David O. Smith MD, F.A.C.S  |  6545 France Ave. S, #505  |  Edina, MN 55435  |   Call Today: 952.922.0895

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Dr. Smith performs the following body contouring procedures at his accredited practice in Edina. Please click on one of the following procedures below for more information.

Over time, our bodies can develop areas of stubborn fat that become resistant to traditional weight loss methods. Even with a healthy diet and regular visits to the gym, it is common to struggle with some trouble areas where fat seems to simply stick around. Liposuction is an effective method to noticeably reduce specific areas of stubborn fat and provide you with the well-shaped figure you’ve been working toward.

At Smith Plastic Surgery here in Edina, Minnesota, we do three types of liposuction. For small delicate areas, Dr. Smith recommends Syringe Liposculpture. With this liposuction method, we use tiny, delicate cannulas with small attached syringes to carefully suction fat from a smaller area such as the lower cheeks and neck. The syringes allow us to carefully and accurately measure volume treated, which helps with us to achieve symmetrical fat reduction.

For general body liposuction, Dr. Smith uses the Tumescent Technique. General anesthesia is used for sedation during the surgical process. After the patient is asleep, we inject saline fluid into the area being prepared for surgery. This contains lidocaine (a local anesthetic) to help make the area numb, and epinephrine to constrict blood vessels and markedly decrease any blood loss. Finally, some antibiotics are added to the tumescent fluid to minimize chances of infection. After letting the medicines work, we use custom-designed curved and straight cannulas to target abnormally thick areas of fatty tissue. Both the fat and fat cells are treated from the deeper layer, which results in reshaping as well as subtle weight loss (*)

For very fibrous fatty areas like the abdomen, flanks, lower back, and the chest (for men with gynecomastia) Dr. Smith performs Ultrasonic Liposuction. At Smith Plastic Surgery, we have the Mentor Contour Genesis Ultrasonic liposuction machine at our on-site surgical suite. This state-of-the-art machine pulses the tip of the cannulas at an ultrasonic frequency, which ruptures and dissolves fibro-fatty tissue. With this method, we are able to minimize a greater volume of fat, and the ultrasonic frequency helps with skin tightening during the months after surgery.

Liposuction is a gorgeous surgery done superficially through tiny, easily-hidden incisions. We can reshape the body in ways that aren’t always possible through diet or exercise. Normally, we do liposuction on Thursday and our patients return to work and exercise by the following Monday or Tuesday. Liposuction works very well for people near their ideal weight who have resistant problem areas.

The cost of Liposuction is $2000 to $5000 depending on the number of areas treated (This is the usual total cost for the surgery, but may vary with individual circumstances. The cost of liposuction will be reduced if combined with other procedures).

We get great results with privacy and cost effectiveness. Call 952-922-0895 between 8am and 8pm to schedule a free, next-morning consultation with Dr. Smith, or you may leave your contact information on the form to your right. Enjoy the good life!

Click here to view our Before & After Gallery.

For additional information on liposuction, please refer to the following guide provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

liposuction COV

 

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Women may have liposuction performed under the chin, on their hips, thighs, and stomach, and in the underarm and breast area.

 

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For men, common sites include under the chin and around the waist. Liposuction may also be used in the reduction of enlarged male breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia.

 

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Healthy, normal-weight people with elastic skin and pockets of excess fat are good candidates for surgery.

 

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The best candidates for liposuction are of normal weight with localized areas of excess fat, such as in the buttocks, hips, and thighs.

 

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The surgeon inserts a cannula through small incisions in the skin. At the other end of the tube is a vacuum-pressure unit that suctions off the fat.

 

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A snug compression garment worn after surgery helps reduce swelling.

 

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Improvement will become apparent after about six weeks, when most of the swelling has subsided.

 

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As healing progresses, a more proportional look will emerge.

 

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A slimmer body contour can help you feel more confident and comfortable.

If You’re Considering Liposuction…

Liposuction is a procedure that can help sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas, including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck. During the past decade, liposuction, which is also known as lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, has benefited from several new refinements. Today, a number of new techniques, including ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL), the tumescent technique, and the super-wet technique, are helping many plastic surgeons to provide selected patients with more precise results and quicker recovery times. Although no type of liposuction is a substitute for dieting and exercise, liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat that don’t respond to traditional weight-loss methods.

If you’re considering liposuction, this brochure will give you a basic understanding of the procedure: when it can help, how it is performed and how you might look and feel after surgery. It won’t answer all of your questions, since much depends on your individual circumstances. Please ask your doctor if there is anything about the procedure you don’t understand.

The Best Candidates for Liposuction

To be a good candidate for liposuction, you must have realistic expectations about what the procedure can do for you. It’s important to understand that liposuction can enhance your appearance and self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.

The best candidates for liposuction are normal-weight people with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in certain areas. You should be physically healthy, psychologically stable 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.

Liposuction carries greater risk for individuals with medical problems such as diabetes, significant heart or lung disease, poor blood circulation, or those who have recently had surgery near the area to be contoured.

Planning Your Surgery

In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health, determine where your fat deposits lie and assess the condition of your skin. Your surgeon will explain the body-contouring methods that may be most appropriate for you. For example, if you believe you want liposuction in the abdominal area, you may find that an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck may more effectively meet your goals, or that a combination of traditional liposuction and UAL would be the best choice for you.

Be frank in discussing your expectations with your surgeon. He or she should be equally frank with you, describing the procedure in detail and explaining its risks and limitations.

Getting the Answers You Need

Individuals considering liposuction often feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of options and techniques being promoted today. However, your plastic surgeon can help. In deciding which is the right treatment approach for you, your doctor will consider effectiveness, safety, cost and appropriateness for your needs. This is called surgical judgment–a skill that is developed through surgical training and experience. Your doctor also uses this judgment to prevent complications, to handle unexpected occurrences during surgery, and to treat complications when they occur.

Your surgeon’s education and training have helped to form his or her surgical judgment, so take the time to do some background checking. Patients are encouraged to consider a doctor certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). By choosing a plastic surgeon who is certified by the ABPS, a patient can be assured that the doctor has graduated from an accredited medical school and has completed at least five years of additional residency – usually three years of general surgery (or its equivalent) and two years of plastic surgery. To be certified by the ABPS, a doctor must also have practiced surgery for two years and have passed comprehensive written and oral exams.

