, mini means less downtime, less expense and shorter period of time before you can enjoy your results. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well it’s not, but there is a catch. Mini procedures are great, but they require a more experienced guide.

Mini Tummy Tuck Before and After (Mini Abdominoplasty)

Mini Tummy Tuck Before and After (Mini Abdominoplasty)

Why More Experience is Necessary for Mini Procedures

In general, mini procedures are not more difficult than their maxi counter parts. In fact, the majority of the mini procedure’s upside comes from their simplicity. This is also the mini’s limitation, and truly knowing the limitations of a mini procedure is only possible if you have experience with the read deal. For a Mini Tummy Tuck, this means experience with both Abdominoplasty and Liposuction.

Let’s Talk Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty)

What is a Mini Tummy Tuck? The procedure combines the best skin tightening techniques of a Tummy Tuck with the shortened recovery of liposuction. For appropriately selected patients, this means more value. This means a great result for less (downtime, discomfort and dollars).

When the “Simple” Procedure gets Complicated

Since a Mini Tummy Tuck seems simpler and easier than a Full Tummy Tuck, you might think less training would be necessary, but this is not the case. Taking a weekend course on “How to Perform a Mini Tummy Tuck,” is a great refresher when you already know how to do a Full Tummy Tuck and Liposuction. There is no downside to learning how best to integrate and refine two techniques into a hybrid that gives great results, with a shorter recovery period, for well selected patients.

The Problem with Mini Tummy Tucks

The problems occur when a weekend course is the entirety of a cosmetic surgeon’s training. It is not possible to learn everything that is needed for a Mini Tummy Tuck in a few hours or even days. Without a sound foundation in general Plastic Surgery techniques, the necessary anatomy, the specific techniques and the alternatives to the Mini Abdominoplasty, the mini procedure surgeon cannot achieve maxi results. It takes years of training and experience to learn both how to do a Mini Tummy Tuck and who will benefit from a Mini Abdominoplasty.

Who should Get a Mini Abdominoplasty?

Who is good candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck? To a major degree, the answer depends on you, the Mini Tummy Tuck patient. Both the anatomy of your abdomen and your expectations will influence the decision making process. No matter how much is saved by having a mini procedure, if it does not accomplish what is expected, it will not seem worthwhile.

The Best Mini Tummy Tuck Candidates

The best candidates for the Mini Tummy Tuck are healthy, with good skin tone and problem isolated to the lower abdomen. The best candidates have too much loose skin for Liposuction, but lack muscle and skin laxity in the upper abdomen. If the skin laxity, and muscle pooching is isolated to the area below the belly-button, a Mini Abdominoplasty may be able to accomplish everything that we would want a full abdominoplasty to do.

Mini Tummy Tuck Consultations

As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, with over 15 years in private practice, I know that the Internet is a great source of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery information; however, the information needs to be adapted to each patient’s specific requirements. If you are interested in Body Shaping Procedures like the Tummy Tuck, Mini Tummy Tummy Tuck or Liposuction, call (925) 943-6353 today to schedule your personal consultation appointment.

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Tummy Tucks and Liposuction – The Battle of the Belly Bulge – SF Bay Area

Posted November 17, 2012 in Home, Liposuction, Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty), Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

The battle of the belly bulge ramps up for winter. As we enter the holiday season, big meals, more parties and less daylight for exercise combine to help us gain a little winter fat. Diet and exercise are still our best defense, but for those stubborn areas of disproportionate fat, or loose skin, there are some secret weapons.

Liposuction

Liposuction is not a substitute for a good diet and exercise plan, but it is a great compliment. Unlike weight loss, Liposuction allows you to choose the area where the fat is removed. If you have a stubborn bulge of disproportionate fat, Liposuction can sculpt the area, smooth out the unwanted curves, and accent the desired ones. More articles on Liposuction are available on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog. Click on Liposuction under “Categories” on the left, or visit DrMele.com’s Liposuction information page.

