Do you have stubborn belly fat that won’t go away no matter how strict your diet is, or how many hours you spend at the gym? You’re not alone. In fact, excess skin and fatty tissue in the midsection remain one of the most complained-about areas by both men and women. After significant weight loss, many individuals struggle with skin laxity–the presence of excess skin on the body. In addition to skin laxity, individuals may also experience diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles). The result? Loose, sagging skin on and around the abdomen.
At MidAmerica Plastic Surgery, tummy tucks and liposuction are among some of the top cosmetic surgeries performed by board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Ryan Diederich, to help address skin laxity and diastasis recti. A common question regarding these two popular procedures is, “can they be combined?” The answer: Absolutely!
In the past, abdominal/flank liposuction and abdominoplasty were rarely performed at the same time; however, in the last several years this has become one of the most common procedures performed together. Greater knowledge of perforating vessels, advanced liposuction techniques, and discontinuous undermining – all factors that have contributed to the success of these two procedures. Thanks to the refinement of these techniques, it is now possible to achieve amazing results that have been unobtainable in the past. Let’s breakdown each procedure in more detail:
Tummy Tuck – A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin from the abdomen, while also repairing and tightening the abdominal muscles that have separated during pregnancy or weight fluctuation. A tummy tuck does not remove fat. There are three types of tummy tucks performed at MidAmerica Plastic Surgery: mini, full, and Fleur-de-lis. To read more about the different types of tummy tucks, click here.
Liposuction – Unlike a tummy tuck, liposuction does remove excess fat deposits from targeted areas of the body. Liposuction addresses subcutaneous fat, a type of fat that cannot be addressed through diet and exercise alone. Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed on areas such as the abdomen, side flanks, and lower back. To learn more about liposuction by Dr. Diederich, click here.
For patients whose goal is to address skin laxity, separated abdominal muscles, and subcutaneous fat, pairing a tummy tuck and liposuction may be the best option for ultimate body contouring – with just one procedure! By combining these procedures, patients can save time and money since they will only need to take time off work to recover from one surgery.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
First, liposuction is completed by turning the patient in multiple positions to address different angles and to get optimal contour. Once liposuction is completed, the tummy tuck procedure begins. The tissue is elevated as needed for the planned excess skin removal and muscle repair. Once the muscles are repaired, patients are then placed into a flexed position so that as much excess skin as possible can be removed.
Dr. Diederich has refined his tummy tuck procedures with the progressive tension technique. A progressive tension abdominoplasty uses sutures to close any open space in the abdomen that has the potential to collect fluids, eliminating the need for drains during recovery.
By closing all the space that has been opened, Dr. Diederich can purposefully place the abdomen in the contour desired, as well as take tension off the tissue. The belly button is kept in the same position and given special time and care to provide the most natural belly button possible. The final decision for skin removal is made at the end of the procedure to ensure that everything possible is removed.
Combining a tummy tuck and abdominal liposuction is considered safe among board-certified plastic surgeons. However, you should always be made aware of risks, which include:
- Blood clots
Although the results from a tummy tuck and liposuction are long-lasting, it is recommended that patients maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle to prevent fat from redepositing around the midsection. If you are considering combining your tummy tuck with liposuction, it is recommended that you choose a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your procedure.
If you’re unsure if combining procedures is right for you, discuss your concerns and goals with a patient care coordinator. At MidAmerica Plastic Surgery, patients will be able to address all their questions during a one-on-one, personalized consultation. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Diederich, patients are invited to call our office at 618-288-7855 or fill out an online contact form.