Preparing for Your Surgery

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding vitamins, iron tablets and certain medications. If you develop a cold or an infection of any kind, especially a skin infection, your surgery may have to be postponed.

Though it is rarely necessary, your doctor may recommend that you have blood drawn ahead of time in case it is needed during surgery.

Also, while you are making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and, if needed, to help you at home for a day or two.

Where Your Surgery Will Be Performed

Liposuction may be performed in a surgeon’s office-based facility, in an outpatient surgery center, or in a hospital. Smaller-volume liposuction is usually done on an outpatient basis for reasons of cost and convenience. However, if a large volume of fat will be removed, or if the liposuction is being performed in conjunction with other procedures, a stay in a hospital or an overnight stay in a nursing facility may be required.

Anesthesia for Liposuction

Various types of anesthesia can be used for liposuction procedures. Together, you and your surgeon will select the type of anesthesia that provides the most safe and effective level of comfort for your surgery.

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, if you prefer, the local is usually used along with intravenous sedation to keep you more relaxed during the procedure. Regional anesthesia can be a good choice for more extensive procedures. One type of regional anesthesia is the epidural block–the same type of anesthesia commonly used in childbirth.

However, some patients prefer general anesthesia, particularly if a large volume of fat is being removed. If this is the case, a nurse anesthetist or anesthesiologist will be called in to make sure you are completely asleep during the procedure.

The Surgery

The time required to perform liposuction may vary considerably, depending on the size of the area, the amount of fat being removed, the type of anesthesia, and the technique used.

There are several liposuction techniques that can be used to improve the ease of the procedure and to enhance outcome.

Liposuction is a procedure in which localized deposits of fat are removed to recontour one or more areas of the body. Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube (or cannula) is inserted and used to vacuum the fat layer that lies deep beneath the skin. The cannula is pushed then pulled through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. The suction action is provided by a vacuum pump or a large syringe, depending on the surgeon’s preference. If many sites are being treated, your surgeon will then move on to the next area, working to keep the incisions as inconspicuous as possible.

Fluid is lost along with the fat, and it’s crucial that this fluid be replaced during the procedure to prevent shock. For this reason, patients need to be carefully monitored and receive intravenous fluids during and immediately after surgery.

Technique Variations

The basic technique of liposuction, as described above, is used for all patients undergoing this procedure. However, as the procedure has been developed and refined, several variations have been introduced.

Fluid Injection, a technique in which a medicated solution is injected into fatty areas before the fat is removed, is commonly used by plastic surgeons today. The fluid–a mixture of intravenous salt solution, lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a drug that contracts blood vessels)–helps to remove the fat more easily, reduces blood loss, and provides anesthesia during and after surgery. Fluid injection also helps to reduce the amount of bruising after surgery.

The amount of fluid that is injected varies depending on the preference of the surgeon.

Large volumes of fluid — sometimes as much as three times the amount of fat to be removed — are injected in the tumescent technique. Tumescent liposuction, typically performed on patients who need only a local anesthetic, usually takes significantly longer than traditional liposuction (sometimes as long as four to five hours). However, because the injected fluid contains an adequate amount of anesthetic, additional anesthesia may not be necessary. The name of this technique refers to the swollen and firm or tumesced state of the fatty tissues when they are filled with solution.

The super-wet technique is similar to the tumescent technique, except that lesser amounts of fluid are used. Usually the amount of fluid injected is equal to the amount of fat to be removed. This technique often requires IV sedation or general anesthesia and, typically, takes one to two hours of surgery time.

Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL). This technique requires the use of a special cannula that produces ultrasonic energy. As it passes through the areas of fat, the energy explodes the walls of the fat cells, liquefying the fat. The fat is then removed with the traditional liposuction technique.

UAL has been shown to improve the ease and effectiveness of liposuction in fibrous areas of the body, such as the upper back or the enlarged male breast. It is also commonly used in secondary procedures, when enhanced precision is needed. In general, UAL takes longer to perform than traditional liposuction.

All Surgery Carries Some Uncertainty and Risk

Liposuction is normally safe, as long as patients are carefully selected, the operating facility is properly equipped, and the physician is adequately trained.

As a minimum, your surgeon should have basic (core) accredited surgical training with special training in body contouring. Also, even though many body-contouring procedures are performed outside the hospital setting, be certain that your surgeon has been granted privileges to perform liposuction at an accredited hospital.

Your doctor must have advanced surgical skills to perform procedures that involve the removal of a large amount of fat (more than 5 liters or 5,000 ccs). Ask your doctor about his or her other patients who have had similar procedures and what their results were. Also, more extensive liposuction procedures require attentive after-care. Find out how your surgeon plans to monitor your condition closely after the procedure.

It’s important to keep in mind that even though a well-trained surgeon and a state-of-the art facility can improve your chance of having a good result, there are no guarantees. Though they are rare, complications can and do occur. Risks increase if a greater number of areas are treated at the same time, or if the operative sites are larger in size. Removal of a large amount of fat and fluid will likely require longer operating times than may be required for smaller operations.

The combination of these factors can create greater hazards for infection; delays in healing; the formation of fat clots or blood clots, which may migrate to the lungs and cause death; excessive fluid loss, which can lead to shock or fluid accumulation that must be drained; friction burns or other damage to the skin or nerves; perforation injury to the vital organs, and unfavorable drug reactions.

There are also points to consider with the newer techniques. For example, in UAL, the heat from the ultrasound device used to liquefy the fat cells may cause injury to the skin or deeper tissues. Also, you should be aware that even though UAL has been performed successfully on several thousand people worldwide, the long-term effects of ultrasound energy on the body are not yet known.

In the tumescent and super-wet techniques, the anesthetic fluid that is injected may cause lidocaine toxicity (if the solution’s lidocaine content is too high) or the collection of fluid in the lungs (if too much fluid is administered).