Tumescent Liposuction Before and After Pictures

Tumescent Liposuction

Tumescent Liposuction of the Abdomen – The problem here is purely fat. The skin is smooth and tight and the abdominal muscles are fit. Localized, disproportionate fat was selectively removed with Dumb-Lipo, not Smart-Lipo. No laser, no ultrasound, no radio-frequency electromagnetic waves, just safe, reliable tumescent liposuction. Good-bye belly bulge.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty is also not a substitute for diet and exercise. It compliments weight loss in an entirely different way. Sometimes, after pregnancy or weight loss, the skin of the abdomen is over stretched, and cannot recoil. The loose skin accumulates on the lower abdomen, and overhangs the belt-line, or even the belly-button. The skin roll may be more noticeable when sitting or bending over.

Tummy-Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Before and After Pictures

Abdominoplasty before and after pictures

Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty – The problem here is skin. After massive weight loss, multiple rolls of redundant skin are seen at the belt-line, the belly-button and even higher. The Tummy Tuck permanently removes loose abdominal skin and allows tightening of the abdominal muscles. Clothes now fit. Good-bye belly bulges.

Weight loss can remove the unwanted fat, but does nothing to tighten the abdominal wall skin and muscle. Unlike Liposuction, a Tummy Tuck removes excess skin and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall. It can remove the fat from the lower abdomen, along with central stretch marks. More articles covering the frequently asked questions about Abdominoplasty can be viewed by clicking on Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) under “Categories” on the left, or visit DrMele.com’s Tummy Tuck information page.

Mommy Makeovers

Mommy Makeovers address both the belly and the breasts. Sometimes weight loss leads to a loss of breast volume, or sagging. A Mommy Makeover is a combination of abdominal rejuvenation (Liposuction or Tummy Tuck) with Breast Enhancement (Breast Augmentation or Breast Lift). The Mommy Makeover is often performed after pregnancy, or more specifically after a woman is done having children.

Pregnancy and weight gain both can lead to enlargement of the breasts and belly. After childbirth, or weight loss, the breast can lose volume and may sag, and the abdomen can get stretched out of shape. A Mommy Makeover can help both areas. For information click on the Mommy Makeover listing under Categories” on the left, or visit DrMele.com’s Mommy Makeover information page.

Mommy Makeover Before and After Pictures

Mommy Makeover Before And After

Mommy Makeover – The problem here is childbirth. The breast have deflated and the tummy is stretched out and lax. Both the skin and the muscle of the abdominal wall are affected. Breast Augmentation combined with a Tummy Tuck, reestablish her pre-pregnancy appeal, and maybe a little more. Hello Mamma.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Soccer season is over. Summer memories are fading. Before Thanksgiving, most of us are at our lowest weight of the year. Before the Winter doldrums set in, it’s a great time to get rid of those little bulges before they try to grow after Thanksgiving. If you have been considering a little body shaping, now is a great time to come in for a consultation. Call (925) 943-6353 and schedule your personal consultation appointment, today. Give yourself something really worth protecting this Winter, and be doubly ready for Spring.

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Tummy Tuck San Francisco Bay Area (Abdominoplasty)

Posted September 07, 2012 in Home, Liposuction, Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty), Mommy Makeover, Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Tummy Tucks, in the San Francisco Bay Area, remain high on the list of cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. Whether performed on their own, or as part of a Mommy Makeover, abdominoplasty can repair loose overstretched skin, muscle laxity, disproportionate fat, and even remove stretch marks from the lower abdomen.

Tummy Tuck Before and After

Tummy Tuck Before and After: Lower abdominal laxity distorts the appearance of the abs in this otherwise fit woman. In just a few weeks after her tummy tuck, her clothes fit better, and she is much happier with her new look.

Tummy Tuck Alternatives and Options

The Tummy Tuck is the plastic surgery work horse for abdominal rejuvenation. It addresses all three of the major areas on concern for the lower abdomen. Abdominoplasty tightens skin, removes fat and cinches up the muscles like an internal corset. For most patients, after weight loss or child birth, this is the best option. When the skin and muscles are tight, however, Liposuction alone may be sufficient to flatten the belly. When muscle and skin laxity is confined to the area below the belly-button, a mini-tummy-tuck may be a better choice.

