The 2016 ASPS National Plastic Surgery Statistic were released this week.
This week the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) published the United States’ national Plastic Surgery Statistics for 2016. It is always interesting to me to see how the national statistics correlate with my own Cosmetic Plastic Surgery practice here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Last year, the correlation was pretty close.
Top Ten Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Procedures
As a group, surgical procedures grew 4% from 2015 to 2016. The top five Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedures are almost the same. Facelifts edged out Tummy Tucks for the fifth spot, but the popularity of the two procedures remains very close. Here are the top five procedures as reported by the ASPS:
The fastest growing procedure last year was the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL). The BBL is not really a buttocks lifts, but more a buttocks enlargement. During the procedure, fat grafting is used to enlarge the buttocks and selectively enhance its shape. The results can be quite dramatic and the resultant shape is usually much nicer than that obtained from buttocks implants.
The Brazilian Buttocks Lifts is again the fastest growing cosmetic plastic surgery procedure. Significant improvement in the size and shape of the buttocks is possible by removing disproportionate fat from other areas, the lower back in this example, and selectively inserting the excess fat into the buttocks.
The number of Brazilian Butt Lifts increased 26%, from 14,705 to 18,489 in 2016. The procedure was also the fastest growing procedure of 2015 when it grew 28%, from 11,505 to 14,705. In fact, for the US population, the number of BBL’s has doubled from 2013 to 2016, and shows no signs of slowing in 2017.
Minimally Invasive Plastic Surgery Procedures
Minimally invasive plastic surgery procedures grew 3% in 2016. The top five procedures remain:
Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox®, Dysport®, Xeomin®)
If you live near the San Francisco Bay Area and are considering Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, be certain to seek out an experienced and Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area. To schedule a private consultation, tailored to your specific needs, call (925) 943-6353, today.
Smoking leads to more complications after surgery.
There is ample evidence proving that smoking tobacco cigarettes increases the risk of complications after plastic surgery. Most plastic surgeons recommend that smoking be stopped four weeks before and four weeks after cosmetic surgery to reduce complications and improve healing. If you are a smoker, this may seem excessive, but even four weeks is a compromise. For example, it takes eight weeks for the immunosuppression that accompanies smoking to substantially resolve.
Since patients and doctors alike want the best results with the lowest risk of complications, stopping smoking before plastic surgery is aligned with the patients’ ultimate goal of being better, faster. In fact, even if you are not considering plastic surgery, not smoking significantly improves your health and decreases the outward signs of aging.
Smoking And General Surgery
Smoking doubles the risks associated with general surgery (operations like hernia repair, appendectomy and gall bladder removal). The glass-half-full way to look at this is that if you smoke, you can cut the risks of surgery in half by stopping smoking four to eight weeks before surgery.
General Surgery Vs. Plastic Surgery
General surgery procedures and plastic surgery procedures are different. Many general surgery procedures are emergencies, so there is little chance to stop smoking before surgery. Additionally, most general surgery operations are performed on internal organs, rather than the skin. Since general surgeons are not usually rearranging the skin, the circulation to the skin is less likely to be disturbed with general surgery procedures. The mastectomy is the most obvious exception to this rule.
Smoking And Plastic Surgery
Smoking increases the complications of plastic surgery by 600%. Plastic Surgery is Skin Surgery, so most procedures involve rearranging skin, tightening skin, stretching skin or removing excess skin. The sentinel procedures for smoking studies in plastic surgery have been Face Lifts, Breast Reductions and Tummy Tucks.
How long does it take for your body to recover from smoking? The above timeline gives just a few examples and includes the average time it takes for the health benefits to be seen.
Face Lifts, Breast Reductions and Tummy Tucks
Face Lifts, Breast Reductions and Tummy Tucks require the formation of skin flaps. Skin flaps are sections of skin that are moved based solely on the blood supply within the skin. These vessels are extremely sensitive to smoking. When smoking, the blood vessels in the skin contract, reducing the blood flow, and the ability of the incision to heal. For these procedures, the risk of wound healing problems is not doubled like in general surgery procedure. It is increased by factor of six. Wound healing problems and skin loss are six times more likely for smokers than for non-smokers.
Is Marijuana Safer Than Tobacco?
The banner on the left was meant to convince voters that marijuana should be legalized. The banner on the right is a joke. Any questions?