The scars from liposuction are small and strategically placed to be hidden from view. However, imperfections in the final appearance are not uncommon after lipoplasty. The skin surface may be irregular, asymmetric or even baggy, especially in the older patient. Numbness and pigmentation changes may occur. Sometimes, additional surgery may be recommended.

After Your Surgery

After surgery, you will likely experience some fluid drainage from the incisions. Occasionally, a small drainage tube may be inserted beneath the skin for a couple of days to prevent fluid build-up. To control swelling and to help your skin adjust to its new contours, you may be fitted with a snug elastic garment to wear over the treated area for a few weeks. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.

Don’t expect to look or feel great right after surgery. Even though the newer techniques are believed to reduce some post-operative discomforts, you may still experience some pain, burning, swelling, bleeding and temporary numbness. Pain can be controlled with medications prescribed by your surgeon, though you may still feel stiff and sore for a few days.

It is normal to feel a bit anxious or depressed in the days or weeks following surgery. However, this feeling will subside as you begin to look and feel better.

Getting Back to Normal

Healing is a gradual process. Your surgeon will probably tell you to start walking around as soon as possible to reduce swelling and to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. You will begin to feel better after about a week or two, and you should be back at work within a few days following your surgery. The stitches are removed (or dissolve on their own) within the first week to ten days.

Activity that is more strenuous should be avoided for about a month as your body continues to heal. Although most of the bruising and swelling usually disappears within three weeks, some swelling may remain for six months or more.

Your surgeon will schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress and to see if any additional procedures are needed.

If you have any unusual symptoms between visits, for example, heavy bleeding or a sudden increase in pain or any questions about what you can and can’t do, call your doctor.

Your New Look

You will see a noticeable difference in the shape of your body quite soon after surgery. However, improvement will become even more apparent after about four to six weeks, when most of the swelling has subsided. After about three months, any persistent mild swelling usually disappears and the final contour will be visible.

If your expectations are realistic, you will probably be very pleased with the results of your surgery. You may find that you are more comfortable in a wide variety of clothes and more at ease with your body. By eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, you can help to maintain your new shape.

The body lift is the next step following massive weight loss. Whether you’ve lost a significant amount of weight with diet and exercise or through weight loss surgery, a body lift can help to reduce excess skin and provide you with beautifully-toned contours.

A body lift can effectively reduce sagging skin along the abdomen, waist, hips, outer thighs, and buttocks. Dr. Smith recommends this procedure for patients who have reached a stable weight and are now ready to eliminate the excess skin for a beautiful finishing touch to their new figure.

At Smith Plastic Surgery, we perform body lift surgery as an outpatient procedure at our on-site surgical suite. This allows us to dramatically cut down on costs as well as the time you will need to spend in surgery or recovering. During your consultation with Dr. Smith, he will carefully analyze the condition of your body to develop a personalized body lift treatment plan. If you are struggling with some areas of stubborn fat, he may recommend supplementing your surgery with liposuction.

We get great results with privacy and cost effectiveness. Call 952-922-0895 between 8am and 8pm to schedule a free next morning consultation with Dr. Smith, or you may leave your contact information on the form to your right. Enjoy the good life!

Click here to view our Before & After Gallery.

For additional information on breast augmentation surgery, please refer to the following guide provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

A well-toned body with smooth contours often is a sign of fitness achieved by healthy diet and exercise. But exercise cannot always achieve results for individuals who have loose, sagging skin and uneven contours. Aging, sun damage, pregnancy and fluctuations in body weight as well as genetic factors contribute to poor tissue elasticity and may result in sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, and upper arms.

If you desire a firmer, more youthful looking body contour, then a surgical body lift may help achieve your goals. In general, a body lift reduces excess fat and skin resulting in smoother skin and contours. These physical changes to the body can improve your body image and enhance your self-confidence.

What Are Body Lifts?

A body lift is surgery performed to correct excess loose and sagging skin and irregular contours of the:

  • Abdominal area, locally or extending around the sides and into the lower back area
  • Buttocks, that may be low, flat or unevenly shaped
  • Groin that may sag into the inner thigh
  • Thigh, including the inner, outer, or posterior thigh, or circumferentially
  • Upper arms, including the armpit region

Surgical body lifting improves the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports fat and skin. Excess sagging fat and skin is removed to treat conditions caused, in part, by poor tissue elasticity. In addition, a body lift can improve a dimpled, irregular skin surface, commonly known as cellulite.

Body lifts are not intended strictly for the removal of excess fat. Liposuction alone can remove excess fat deposits where skin has good elasticity and is able to naturally conform to new body contours. In cases where skin elasticity is poor, a combination of liposuction and body lift techniques may be recommended.

Body lifting procedures may be appropriate for individuals who have a stable weight that is reasonably proportionate to their height and body frame. In addition, it is recommended that women considering future pregnancies postpone an abdominal body lift since pregnancy may diminish results. Body lift procedures may be performed on adults of any age who have realistic goals in mind for improvement of their body contour.

Good candidates are:

  • Individuals with significant soft tissue looseness in one or multiple body areas
  • Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
  • Non-smokers
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for body contouring

Where Do I Begin?

A consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to learn how body lifting procedures can improve your body contours. A consultation is designed to fully educate you about your body lift in a non-pressured environment, and will include:

  • A discussion of your goals and an evaluation of your individual case
  • The options available in body lift surgery
  • The likely outcomes of body lifting procedures and any risks or potential complications
  • The course of treatment recommended by your plastic surgeon

Evaluation

Overall health and personal outlook can greatly impact the outcome of body contouring surgery, including body lifts. These will be carefully evaluated in your consultation. Your safety, as well as the success of your procedure and overall satisfaction, require that you:

  • Honestly share your expectations
  • Fully disclose health history, current medications, use of vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Commit to following all of your plastic surgeon’s instructions precisely

Your Body Lift

Your body lift will be individualized to your specific conditions and the regions to be treated. Conditions that may be improved by a body lift include:

  • Dimpled or uneven soft tissue
  • Lax, loose skin
  • Excess fat and tissue
  • Sagging body contours

Many conditions can contribute to tissue that is weak and lacking in tone and firmness and to uneven or sagging body contours. These most commonly include:

  • Weight changes, especially substantial weight loss, such as occurs following gastric bypass surgery
  • Stress on the skin and underlying tissue that may result from pregnancy
  • The natural aging process causing skin and tissue to lose elasticity and tone over time
  • Sun damage and other environmental factors that cause premature skin aging
  • Heredity or the genetic make-up that determines one’s body type and skin qualities, including cellulite
  • Childhood and teenage obesity resulting in premature loss of youthful skin tone

There is no other method of body contouring that can restore body shape, skin appearance, and skin tone as effectively as a body lift. Body lifts are surgical procedures and, as such require incisions– in some cases, incisions may be extensive. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of skin to be removed, as well as personal preference and surgical judgment. Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing, including swimsuits.

