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Body Contouring Procedures: Liposuction And Tummy Tuck Surgery

Oct 26, 2007
Liposuction is a procedure that removes localized areas of fat from the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, calves, upper arms, cheeks, and neck. Liposculpture patients are generally looking for improved contours in their figures both in and out of clothing. Liposuction is performed with a thin metal tube called a cannula, which is inserted underneath of the skin to vacuum fat away from particular irregular contours on the body.

Liposculpture can be done with just the cannula alone, however, frequently a solution is injected under the skin into the fatty layer. This minimizes the bruising, bleeding, and postoperative discomfort that can be associated with liposuction.

This is called the tumescent liposuction technique, although the volume of solution injected determines whether it is tumescent liposuction or the "superwet technique." The newest development in liposuction is ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL), which does use solution injection, but also utilizes a cannula that emits ultrasonic waves to "melt" fat away. It is important to recognize that liposuction is not a method of weight loss, but is best considered for patients who are at or very close to their ideal body weight.

Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is designed to correct a protruding abdomen resulting from weak abdominal muscles and excess skin, usually due to multiple pregnancies, prior surgery, or weight gain. Usually the abdominal musculature have been stretched and does not respond well to exercise. The goal of abdominoplasty is a narrower, flatter abdomen.

Abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight loss. Patients on a weight loss plan should be close to their target weight before having this surgery.

The procedure is most commonly performed by making a U shape incision below one hip bone across the pubic area to the other hip bone. Loose stretched out muscles are tightened with stitches and excess skin and fat are removed. Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall resulting in a shorter scar whereas an extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and sides resulting in the longer scar extending around the flanks onto the lower back. Although the recovery period is longer than that of other cosmetic procedures, the rewards are great for a patient previously concerned about a protruding abdomen.

Considering cosmetic surgery is an exciting time. You are imagining the possibilities and researching not only the procedures but who is most qualified to help you achieve your goals. You want to select a board certified plastic surgeon that possesses both technical expertise and artistic ability so that you achieve the natural look you desire.
About the Author
Dave Stringham is the President of LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery procedures. Learn more about breast augmentation and other plastic surgery procedures.
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