No. In many ways, smoking a weed is smoking a weed. Both lead to increased coughing, and for most facial plastic surgery and body work, this causes real problems like bleeding and torn sutures. It is believed that the high from marijuana is directly related to the damage done to the alveoli. Just like smoking, this leads to an increased heart rate to compensate for the decreased oxygen delivery and lower than normal oxygen concentrations in the blood. Since normal oxygen delivery is better for wound healing, smoking makes healing worse. Marijuana may decrease nausea, and so does tobacco, but there are better and safer meds for the nausea associated with anesthesia. Marijuana also has psychological effects not present with tobacco, which can further interfere with the medications given around the time of surgery.
Is Vaping Safer Than Tobacco?
An actual Lucky Strike advertisement, trying to make is seem like doctors recommend them. Granted, less information about the long term effects of smoking was known then. The message of the ad is that their cigarettes are less irritating than other cigarettes; however, they still make you cough, and coughing leads to additional surgical complications. Less terrible seems to be a redundant theme in smoking advertising, begging the question that it is still terrible.
The long-term effects of inhaling nicotine vapor are unclear. It may be less likely to cause cancer and heart disease, but research is still early. Early in smoking’s history, it was touted as the new health craze. It is good to know the history, so that we don’t repeat it.
While there seem to be fewer noxious chemicals with e-cigarettes, questions remain about exactly what all the substances in e-cigarettes are, and what they do. The American Society of Plastic Surgery has recommended to all its members that e-cigarettes be treated the same as cigarettes until they have been proven safe. Definitive research on the effects of vaporized nicotine on the survival of skin and soft tissue flaps is not currently available. Nicotine is vasoactive, and inhaling nicotine vapor may have similar effects on skin circulation as inhaling the nicotine in cigarettes. When it comes to your appearance and your health, why take unnecessary risks?
What Do Most Plastic Surgeons Recommend?
It may seem like I am being hard on smokers, but these are not theoretical risks. I have seen Tummy Tucks go from perfect to purple after half a cigarette. I have replanted fingers successfully, only to have a patient go home, weeks later, smoke and have his finger turn black and fall off. Smoking caused the blood vessels in the skin to contract to the point of not working. These are preventable injuries, and there is no better medicine than prevention.
Most plastic surgeons recommend stopping smoking four weeks before and after any procedure that involves skin flaps. The most common cosmetic skin flap procedures are Face Lifts, Breast Reductions and Tummy Tucks. The risks of wound healing problems is six times higher in smokers when compared to non-smokers having these types of procedures.
When the incision used is only an access point, i.e. no skin flaps, like Breast Augmentation, your risks are only doubled from smoking. Only doubled. Think about that.
While most plastic surgeons will operate on smokers for non-skin-flap type cosmetic procedures, it is still better to stop at least four weeks before surgery. And if you can stop for four weeks, there is no reason to restart. Only 15% of Californians currently smoke cigarettes. This is an all-time low, but with the recent passage of Proposition 64, we will have to see if the decline in smoking will continue.
The Tummy Tuck is the Plastic Surgery workhorse for repairing the abdominal contour after childbirth or weight loss. Abdominoplasty is consistently one of the most frequently performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, because it can provide the best, safest and most predictable results possible.
Abdominoplasty on Body Beautiful
I had the opportunity to speak about Tummy Tuck surgery on the San Francisco Bay Area’s News Station, KRON 4’s, Body Beautiful. The following Abdominoplasty Video contains multiple sets of Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures. Each exemplifies the possibilities available with Abdominoplasty.
Tummy Tuck Video (Abdominoplasty)
Abdominoplasty Consultation Appointments
When considering your Tummy Tuck, be certain to ask how the procedure is performed, what can be improved and what will remain the same. I prefer to keep my Abdominoplasty patients overnight. This allows for a supervised and more comfortable recovery, and assistance with mobility. I find once the initial pain is well controlled, and you are confident in your ability to move about, the recovery goes much smoother.
Be certain to consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area who has years of experience with the techniques currently available. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like to schedule a personalized appointment in my Walnut Creek Plastic Surgery clinic, give me a call today at (925) 943-6353.
Every Mommy Makeover includes enhancement of both the belly and the breasts. The most common combination is Breast Augmentation with a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty). However, other options include:
Breast Implants with Breast Lift
Mini Tummy Tucks
Other Body Enhancements
Brazilian Butt Lift
Lower Body Lift
The combination best for you depends on what you need, tempered by safety and predictability.
Mommy Makeover Video Presentation
The television segment included below is all about Mommy Makeovers and includes many of the most popular variations. The Mommy Makeover Video includes Mommy Makeover Before and After Pictures that illustrate what the procedure has to offer.
The following video segment is from my latest appearance on the San Francisco Bay Area’s New Station, KRON 4. The show gives me the opportunity to talk about the latest Cosmetic Plastic Surgery News.