Other body contouring procedures may be performed separately or in the same surgical session as a body lift, including liposuction and tummy tuck, breast lift or male or female breast reduction. However, not all patients are good candidates for combined procedures. Your case will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Preparing for Surgery

Your plastic surgeon will carefully explain your body lift procedure. Prior to surgery, you will be given specific instructions that may include:

  • Pre-surgical considerations, diagnostic testing, and medications
  • Day of surgery instructions and medications
  • Specific information related to the use of anesthesia
  • Postoperative care and follow up

In addition, you will be asked to sign consent forms to assure your plastic surgeon that you full understand the procedure or procedures you will undergo and any associated risks and potential complications.

Possible risks of a body lift include bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation, delayed or poor healing, skin loss, blood clots, excessive or widened scars, numbness and other changes in skin sensation and irregular or asymmetric contours or scars. Any surgery carries risks associated with anesthesia. These risks and others will be fully disclosed prior to your consent.

It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon. It is natural to feel some anxiety–whether excitement for the anticipated outcomes or preoperative stress. Discuss these feelings with your plastic surgeon.

What to Expect

A body lift may be performed in your plastic surgeon’s accredited office-based surgical facility, an ambulatory surgical facility or a hospital, and may include an overnight hospital stay. Procedures are most commonly performed under general anesthesia, although local anesthesia with sedation may be used. These decisions will be based on the requirements of your specific procedure and considerations of patient and surgeon preference. Your plastic surgeon and the assisting staff will fully attend to your comfort and safety.

Following Surgery

Once your procedure is completed, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage to minimize swelling and support your new contours as you heal. One or more small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluid or blood that may collect. Before you are released following surgery, you and an accompanying family member, friend or caregiver will be given specific instructions that may include:

  • How to care for the surgical site and drains
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in one’s overall health
  • When to follow-up with your plastic surgeon

Progress and Healing

Initial healing will include swelling at the incision sites. Discomfort is common and can be controlled with medication. You will be instructed to return to light walking as soon as possible to minimize the potential for blood clots and other complications.

You must avoid bending, straining or lifting for several days. Where tightening of the abdomen or thighs is involved, your plastic surgeon may also instruct you to avoid standing fully upright, which might stress any internal sutures as they heal, and to sleep with pillows elevating your knees. Follow all instructions carefully – this is essential to the success of your outcome. A return to light, normal activity is possible as soon as you feel ready, usually within 2-3 weeks following surgery.

Initial wound healing may take 7 to 14 days, after which time sutures will be removed if necessary. You will be ready to return to work and normal activity in a few weeks, so long as you do not engage in any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise.

Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling dissipates and incision lines continue to improve. You must practice diligent sun protection until the healing process is fully complete. Continue to follow your plastic surgeons instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.

Results and Outlook

The results of a body lift are visible almost immediately; however, it may take several months for your final results to fully develop. Numbness and a firm feeling over the skin’s surface will resolve over time. It may take a year or more for incisions lines to refine and fade to some degree. Although permanent, these lines can usually be hidden by most clothing, including swimsuits.

Your new uplifted body contours should be long lasting, provided you maintain your weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your improvement should be relatively permanent.

Losing a large amount of weight is an extremely life-changing accomplishment. With it comes a healthier lifestyle and increased levels of self-confidence. However, it can be extremely frustrating if once the fat is gone and you’ve reached your goal weight, you are just faced with a new problem—loose skin. At Smith Plastic Surgery, we perform specialized body contouring procedures that are designed to refine your body’s curves and give you the slim and beautifully-shaped silhouette you deserve.

We have some very nice body contouring techniques for patients who lost a large amount of weight with traditional methods or lap band or gastric bypass surgery. Once weight has stabilized, we can offer liposuction and removal of the extra skin for the arms, chest, abdomen, thighs and buttocks to fine-tune your figure. We most commonly do this as an outpatient procedure in stages with a fairly quick recovery and minimal time off work. Having our own on-site surgery suite at Smith Plastic Surgery is quite helpful to our patients.

For more information on the body contouring procedures offered at Smith Plastic Surgery, click on one of the following surgeries:

We get great results with privacy and cost effectiveness. Call 952-922-0895 between 8am and 8pm to schedule a free next morning consultation with Dr. Smith, or you may leave your contact information on the form to your right. Enjoy the good life!

Click here to view our Before & After Gallery.

For additional information on body contouring after massive weight loss, please refer to the following guide provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

If you have undergone dramatic weight loss that has resulted in excess sagging skin, surgical body contouring may be right for you. In general, body contouring following major weight loss reduces excess fat and skin that has developed in multiple body areas. The result of surgery is a smoother, more attractive body contour. Body contouring after major weight loss is an important and rewarding phase of your challenge to have a healthier, more proportionate body, and it can help you further enhance your body image and self-confidence.

This web page presents an overview of body contouring procedures that follow major weight loss. The best way to learn how body contouring can help fulfill your personal goals is a consultation with a plastic surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

What Is Body Contouring Following Major Weight Loss?

The condition of being significantly overweight can cause stress on your health in many ways. If your physical activity has been limited due to your overweight condition, you may have weak muscle and poor skin tone, and your skin may be severely stretched.