Maintaining the Proportions of the Trunk

Sometimes the fat extends around the sides to the back. The love handles or “back fat” may look disproportionate after the belly is repaired. A Tummy Tuck can be combined with Liposuction to extend the results. As long as the skin tone is good, liposuction can be utilized to removed the love handles and back fat to rejuvenate the entire trunk.

Liposuction of the Back

Liposuction of the back can be combined with a tummy tuck to further enhance your results. In this case, liposuction allowed for further reduction of the waist, and smoothing of the back. The combination allows clothing to fit better than with a tummy tuck alone.

Liposuction only works when the skin retains the ability to contract and shrink to the new, slimmer shape. When the skin is over stretched, appropriately named “plastic deformation” in Engineering, it can no longer regain its original shape. This is the benefit of operations like Abdominoplasty and the circumferential Lower Body Lift or Belt Lipectomy used for Post Bariatric Plastic Surgery. These procedures remove the excess skin and allow for enhanced, more form fitting results.

Tummy Tuck Frequently Asked Questions

Interested in more information about Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty), Mini-Tummy Tuck (Mini-Abdominoplasty), Liposuction, Lower Body Lift or Belt Lipectomy? More is available on my main web site, DrMele.com, and via any of the links embedded above. We would be happy to answer your questions via the contact form to the left or via the phone.

To schedule a private consultation in our Walnut Creek, CA, Plastic Surgery Office call (925) 943-6353.

Live Television Event on Monday, September 10, 2012, at 11:00 AM

Update: Dr. Joseph Mele, will be appearing live Monday, on KRON4’s Body Beautiful. The topic will be all about the abdomen. You can call in and get your questions answered during the show, or email them beforehand using the contact form on the left.

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More Mommy Makeovers in the San Francisco Bay Area

Posted August 17, 2012 in Breast Augmentation, Home, Mommy Makeover, Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Recently, inquires about Mommy Makover procedures have been on the rise. Astute Bay Area consumers of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery are seeking the assistance of an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, like myself, Joseph A. Mele, MD, to repair the damage that pregnancy sometimes causes.

Mommy Makeover Before And After

Mommy Makeover Before And After Pictures: Side-by-side before and after photos of Breast Augmentation combined with a Tummy Tuck.

What is a Mommy Makeover?

What is a Mommy Makeover? The Mommy Makeover takes care of the two areas of the female body that take the biggest hits with pregnancy: the breasts and the belly. Traditionally, Breast Augmentation (Breast Implants) is combined with Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck), but other variations exist.

The Mommy Makeover before and after photos above show what can be achieved. After pregnancy, her breasts have lost volume, but are not saggy. The skin on the abdomen has become loose and the muscle behind it is lax, bowing forward due to stretching during pregnancy. In this case, Breast Augmentation with Breast Implants restores the lost breast volume, and a Tummy Tuck tightens the abdomen.

What Else Can a Mommy Makeover do?

Other procedures can be combined or substituted depending on your specific needs. When the the breast sag, a Breast Lift can be added. If there is sagging, but size of the breasts remains good, Breast Augmentation may not be needed. On the other hand, when the breasts remain too large, a Breast Reduction is performed.

For the abdomen, when only the lower abdomen is over stretched, a Mini Tummy Tuck may be sufficient for correction. In cases where the muscle remains flat, but a collection of fat develops, Liposuction can help improve the contours. Liposuction may also be used in combination with the Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck, to further improve the abdominal proportions.

Mommy Make Over Options

As you can see, there are many variations of Mommy Makeovers. What will work best for you depends on where the problems are, and the simplest, most predictable way available for improvement. To learn more about the Mommy Makeover, and to see what the procedure has to offer you, be certain to consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, call our Walnut Creek, CA office at (925) 943-6353, to schedule an appointment today. Alternatively, you can use the contact form at the bottom of the left column.

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Tummy Tuck Bay Area | Abdominoplasty San Francisco

Posted March 11, 2011 in Home, Liposuction, Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy), Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty), Post-Bariatric Surgery (After Weight Loss), Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

The Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) remains one of the most frequently performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. After blogging about the extreme tummy tuck last week, the fleur-de-lis tummy tuck, I received a lot of questions about when I would use that technique instead of a traditional abdominoplasty. Bay Area residents want to know, so let me start small and work my way through the time-tested techniques for tucking your tummy — from liposuction to the fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty.