Mommy Makeover Video
Make Your Mommy Makeover Consultation Appointment
When considering a Mommy Makeover, be certain to find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area who has years of experience with the techniques currently available. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like to schedule a personalized appointment in my Walnut Creek Plastic Surgery clinic, give me a call today at (925) 943-6353.
Dr. Joseph Mele appears on the Bay Area’s News Channel, KRON 4’s Body Beautiful this week discussing Breast Augmentation, Breast Lifts, Tummy Tucks, Liposuction and Mommy Makeovers.
Body Beautiful Live Wednesday at noon on KRON 4
San Francisco Bay Area’s News Station, KRON 4, will be airing the latest installment of Body Beautiful this week. The show will be broadcast live, at noon, this Wednesday (Dec 7, 2016) on channel 4, and will include the latest in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery with the emphasis on Body Sculpting.
Liposuction – Sculpting the body by removing disproportionate fat
Abdominoplasty – Using a Tummy Tuck to tighten the abdominal wall and remove excess skin and fat
Mommy Makeover – Combining Breast Enhancement with Abdominal Enhancement to reverse the damage done by pregnancy
So Many Topics; So Little Time
I try to keep the show fast-paced, accurate and informative, but I did not learn about these topics in a half-hour television show. More information is available online by clicking on the links above, but nothing can substitute for an in-person consultation tailored to your specific needs. If you are serious about learning what Cosmetic Plastic Surgery can offer you call my Walnut Creek Plastic Surgery Clinic at (925) 943-6353.
Tummy Tuck Before and After: These side views of Abdominoplasty before and after pictures show what a Tummy Tuck can do to address overstretched abdominal muscles and abdominal skin laxity seen after pregnancy or weight loss.
The Tummy Tuck remains one of my most frequently performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, and one of my favorites. Plastic Surgeons have to be a bit obsessive to get the very best results. The Tummy Tuck, or Abdominoplasty, gives us the ability to not only remove fat, like Liposuction, and remove extra skin like a panniculectomy, but also allows a Plastic Surgeon to tighten the abdominal wall muscles. Tightening the abdominal muscles is the only way to tighten the foundation of the abdominal wall and obtain the flattest possible results.
Muscle Tightening – The Foundation of the Tummy Tuck
The Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures above show what can be accomplished. The bulge that starts well above her belly button is from laxity of the muscles that make up the abdominal wall. This is often seen after pregnancy, and no matter how many sit-ups are performed, if the muscle fascia is over-stretched, the muscles will not tighten properly.
During your Abdominoplasty, the tough case the covers the front of abdominal muscles (the fascia) is tightened. Sutures are placed that act like an internal corset and flatten the belly. It is effective as long as the fascia is normal and the belly is not full of fat. Tummy Tucks are best performed when we are near our ideal body weight and are not planning to have more children.
Abdominoplasty Before and After Pictures
Abdominoplasty Before and After Pictures: The front view of the above Abdominoplasty shows how much the abdominal muscles and skin are tightened. The shadows of the muscles are brought closer to the midline and skin is much smoother. The belly button is also rejuvenated.
Skin Tightening – The Icing of the Tummy Tuck
Sometimes the abdominal muscles are in good shape, but there is too much skin covering them. Abdominoplasties directly remove extra skin right off the front of the belly, and the skin removal is sometimes continued around the sides for an extended Tummy Tuck, if the skin excess continues around to the sides. An Abdominoplasty will not tighten the skin of the back. This is why the Lower Body Lift was invented.
Fat Removal for Disproportionate Fat
Liposuction is frequently combined with the Tummy Tuck to maintain the trunk’s proportions. If the sides or back are full, but the skin is tight, Liposuction can be used to reduce this fullness. More recently, this fat has also been repurposed to enhance the buttocks as part of a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL). In the BBL, fat is grafted into the buttocks to enhance its shape and restore absent volume. An example is shown below.
Tummy Tuck and Brazilian Butt Lift Before and After Pictures: In this case, Abdominoplasty is combined with Liposuction of the back and flanks. The fat is harvested and grafted into the buttocks to create fuller, curvier buttocks.
Tummy Tuck Consultations
If you are considering a Tummy Tuck, give my San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgery office a call today at (925) 943-6353. My friendly staff can help arrange a convenient appointment time, so that we can discuss the details of your procedure, and choose the type of Abdominoplasty that is best suited to your needs.
When is a Mini Tummy Tuck enough? It’s a question I answer every day. Cosmetic Plastic Surgery options for Abdominal Rejuvenation range from Liposuction to Tummy Tuck, with the Mini Tummy Tuck covering some of the middle ground. Unlike Liposuction alone, the Mini Abdominoplasty can tighten the skin and muscle wall of the lower abdomen. But a Mini Tummy Tuck doesn’t do everything a Tummy Tuck can, and it’s important to know the benefits, as well as the limitations, before proceeding.