Bariatric surgery, in its various forms, is one method of major weight loss for individuals clinically defined as obese. Following weight reduction surgery, or any substantial weight loss, the skin and tissues often lack elasticity and cannot conform to the reduced body size. As a result, skin that has been severely stretched now is unsupported, and begins to sag in pockets that most commonly develop around these areas:

  • Face, neck and jowls, resulting in a droopy, sad appearance
  • Upper arms, resulting in a “bat-wing” appearance
  • Breasts, causing them to flatten and hang with nipples pointing down
  • Abdominal area, extending around the sides and into the lower back, resulting in an apron-like overhang
  • Buttocks, groin and thighs, causing hanging pockets of skin

Weak and sagging skin that becomes macerated (wet or infected) is not only unattractive, it is also a serious threat to your health that should be treated.

Surgical body contouring after major weight loss improves the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports fat and skin, and it removes excess sagging fat and skin. The result is a more normal body appearance with smoother contours. This is, in essence, the final phase of your total weight loss experience. However, before you decide to undergo body-contouring surgery, it is important to understand that your weight loss must have stabilized. If you continue to lose weight, sagging pockets will redevelop. If you rapidly regain the weight you have lost, you will traumatically stress your already weakened and thin skin, causing further stress to the skin, visible stretch marks and wide scars.

If you have weight reduction surgery, your plastic surgeon will work closely with your physician to determine when it is appropriate for you to begin body contouring.

In general, good candidates for body contouring are:

  • Adults of any age whose weight loss has stabilized
  • Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase surgery risks
  • Non-smokers
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals
  • Individuals committed to leading a healthy lifestyle

Where Do I Begin?

A consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to learning how body contouring can help you achieve better health and an improved appearance. A consultation is designed to fully educate you about surgery in a non-pressured environment, and will include:

  • A discussion of your goals and an evaluation of your individual case
  • The options available in body contouring
  • The likely outcomes of body contouring and any associated risks
  • The course of treatment recommended by your plastic surgeon

Evaluation

Overall health and personal outlook can greatly impact the outcome of your surgery. These will be carefully evaluated in your consultation with your plastic surgeon. The success of your procedure, safety and overall satisfaction require that you honestly share your expectations, fully disclose your medical history, and commit to following your surgeon’s instructions.

Preparing for Surgery

Your plastic surgeon will carefully explain your body-contouring plan. Prior to any surgery, you will be given specific instructions that may include information about diagnostic testing, medications, day of surgery instructions, anesthesia, and post-operative care.

In addition, you will be asked to sign consent forms to assure your plastic surgeon that you fully understand the procedure(s) and any associated risks or potential complications. Possible risks of body contouring include bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation, delayed or poor healing, skin loss, blood clots, excessive or widened scars, numbness and other changes in skin sensation, and irregular or asymmetric scars. Any surgery carries risks associated with anesthesia. These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon. It is natural to feel some anxiety–whether excitement for the anticipated outcomes or preoperative stress. Discuss these feelings with your plastic surgeon.

Where Is Surgery Performed?

Body contouring procedures may be performed in your surgeon’s accredited office-based surgical facility, an ambulatory surgical facility or hospital, and may possibly include an overnight hospital stay. Procedures are most commonly performed under general anesthesia, although local anesthesia with sedation may also be used. These decisions will be based on the requirements of your specific procedure and considerations of patient and surgeon preference. Your surgeon and the assisting staff will fully attend to your comfort and safety.

Procedural Steps

The procedures necessary to achieve your goals will be defined, along with a plan for the timing of these procedures. Plastic surgery procedures that may be recommended by your physician include:

  • Lower body lift: to correct sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs
  • Arm lift: to correct sagging of the upper arms
  • Thigh lift: to correct sagging of the inner, outer and mid-thigh

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – Incision(s)

All body contouring procedures require incisions to remove excess skin. In many cases, these incisions may be extensive.

Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as personal preference and your doctor’s surgical judgment.

Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing, but this is not always the case.

Body contouring is often performed in stages. Your particular condition and goals, as well as your plastic surgeon’s best judgment, will all influence how your doctor defines a surgical plan. While it may have taken you two years or more to lose all the excess weight, it may take equally as long for the results of your body contouring to be complete.

Body Lift

A complete lower body lift treats sagging buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips and outer thighs in one procedure or in staged procedures. Incision patterns vary and may include a circumferential incision around the body to remove the “belt” of excess skin and fat.

Breast Lift

The incision patterns for lifting a woman’s sagging breasts will be determined based on the amount of excess skin to be removed.

These may include one or a combination of incisions in a circular pattern around the areola, in a line extending from the areola to the breast crease, and horizontally along the breast crease.

A breast implant also may be recommended to enhance breast shape and size.

Upper Arm Lift

Sagging skin in the upper arms is treated with an incision from the underarm area extending along the inside or back of the upper arm. Additional incisions on the arms may be necessary anywhere excess skin has formed sagging pockets.

The smoother, tighter contours that result from upper arm contouring are apparent almost immediately, although they may be obscured initially due to swelling and bruising. In addition, skin quality is dramatically improved in both appearance and texture.

Thigh Lift

Reshaping of the thighs is achieved through incisions in the groin that can extend downward to the knee along the inner portion of the thigh.

Improving contours of the outer thigh may require an incision extending from the groin around the hip. Through these incisions your plastic surgeon will tighten tissues for a smoother, better toned thigh.

Following Surgery

Once your procedures are completed, dressing or bandages may be applied to your incisions. Areas of the body that have been treated may be wrapped in an elastic bandage to minimize swelling and support your new contours as you heal. Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluid or blood that may collect. Before you are released, you and your accompanying caregiver will be given specific instructions that may include:

  • How to care for the surgical site and drains
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce infection risk
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
  • When to follow up with your plastic surgeon

Progress and Healing

Initial healing will include swelling at the incision sites. Discomfort is common and can be controlled with medication. You will be instructed to return to light walking as soon as possible to minimize the potential for blood clots and other complications.

You may be instructed to avoid bending, straining or lifting for several days to weeks. Where tightening of the abdomen or thighs is involved, your plastic surgeon may also instruct you to avoid standing fully upright and stressing any internal sutures as they heal, and to sleep with pillows elevating your knees. Follow all instructions carefully – this is essential to the success of your outcome.

Initial wound healing may take 7 to 14 days, after which time sutures will be removed if necessary. You will be ready to return to work and normal activity in a few weeks, so long as you do not engage in any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise.

