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Abdominoplasty & Liposuction: What Is It & When Should I Consider It?

(See Sample Before & After Photos At Bottom)

Liposuction of the abdomen and abdominoplasties are some of the most common procedures done for plastic surgery patients.  A liposuction is a vastly simpler procedure one for which little downtime is necessary and return to activity can be within a matter of days.  On the other hand, abdominoplasty generally requires two to three weeks of convalescence.  Candidates for abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) are patients who have sustained significant weight changes, have large amounts of skin redundancy and/or skin tone that does not appear to have good elasticity.  This is commonly seen after pregnancy in patients who have sustained the development of stretch marks. Their skin shrinks poorly after suction lipectomy.  In general, both procedures work well and with abdominoplasty suction lipectomy is frequently combined.

General reasons to avoid such surgeries are risks of medical complications. These are seen mostly in patients that have compromised immune systems or medical circumstances that preclude an anesthetic. These might include cardiac conditions, the need for anticoagulant drugs and/or history of deep vein thrombosis.  All of these make any elective surgery more subject to complications.

In doing an abdominoplasty, as we eluded to, suction lipectomy is frequently combined especially about the area of the hips and flanks, aggressive suctioning of the upper abdomen is generally avoided as blood supply to the healing areas may be compromised. Suctioning of that area after healing is certainly possible without difficulty as a secondary procedure.  When an abdominoplasty is done, typically, the rectus muscles of the abdomen are tightened together to themselves across the midline tightening the abdominal wall as much as the abdominal contents will permit.

Usual seasons for abdominoplasty and suction lipectomy are in the winter and spring in preparation for the summer months. But, these procedures certainly can be accomplished at any time of the year.

In review, abdominoplasty and liposuction of the abdomen are common procedures done at Associates in Plastic Surgery.  The patients are generally very pleased with results.  It is important that the right procedure is chosen to offer the anticipated result and this could be determined at an individual consultation.

Top 5 Tummy Tuck Questions From Our Previous Blog

1 – Am I A Good Candidate For A Tummy Tuck?

A Tummy Tuck may be the best option for you to get the toned stomach you desire, especially if exercise and dieting is not producing the flat, well-toned abdomen you want. If you’re healthy, at a stable weight, and bothered by the appearance of your abdomen, you may be an excellent candidate for a tummy tuck. Women and men from the age of 25 to 70 years old have had a tummy tuck, and have realized great improvement in their shape and confidence.

2 – What Specifically Does The Surgery Target?

Tummy tuck surgery removes excess skin and fat from your lower abdomen, tightens the weakened or widened muscles and creates a smoother and firmer abdominal profile. A tummy tuck can remove most of the skin which contains stretch marks. Liposuction is used to further shape your upper abdomen and waist, hence the term lipoabdominoplasty. Additional liposuction can also be done on your back, hips, and thighs to further improve your contour.

3 – Where Will My Scars Be?

A tummy tuck requires a horizontal incision between the pubic area and belly button. The length of this incision varies depending on the amount of skin which needs to be removed, but will easily be hidden beneath underwear or a bathing suit. A second incision around the belly button is also necessary but can be concealed within the belly button itself.

4 – How Long Is My Recovery Period?

Typically, tummy tuck patients do not require a hospital stay, and can easily recover at home. Most patients are uncomfortable for 3 – 4 days and will need assistance during this time. You will be able to shower within 2-3 days of surgery, and may drive after 7 -10 days. Wearing a binder or a compression garment can be helpful for several weeks, and exercise can be resumed within 2 – 3 weeks. Patients return to work anywhere from one to three weeks after surgery and are fully healed after 2 – 3 months.

5 – How Do I Choose The Right Plastic Surgeon?

Do your homework. First, choose a board-certified plastic surgeon from the American Board of Plastic Surgery to ensure safety and quality ( has an easily viewable listing). Second, take time to look through the surgeons before and after photo gallery. Finally, during your consultation be sure you are comfortable with the surgeon and his/her staff. Assess their willingness to listen to your concerns and answer all your questions. Be sure your expectations are met.

Want to learn more about a Tummy Tuck or Liposuction procedure?
Contact Associates In Plastic Surgery today for your complimentary consultation –
+1 (757) 491-3535
To Provide Some Expectations Of Results, Here Are Examples of Recent Tummy Tuck Procedures Performed By The Doctors At Associates In Plastic Surgery:

This 46-year-old woman underwent an abdominoplasty with midline tightening of the abdominal muscles and liposuction of the waist and back.  Additionally, she had fat grafting to her buttocks.

   Before                                  After

PreOp-Before-Abdominoplasty-Tummy-Tuck-Virginia-Beach-VA    PostOp-After-Abdominoplasty-Tummy-Tuck-Virginia-Beach-VA

PreOp-Before-Abdominoplasty-Tummy-Tuck-Virginia-Beach-VA-1    PostOp-After-Abdominoplasty-Tummy-Tuck-Virginia-Beach-VA-2

Here are two other similar procedures

Pre-Op-Abdominoplasty-Tummy-Tuck-Virginia-Beach-VA2  Post-Op-Abdominoplasty-Tummy-Tuck-Virginia-Beach-VA2

Pre-Op-Abdominoplasty-Tummy-Tuck-Virginia-Beach-VA1         Post-Op-Abdominoplasty-Tummy-Tuck-Virginia-Beach-VA1