Mini Tummy Tuck Video (Mini Abdominoplasty)
The Mini Abdominoplasty is discussed below. This video segment is taken from a recent Body Beautiful episode, which originally aired on the San Francisco Bay Area’s News Station, KRON 4. The following Mini Tummy Tuck Video answers many of the frequently asked questions about Mini Abdominoplasty and reviews the results that can be achieved. Indications for a Mini Tummy Tuck vs. Full Tummy Tuck or Liposuction are reviewed. The information provided is accurate, but cannot be considered medical advice. An in-person consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is always recommended prior to choosing a treatment plan.
YouTube videos sometimes get stuck in Apple’s latest Safari Browser (9.1.1). This video may hang at 1:04. Click on the red time bar to fast forward to 1:05 and it should play to the end. Alternatively, you could use another browser.
Mini Abdominoplasty Before and After Pictures
Mini Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures are included in the video above. The indications and results are illustrated and explained. Additional before and after photos are also available on my main website. For more information about determining what Liposuction, Mini Tummy Tucks and Tummy Tucks can do, see my Liposuction or Tummy Tuck Article.
What Is A Foopa?
Foopa comes from the acronym F.U.P.A., which is short for Fat Upper Pubic Area. Originally, this was meant to identify a disproportionate collection of fat above the privates and below the belt line; however, its meaning has expanded to include all lower belly fat, especially the fat that sticks out above a C-section scar. Foopas cause the fullness seen in “Mom Jeans.” Larger foopas can simulate the appearance of early pregnancy.
Can A Mini Abdominoplasty Fix A Foopa?
Small foopas, both above and below the belt-line, can often be fixed with a Mini Abdominoplasty. Larger foopas are associated with larger amounts of abdominal laxity, and often require a Full Tummy Tuck for the best results.
Mini Tummy Tuck Quick Check
Here is an easy way to check if a Mini Tummy Tuck is enough. Cover the area below the belly button and look at the belly. If the area above the belly button looks good, a Mini Tummy Tuck will often be enough to obtain a good result. If there is loose skin above the belly button, or if the abdomen bulges above the belly button, a Full Tummy Tuck will give a superior result. If the area below the belly button is full, but the skin is tight, Liposuction may be the easiest fix.
Liposuction, Mini Tummy Tuck or Tummy Tuck?
The decision between Liposuction, Mini Tummy Tuck or Tummy Tuck is not always easy. When in doubt, consult a professional. A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon can sort it out and review your options in less time than it takes to read this article. If you would like to schedule a private, in-person Mini Tummy Tuck consultation call (925) 943-6353 today. A personalized approach is taken with each patient.
Mommy Makeovers are a combination of cosmetic plastic surgery procedures that enhance, or repair, the breasts and belly. Since both areas take a hit with pregnancy, it is most commonly performed for mommies, but Mommy Makeover procedures are also performed after weight loss. Post Bariatric Surgery patients often have loose skin on their breasts, bellies and other areas, so Mommy Makeovers are performed after weight loss also.
The Mommy Makeover helps by enhancing both the breasts and the belly in a single combination plastic surgery procedure. Above, a Breast Augmentation Lift (Augmentation Mastopexy) is combined with a Tummy Tuck for the optimal result.
The Mommy Makeover is a not a specific operation, but rather a combination of breast and belly enhancement procedures. Each area is evaluated separately and we choose one from column A (breast enhancement) and one from column B (belly enhancement) and the combo plate is termed a Mommy Makeover. The ability to mix and match is what makes the procedure so powerful. The best procedures for each area are combined.
Mommy Makeover – Breast Enhancement
Breast Enhancement is half of the Mommy Makeover. In this case, a Breast Augmentation Mastopexy is performed. A Breast Implant is used to increase the breast volume, while a Breast Lift is used to raise the nipple and reshape the breast. A larger implant without a lift would not make a pretty breast. A larger implant would make larger breasts, too large for this patient’s desires. Additionally, the larger implant would push the nipple lower on the breast.
Breast Enhancement includes many options. The most common are Breast Augmentation and Breast Lifts, though for those women whose breasts do not shrink after pregnancy, Breast Reduction is also a possibility. Below is a list of Breast Enhancement procedures with links to additional information:
The gold standard of Belly Enhancement is the Tummy Tuck. It reduces loose abdominal skin, removes excess belly fat and tightens muscle laxity including rectus diastasis (muscle separation).