Healing will continue for many weeks as swelling resolves and incision lines continue to improve. Numbness and a firm feeling over the skin’s surface will improve over time. Once you have completely recovered from one series of procedures, it may be time to begin preparation for additional procedures in other body areas.

Results and Outlook

The results of a body contouring following major weight loss are visible almost immediately; however, it may take as long as one to two years or more for the final results of all the recommended procedures to be fully appreciated. Visible scars are something you must accept in your goals to achieving a body contour that matches your new body weight and proportion. The results are long lasting, provided you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness, but most of your initial improvement should be relatively permanent.

Men and women with a large amount of excess skin along their upper arms often struggle with low levels of self-confidence and discomfort when wearing short or sleeveless tops. Unfortunately, after losing a large amount of weight, or simply with age, your skin loses elasticity and begin to sag or droop off your arms. Dr. Smith provides arm lift surgery to restore the appearance of well-toned and youthful arms.

The arm lift (brachioplasty) is designed to remove loose, excess skin and stubborn fat deposits in the upper arm. Once skin loses its elasticity, it is extremely difficult to tone and tighten that area of the body. While diet and exercise can help to reduce your overall size and strengthen your arms, there is little that can be done about the excess skin. Surgery is often the most effective solution.

When performing an arm lift, Dr. Smith will make a horizontal incision beginning near the armpit and extending downward toward the elbow. From here, the underlying tissue is reshaped to create a smooth and natural-looking contour. Depending on your situation, Dr. Smith may perform liposuction to reduce any lingering deposits of stubborn fat. Once a slim and proportional shape is achieved, the skin is pulled tight, excess skin is removed, and your incisions are closed.

Patients who undergo arm lift surgery with Dr. Smith experience life-changing results and are excited to wear all their favorite clothing without feeling self-conscious about the way their arms look. At Smith Plastic Surgery, we often perform arm lifts with other body contouring procedures to address loose skin throughout the body for a well-balanced rejuvenation.

You get great results, along with privacy and cost effectiveness. Call 952-922-0895 between 8am and 8pm to schedule a free, next morning consultation with Dr. Smith, or you may leave your contact information on the form to your right. Enjoy the good life!

Click here to view our Before & After Gallery.

For additional information on arm lift surgery, please refer to the following guide provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Fluctuations in weight, aging and even heredity can cause changes in appearance that you might not expect. One such change that can occur in the upper arm results in a droopy, sagging, batwing-like appearance. Fitness may strengthen and improve underlying muscle tone of the upper arm, but it cannot address excess skin that has lost elasticity or underlying weakened tissues and localized fat deposits.

If the underside of your upper arms has developed sagging, droopy skin, or appears loose and full due to excess skin and fat, an arm lift may be right for you. In general, an arm lift reduces excess skin and underlying fat that occurs between underarm region in the elbow, reshaping the arm to result in smoother skin and more normal contours. An arm lift results in a more toned and proportionate appearance, enhancing your self-confidence and expanding your fashion choices. The trade-off to your improved image is a resulting scar on the inside of your upper arm.

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Inner Arm Incision

 

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Back of Arm Incision

 

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Minimal Arm Lift Incision

This web page presents an overview of arm lift, technically called brachioplasty. The best way to learn how an arm lift can help fulfill your personal goals is a consultation with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of plastic surgery.

What Is an Arm Lift?

An arm lift is a surgical procedure that reshapes the under portion of the upper arm, and the underarm region to the elbow. This procedure is performed to:

  • Reduce excess sagging skin that droops downward when arms are extended away from the body
  • Tighten and smooth the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of the upper arm

In addition, any localized pockets of fat in the upper arm region may be reduced through brachioplasty, most commonly in conjunction with liposuction techniques.

The conditions treated with an arm lift may develop in both men and women, most often due to a loss of elasticity in the skin and underlying tissue of the upper arm. This may be the result of significant weight loss and skin that has been so stretched it loses the ability to retract. Conditions may also result from the natural changes that occur with aging, heredity or a combination of these conditions.

An arm lift cannot correct weakened muscles of the upper arm; in fact many individuals who seek surgery are relatively fit individuals who are bothered by a condition that cannot be corrected through exercise. In general, good candidates for an arm lift are:

  • Adults of any age whose weight is relatively stable and who are not significantly overweight
  • Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
  • Non-smokers
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what an arm lift can accomplish
  • Individuals committed to leading a healthy lifestyle of proper nutrition and fitness

Where Do I Begin?

A consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to learn how and on what can help you achieve a smoother and more normal contour of the arm. A consultation is designed to fully educate you about brachioplasty in a non-pressured environment, and will include:

  • A discussion of your goals and an evaluation of the individual case
  • The options available for an arm left
  • The likely outcomes of brachioplasty and any associated risks or potential complications
  • The course of treatment recommended by your plastic surgeon

Evaluation

Overall health and personal outlook can greatly impact the outcome of arm lift surgery. These will be carefully evaluated in a consultation with your plastic surgeon. The success of your procedure, safety and overall satisfaction require that you:

  • Honestly share your expectations
  • Fully disclose health history, current medications, the use of vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Commit to precisely following all of your plastic surgeon’s instructions

Your Arm Lift

An arm lift is a safe and satisfying procedure that can greatly improve the appearance of your upper arm. The procedure begins with an incision placed in the inside of the upper arm. The incision may extend from the underarm to the elbow, or be more limited in length. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as the preferences and surgical judgment of your plastic surgeon.

If fat will be reduced during your arm lift, it will be excised or treated with liposuction techniques. The underlying supportive tissues are tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. Overlying skin is then smoothed over the new contour of your arm, with excess skin reduced. Your incisions will be closed with absorbable sutures, or stitches that will be removed within one to two weeks following your arm lift.

The trade off to an improved body contour and image through an arm lift is a resulting scar on the inside portion of your upper arm. In addition, uneven contours can develop in the arm after surgery. In some cases, skin elasticity is so poor that relapse of the skin is possible.

