Liposuction (Suction-Assisted Lipectomy)
Liposuction is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries performed. This procedure can be done virtually on any part of the body. During a liposuction procedure, fat is removed through a small flexible tube called a cannula. The most common areas for liposuction are the abdomen, thighs, knees, calves, ankles, hips, neck and face. Liposuction is very safe when performed in the right environment.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
When patients have loose muscle and skin following weight loss, giving birth to a child or following abdominal surgery, liposuction alone may not address these problems. The loose skin and muscle must be modified and there are several options available for this depending on the severity of the problem.
A traditional tummy tuck is typically performed on patients whose entire abdomen is loose with excess skin and muscle. Surgery is performed by making an incision hip to hip. The muscle is tightened, fat is liposuctioned and the excess skin is removed. The belly button is also reshaped. This procedure will yield the best aesthetic result.
A mini-tummy tuck can be performed on patients with loose muscle and excess skin confined to below the belly button. A mini-tummy tuck combines liposuction and tightening of the muscle along with the removal of a small amount of skin. The scar is much shorter than the traditional full tummy tuck. The recovery time is much shorter with this procedure.
Mummy Tummy (Diastasis Recti)
During pregnancy, the growing uterus causes a natural separation of the outermost abdominal muscles but this separation does not always disappear after giving birth. This condition, known as “mummy tummy,” is medically referred to as diastasis recti.
Patients with mild to severe diastasis come to our practice frequently. In severe cases the muscles are so weak that the intestines are bulging through the belly like a hernia. Surgery can be done to close this abdominal gap, but if patients strengthen those muscles through exercise their stomachs will be even smaller. For patients with mild to moderate diastasis, exercise will help and surgery is not needed. For severe cases, no amount of exercise will help to close the gap and surgery is required.
Surgery for the diastasis is different from a tummy tuck. In a diastasis operation, the two muscles are brought together without stitching the muscles themselves. Instead, the fascia (a cellophane-like covering that houses the muscles) is stitched. Many insurance companies will cover diastasis surgery because it is not considered a cosmetic procedure.