Belly Enhancement also includes several options. The classic Mommy Makeover is a Breast Augmentation combined with a Tummy Tuck. The Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) is the work horse. Abdominoplasty can correct loose skin, lax muscle fascia and remove excess fat. It is the only procedure that addresses all three areas over the entire belly. Sometimes, a Tummy Tuck is more than is needed so “smaller” procedures, like Mini Tummy Tucks or Even Liposuction can be substituted for selected patients. Links to more information about the Tummy Tightening Procedures are provided below:
Liposuction can also be added to help with other problem areas like the love handles, muffin top, thighs, arms or chin, too.
Mommy Makeover – Putting It All Together
Choice is good, but sometimes too many choices leads to confusion. The beauty is that you don’t have to decide on your own. An Experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is skilled in all your options, and can explain which procedure best accomplishes your goal. This can help you choose the best procedures, and help you know before committing, if a Mommy Makeover is right for you.
Mommy Makeover Consultations
If you are considering a combination of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery like a Mommy Makeover, call (925) 943-6353 today, and schedule a personalized and private consultation. The best breast and belly procedures will be discussed, and a specific plan created just for your body.
When I started my San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgery practice in 1997, cosmetic procedures were performed one eighth as often as they are today.
In 1997, over 1.6 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed, and most of them were surgical. The breakdown was 55% (900,933) surgical and 45% (740,751) non-surgical.
In 2015, almost 13 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed. The number of surgical procedure performed more than doubled, from 900,933 to 1,912,468. Percentage-wise, however, surgery slipped to only 15% of all cosmetic procedures. There was a tremendous surge in the number of non-surgical procedures performed driven by new technology and expanded FDA approval. In 2015 10,879,909 non-surgical procedures were performed, a 1400% increase.
Non-surgical Plastic Surgery Procedures Then and Now
The nonsurgical procedures of 1997 were not the same as today’s. The sole filler was collagen, which only lasted a few weeks, sometimes months. Botox was available, but the use of Botox for wrinkles was not FDA approved. In 1997, using Botox for frown lines and wrinkles was strictly an off label, use confined to selective Dermatology and Plastic Surgery practices (like mine).
In 2016, there are a variety of FDA approved fillers are available, each lasting months, sometimes years. The most commonly used dermal fillers are Hyaluronic Acid based including: Restylane, Juvederm, Restylane Lift (Perlane), but Radiesse (Calcium Hydroxyapatite spheres) has also emerged for boney augmentation (Cheeks and Chins) and the nasolabial folds. Botox is FDA approved for wrinkles, and is now found in just about every spa in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Surgical Plastic Surgery Procedures Then and Now
Unlike their non-surgical counterparts, the majority of the surgical procedures performed today are largely the same. New techniques and material (sutures and implants), have developed, but the most popular procedures of 1997 are the most popular procedure of 2015 too. To date, they have not been replaced by non-invasive procedures because non-invasive procedures cannot accomplish the same results. Women continue to dominate men in numbers, so let’s break down the procedures desired by each sex.
Plastic Surgery for Women
The headlines read that Buttocks Augmentation is the fastest growing cosmetic surgery. The 30% increase is statistically true, but is magnified by the fact that not as many Buttocks Augmentation are done as Breast Augmentation. Looking at the number of cases performed in 2015 reveals the popularity of the procedures:
Buttocks Implants – 5678
Buttocks Lifts – 5008
Brazilian Butt Lifts (Fat Grafting to the Buttocks) – 15,705
Breast Implants – 305,856
Comparing Buttocks to Breast Augmentation, if 3000 more Brazilian Butt Lifts are performed this year, that will almost be a 20% increase. On the other hand, if 3000 more Breast Augmentations are performed, that will be an increase of less than 1%. It’s all relative to how many procedures are performed.
The most popular Cosmetic Plastic Surgeries for women are Liposuction, Breast Augmentation, Tummy Tuck, Breast Lift and Eyelid Lift.
The most popular Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedures from women have been pretty consistent over the last 18 years:
Comparing the male and female procedures, Rhinoplasty, Facelifts and Breast Reduction are pushed out of the top five by Mommy Makeovers; however, they are next. Cosmetic nasal surgery was number 6; Facelifts was number 7, and breast reduction was number 8 for women. When it comes to Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, men and women seem to want the same things.
Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Consultation
If you are considering Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in the San Francisco Bay Area, call (925) 943-6353 today, and schedule a private consultation appointment. Every consultation is tailored to your specific needs. The decision to proceed, or even to explore, cosmetic surgery is personal. My goal is to provide you the information you need to make your own informed decision.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.