Preparing for Surgery

Your plastic surgeon will carefully explain the technique for your arm lift.  Prior to any surgery, you will be given specific instructions that may include:

  • Pre-surgical considerations, diagnostic testing and medications
  • Day of surgery instructions and medications
  • Specific information related to the use of anesthesia
  • Postoperative care and follow up

In addition, you will be asked to sign consent forms to assure your plastic surgeon that you fully understand the procedure or procedures you will undergo and any associated risks and potential complications.

Possible risks of an arm lift include bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation, delayed or poor healing, skin loss, blood clots, excessive or widened scars, numbness and other changes in skin sensation and irregular or asymmetric contour or scars. Any surgery carries risks associated with anesthesia. These risks and others will be fully disclosed prior to your consent.

It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon. It is natural to feel some anxiety, whether excitement for the anticipated outcomes or preoperative stress. Discuss these feelings with your plastic surgeon.

What to Expect

Brachioplasty may be performed in your surgeon’s accredited office-based surgical facility, an ambulatory surgical facility or a hospital, possibly with an overnight hospital stay. Procedures are most commonly performed under general anesthesia, although local anesthesia with sedation may be used. These decisions will be based on the requirements of your specific procedure and considerations of patient and surgeon preference.

Following Surgery

Once your arm lift is completed, dressing or bandages will be applied to your incisions, and your arms may be wrapped in an elastic bandage to minimize swelling and to support your new contours as you heal. Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluid or blood that may collect. Before you are released following surgery, you and an accompanying responsible family member, friend or caregiver will be given specific instructions that may include:

  • How to care for the surgical site and drains
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in overall health
  • When to follow-up with your plastic surgeon

Progress and Healing

Following your arm lift, your arms will be swollen and bruised, and you will experience some discomfort. Discomfort is common and can be controlled with medication. You will be instructed to keep your arms elevated for several days following surgery and return to light walking as soon as possible to minimize the potential for blood clots and other complications.

You will also be instructed to avoid lifting or bearing any weight on your arms for several days to weeks. Your surgeon may also advise you to limit your range of motion until internal healing is complete. You will be ready to return to work and light, normal activities within a few days, as long as you do not engage in any lifting or vigorous exercise. Follow all instructions carefully – this is essential to the success of your outcome.

Your incisions will heal within 7-14 days, after which time sutures will be removed if necessary. Additional healing will continue for many weeks as swelling resolves and incision lines continue to improve. Numbness and a firm feeling over the skin’s surface will resolve over time. You must practice diligent sun protection until the healing process is fully completed or skin in the treated area may develop irregular pigmentation and scars may become raised, red or dark. It may take a year or more following a given procedure for incision lines to refine and fade to some degree. Continue to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.

Results and Outlook

The dramatic improvement in arm contour following arm lift surgery can greatly enhance your body image. A smooth, toned arm that matches your body image and personal goals does, however, come with visible scars. This is a fair trade-off to achieving a body contour that matches your body weight and proportion.

The results of arm lift will be long-lasting, provided you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness; however, most of your improvement should be relatively permanent.

After having a baby or losing a considerable amount of weight, it can be difficult to get your body looking the way you want. Skin laxity and bulging abdominal muscles are common problems that cannot be solved just by going to the gym and eating a healthy diet. With a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), you can smooth your body’s contours and achieve a flatter, beautifully-sculpted midsection.

A tummy tuck is what we like to call a home run surgery. It can dramatically change the way clothing and swimsuits fit and result in a flatter, firmer abdomen. A tummy tuck is a well-deserved reward after going through pregnancy or losing a lot of weight. It is important, however, to understand that the tummy tuck is not a weight loss surgery. Diet and exercise will get you to a smaller size and healthy condition—a tummy tuck will help you add the finishing touch for a well-contoured shape.

Dr. Smith is able to achieve the best–most natural-looking–results with patients who are close to their ideal weight, but who are struggling with loose abdominal skin or outstretched and bulging muscles. These issues occur when skin is stretched beyond its normal size for an extended period of time, such as during pregnancy or weight gain. Abdominal skin often lacks the elasticity to tighten up once the body reverts to a smaller size. In these cases, a tummy tuck is usually the most effective solution.  It is not weight loss surgery because only several pounds are removed.  The tightening of the skin and muscle though does give a flatter tummy and decreases signs of weight loss or childbirth.

Dr. Smith performs this surgery by making a horizontal incision in the area between your belly button and pubic bone. From this location, Dr. Smith will be able to access and repair the underlying abdominal muscles, cinching them together to reduce bulging and achieve a beautifully-shaped foundation for your midsection. In some cases, Dr. Smith may also recommend liposuction to reduce any lingering deposits of stubborn fat. Once a slimmer, natural shape is achieved, the skin is pulled tight and incisions are closed, removing any excess skin to reduce sagging. Depending on your situation, Dr. Smith may recommend a mini tummy tuck, which uses a shorter incision.

At Smith Plastic Surgery, a tummy tuck will cost about $6500, which includes all our fees including our office facility and anesthesia.  It even includes the post op girdle.  There are no taxes or hidden fees from our office.  A mini tummy tuck costs about $5800.  This is often recommended when later children are planned.

You can expect great results, as well as privacy and affordability. Call 952-922-0895 between 8am and 8pm to schedule a free, next morning consultation with Dr. Smith, or you may leave your contact information on the form to your right. Enjoy the good life!

Click here to view the Tummy Tuck Before & After photos.

For additional information on breast augmentation surgery, please refer to the following guide provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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An incision just above the pubic area is used to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen.

 

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Skin is separated from the abdominal wall all the way up to the ribs.

 

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The surgeon draws underlying muscle and tissue together and stitches them, thereby narrowing the waistline and strengthening the abdominal wall.

 

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Abdominal skin is drawn down and excess is removed. With complete abdominoplasty, a new opening is cut for the navel. Both incisions are stitched closed.

 

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After surgery, the patient has a flatter, trimmer abdomen. Scars are permanent, but will fade with time.

If You’re Considering Abdominoplasty…

Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a tummy tuck, is a major surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen. But, bear in mind, it does produce a permanent scar, which, depending on the extent of the original problem and the surgery required to correct it, can extend from hip to hip.