Abdominoplasty before and after pictures

Abdominoplasty - Left (before): Multiple rolls of redundant skin are seen after massive weight loss. Right (after): The loose abdominal skin is removed and the muscle wall is tightened, making finding clothes that fit much easier.

Tumescent Liposuction (Liposculpture, Suction Assisted Lipectomy or SAL)

Diet and exercise are always the first line of defense. No plastic surgery can eliminate the need for a proper diet and exercise plan. However, there are some problems that diet and exercise cannot fix. Localized accumulations of fat, which are disproportionate, are discussed in the previous post about Tumescent Liposuction. For bellies with small amounts of excess fat, that have good muscle and skin tone, tumescent liposuction provides a simpler and faster alternative to tummy tucks. Liposuction (SAL) cannot tighten loose skin. Even laser liposuction (LAL) and ultrasonic liposuction (UAL) cannot tighten skin that has lost its tone. If fact, liposuction can make loose skin look worse by further deflating the skin. By removing the fat, the support for the skin is removed, and the skin will fold over itself. The tummy tuck was designed specifically to address this problem.

Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini-Abdominoplasty)

When the abdominal skin and muscle laxity is isolated to the area below the belly-button (umbilicus), a mini tummy tuck may be the best option. For a mini tummy tuck, liposuction is often used in the upper abdomen and the sides to reduce unwanted fat, and a low abdominal incision is used to tighten the skin and muscles of the lower abdomen.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) With a “Floating” Belly-Button

In situations where the abdominal skin and muscle laxity is isolated to the area below the belly-button, but there is a small amount of loose skin just above the belly-button a “floating” belly-button technique is used. This is not the normal way to do a tummy tuck, and patients for this technique need to be carefully selected by an experienced, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. If you are a candidate, however, it usually means more improvement with the same scar as a mini tummy tuck.

Tummy tuck before and after pictures

Tummy Tuck - Top (before): Excess skin, muscle laxity and disproportionate lower abdominal fat contribute to a flabby appearance. Bottom (after): Excess skin and fat have been removed, and the abdominal muscles tightened. The sides of the rectus abdominus muscle are closer to the midline after the repair.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

The tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is the work horse of abdominal rejuvenation, and the gold standard to which every other abdominal tightening procedure is compared. It requires and incision low on the abdomen, and one around the umbilicus. The procedure allows not only for tightening the abdominal skin, but the removal of excess fat and tightening of the muscles of the abdominal wall. This muscle tightening provides a tighter foundation on which to build your new tummy.

Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck (Fleur-De-Lis Abdominoplasty)

The fleur-de-lis tummy tuck is used when the amount and laxity of the abdominal skin is massive. This is most often seen after bariatric surgery or weight loss of greater then 75 pounds. The fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty incorporates all the features of a tummy-tuck with an additional incision running down the middle of the abdomen to remove excess skin from the midline. It is the biggest operation available, designed to reduce the most extreme amounts of excess abdominal skin.

The Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)

The lower body lift is a tummy tuck that extends all the way around to body. It is almost exclusively performed in post-bariatric surgery patients. The combination of extreme weight gain stretching out the skin, followed by loss of this weight, leaves a skirt of loose skin that can extend all the way around the back. In these cases, additional weight loss will not improve the appearance. The lower body lift is also called a belt lipectomy because a belt of excess skin and fat is removed. The abdominal muscles can also be tightened to enhance the abdominal contours, like in a traditional tummy tuck.

Body Beautiful on KRON4

Next Monday, March 14th, at 11:00 AM, I will be on KRON4’s Body Beautiful discussing Tummy Tucks. Feel free to call in and have your questions answered live, on the air. For a less public response, use the contact form on the left. While I do my best to provide you with accurate general information about all aspects of cosmetic plastic surgery on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog, the only way to get information specific to your needs is with a personalized consultation appointment. Give me a call at (925) 943-6353 to schedule your consultation today.

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