What is a Tummy Tuck

The tummy tuck procedure

What is a tummy tuck procedure?

The tummy tuck or abdominoplasty procedure involves removing excess skin, fat and tightening the muscles of the abdomen if they are stretched out.

This procedure is typically performed on patients that have skin redundacy in the abdomen from weight gain and loss and with changes that occur with pregnancy.B Some patients have poor skin elasticity and with age and even mild weight flucuations, this could result in flaccid skin.B The lose skin could be prominent in the vertical component resulting in a pannus that can have rashes and chronic irritation.B With significant weight loss that we are seeing now with the increase in bariatric surgery in the United States there are patients that loss over a hundred or more pounds with the these procedures.B These patients often have skin excess in the horizontal axis which is visible when the skin is pulled sideways.B These patients would get better contouring in the abdomen and truck with a Fleur-De-Lis tummy tuck procedure that I would talk about in a future blog.

In addition to the excess skin, some have fatty deposits in the abdomen that can be removed when the Avelar lipoabdominoplasty is performed.B This is my procedure or choice to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen.B If loose musclesB are present, they can be tightened and corrected with this procedure.

How is the procedure done?

I typically start the procedure with Vaser liposuction of the abdomen and occasionally I will also include the flanks to give a better contour.B I really like using the Vaser prior to perform


ing liposuction as the fat is emulsified and it comes out in half the time and the resultant heat that is created with the Vaser causes more skin retraction as has been documented on studies that I mentioned in an earlier blog aboutB the Vaser Lipo.

The advantage to performing liposuction is that the fat is debulked for better contouring and more importantly, thisB allows me to perform the procedure with limited undermining which limits the vessels that are cut, hence there is decreased complication rates.B If you are interested in reading more about this I have published a couple of articles in aB peer review journal called the American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery and they are included on my website in PDF form.B I go in detail about the potential complications of the procedure and compare them to traditional tummy tucks.

The stretched out muscles of the abdomen can then be tightenedB prior to closure of the skin.B The beauty of doing this procedure this way is that I have avoided drains in some patients and only need one drain on patients where I excise larger flaps of skin on.B B B The drains stay in less time since there is less dead space due to decreased undermining or cutting under the skin to advance the flap.B Patients start to complain about their drains if left in more then 1 week.B I rarely leave the drain in longer than 1 week.

The key to a faster recovery and decreased complications is saving the nerves, vessels and lymphatics in the upper abdomen and lower abdomen as much as possible.B This differentiates the traditional abdominoplasty from the Avelar lipoabdominoplasty.B

What I am doing now is that is new is called Hi-Definition of the abdomen with theB Vaser. The midline linea albaB and linea semi-lunaris is carved out durning the procedure to give them a PilatesB abdomen.

The recovery for the Avelar lipoabdominoplasty procedure is usually 1-2 weeks for most patients.

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