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Liposuction and Abdominoplasty Can Help Enhance the Shape of Your Body

Sep 9, 2008
Sometimes your body will have localized areas of fat that will not respond to diet and exercise. While surgery is not an alternative to traditional weight loss methods, liposuction and abdominoplasty are two options that can help supplement continued diet and exercise.


Suction-assisted lipectomy, more commonly known as liposuction, is a highly effective technique used to sculpt and improve your body contour. It is utilized to remove unwanted fat deposits from specific areas of the body with minimal scarring. These areas may include the chin, neck, upper arms, abdomen, hips, thighs, knees, or back. For men, common areas include the flanks (love handles), the abdomen, the back, or enlarged male breasts (a condition known as gynecomastia). Liposuction is not a substitute for weight reduction, but a method of removing unwanted localized fat deposits that do not respond to traditional weight loss methods.

The best candidates for liposuction are people at a healthy weight with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in defined areas. You should be physically and psychologically healthy, and realistic in your expectations. Your age is not a major consideration; however, older patients may have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin.

The Procedure

Various types of anesthesia can be used for liposuction procedures. If only a small amount of fat and a limited number of body sites are involved, liposuction can be performed under local anesthesia, which numbs only the affected areas. However, the local anesthesia is usually used along with intravenous sedation to keep you more relaxed during the procedure. Some patients may require general anesthesia, particularly if a large volume of fat is being removed.

Recontouring of the body is achieved by removing fat deposits using a cannula (hollow tube) and a suction device. The cannula is inserted through strategically placed small incisions and the fat cells that lie deep beneath the skin surface are removed. The length of the procedure varies (usually 1-4 hours) based on your body habitus and the areas that are to be treated.

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as tummy tuck, is performed to remove excess fat and skin from the abdomen and tighten the abdominal wall to create a smoother, flatter, and firmer contour. The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won't respond to diet and exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal through diet and exercise alone. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which can occur with slight obesity, can also be improved.

The Procedure

A complete abdominoplasty usually takes two to three hours, depending on the extent of work required. It requires an incision from hipbone to hipbone and also requires an incision around the navel. A partial abdominoplasty, or mini tummy tuck, may take an hour or two and often is combined with liposuction depending on the candidate. The incision for a mini tummy tuck is much shorter and does not require an incision around the navel.

With either the full or partial tummy tuck, a well camouflaged incision is made in a natural skin crease of the bikini area. The abdominal muscles are brought back together providing a firmer abdominal wall and the excess skin and fat are removed.


You can expect mild to moderate swelling and discomfort which is well controlled with oral pain medication. You should plan on not driving or working for 7-10 days depending on your work requirements. Vigorous exercise or heavy lifting need to be avoided for atleast 4 weeks. Drains are placed under the abdominal flap to prevent any fluid collection and are usually removed after 5-10 days in the office.
About the Author
LookingYourBest.com is an online resource for liposuction in Irvine. To learn more, please visit http://lawtonmd.com/liposuction.asp and http://www.lookingyourbest.com/bodycontouring/articles/.
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