If you’re considering abdominoplasty, this will give you a basic understanding of the procedure-when it can help, how it’s performed, and what results you can expect. It can’t answer all of your questions since a lot depends on the individual patient and the surgeon. Please ask your surgeon about anything you don’t understand.

The Best Candidates for Abdominoplasty

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 or 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. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved.

Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should postpone the surgery. Also, women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as vertical muscles in the abdomen that are tightened during surgery can separate again during pregnancy. If you have scarring from previous abdominal surgery, your doctor may recommend against abdominoplasty or may caution you that scars could be unusually prominent.

Abdominoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.

All Surgery Carries Some Uncertainty and Risk

Thousands of abdominoplasties are performed successfully each year. When done by a qualified plastic surgeon who is trained in body contouring, the results are generally quite positive. Nevertheless, there are always risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.

Post-operative complications such as infection and blood clots are rare, but can occur. Infection can be treated with drainage and antibiotics but will prolong your hospital stay. You can minimize the risk of blood clots by moving around as soon after the surgery as possible.

Poor healing, which results in conspicuous scars, may necessitate a second operation. Smokers should be advised to stop, as smoking may increase the risk of complications and delay healing.

You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon’s instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to when and how you should resume physical activity.

Planning Your Surgery

In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health, determine the extent of fat deposits in your abdominal region, and carefully assess your skin tone. Be sure to tell your surgeon if you smoke and/or you are taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs.

Be frank in discussing your expectations with your surgeon. He or she should be equally frank with you, describing your alternatives and the risks and limitations of each.

If, for example, your fat deposits are limited to the area below the navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a partial abdominoplasty, also know as a mini-tummy tuck, which can often be performed on an outpatient basis. You may, on the other hand, benefit more from partial or complete abdominoplasty done in conjunction with liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips, resulting in a better body contour. Or, perhaps liposuction alone would create the best result.

In any case, your surgeon should work with you to recommend the procedure that is right for you and that will come closest to producing the desired body contour.

During the consultation, your surgeon should also explain the anesthesia he or she will use, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, and the costs involved. In most cases, health insurance policies do not cover the cost of abdominoplasty, but you should check your policy to be sure.

Preparing for Your Surgery

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications.

If you smoke, plan to quit at least one to two weeks before your surgery and do not plan to resume smoking for at least two weeks after your surgery. Avoid overexposure to the sun before surgery, especially to your abdomen, and do not go on a stringent diet, as both can inhibit your ability to heal. If you develop a cold or infection of any kind, your surgery will probably be postponed.

Whether your surgery is done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out for a day or two after you leave the hospital, if needed.

Where Your Surgery Will Be Performed

Many surgeons perform both partial and complete abdominoplasties in an outpatient surgical center or an office-based facility. Others prefer the hospital, where their patients can stay for several days.

Types of Anesthesia

Your doctor may select general anesthesia so you’ll sleep through the operation.

Other surgeons use local anesthesia, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You’ll be awake but relaxed, and your abdominal region will be insensitive to pain. (However, you may feel some tugging or occasional discomfort.)

The Surgery

Complete abdominoplasty usually takes two to five hours, depending on the extent of work required. Partial abdominoplasty may take an hour or two.

Most commonly, the surgeon will make a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. With partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter and the navel may not be moved, although it may be pulled into an unnatural shape as the skin is tightened and stitched.

Next, the surgeon separates the skin from the abdominal wall all the way up to your ribs and lifts a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. These muscles are tightened by pulling them close together and stitching them into their new position. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline.

The skin flap is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. A new hole is cut for your navel, which is then stitched in place. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.

In partial abdominoplasty, the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is stretched down, the excess is removed, and the flap is stitched back into place.

After Your Surgery

For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you’re likely to feel some pain and discomfort which can be controlled by medication. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may be released within a few hours, or you may have to remain hospitalized for two to three days.

Your doctor will give you instructions for showering and changing your dressings. And, though you may not be able to stand straight at first, you should start walking as soon as possible.

Surface stitches will be removed in five to seven days, and deeper sutures, with ends that protrude through the skin, will come out in two to three weeks. The dressing on your incision may be replaced by a support garment.

Getting Back to Normal

It may take you weeks or months to feel like your old self again. If you start out in top physical condition with strong abdominal muscles, recovery from abdominoplasty will be much faster. Some people return to work after two weeks, while others take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate.

Exercise will help you heal better. Even people who have never exercised before should begin an exercise program to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles. Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided until you can do it comfortably.

Your scars may actually appear to worsen during the first three to six months as they heal, but this is normal. Expect it to take nine months to a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in color. While they’ll never disappear completely, abdominal scars will not show under most clothing, including bathing suits.

Your New Look

Abdominoplasty, whether partial or complete, produces excellent results for patients with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. And, in most cases, the results are long lasting, provided you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

If you’re realistic in your expectations and prepared for the consequences of a permanent scar and a lengthy recovery period, abdominoplasty may be just the answer for you.

Choose your Procedure

Arm Lift

Men and women with a large amount of excess skin along their upper arms often struggle with low levels of self-confidence and discomfort when wearing short or sleeveless tops. Unfortunately, after losing a large amount of weight, or simply with age, your skin loses elasticity and begin to sag or droop off your arms. Dr. Smith provides arm lift surgery to restore the appearance of well-toned and youthful arms.

Body Contouring After Weight Loss

Losing a large amount of weight is an extremely life-changing accomplishment. With it comes a healthier lifestyle and increased levels of self-confidence. However, it can be extremely frustrating if once the fat is gone and you’ve reached your goal weight, you are just faced with a new problem—loose skin.

Body Lift

The body lift is the next step following massive weight loss. Whether you’ve lost a significant amount of weight with diet and exercise or through weight loss surgery, a body lift can help to reduce excess skin and provide you with beautifully-toned contours.

Liposuction

Over time, our bodies can develop areas of stubborn fat that become resistant to traditional weight loss methods. Even with a healthy diet and regular visits to the gym, it is common to struggle with some trouble areas where fat seems to simply stick around. Liposuction is an effective method to finally eliminate your specific areas of stubborn fat to provide you with the well-shaped figure you’ve been working toward.

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