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Body

Body

Weight change whether due to pregnancy or weight loss can often result in excess skin on the tummy.  Sometimes the skin is fine, but there still is a pesky bulge of fat on either the abdomen, sides, or thighs and liposuction can be considered.  The following are some of the body procedures offered at Buchele Plastic Surgery.  Click on the links provided for more information.

Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck

There are two issues that must be considered in tummy tuck.

The first issue is that there is a range of operations and therefore the operation should be customized to the patient.  At one end of the spectrum is a "full tummy tuck."  In this operation, because there is laxity or looseness of the muscle or fascia, these are tightened with stitches.  In addition, the skin from the belly button to the pubic hair is removed.  At the other end of the spectrum is a “mini tummy tuck” when just a piece of skin from right over the pubic hair is removed.  In between these is an operation that can be designed to meet the patient’s specific needs.

The more skin that needs to be removed the farther in a side-to-side direction the scar has to go. This is the trade with tummy tuck; the trade of “skin for scars.”

The second issue is that I believe the tummy tuck is the biggest operation plastic surgeons do with regard to pain and recovery time.  This is related to the stitches in the muscle and the goal of making the belly as tight as is safe.  If you have a job that requires lifting, you may be off work 3 weeks.  This operation is about skin and not fat.  It is about tightening the skin.  Patients who are overweight will still be overweight after the surgery.  If you plan to lose weight, do it first so whatever extra skin you get from the weight loss can be taken care of at the time of surgery. 

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Liposuction

First done in France about 25 years ago, liposuction has become very popular and much safer. The areas to be treated are marked with a magic marker, flooded with a solution to reduce post-operative pain and containing medicine to reduce the bleeding, and then under anesthesia, has the excess fat removed by special metal tubes attached to a suction device. Saddlebags, inner thighs, love handles, and the lower tummy fat, are all good areas to be treated by liposuction.

The concept is straightforward:  remove the fat and encourage the skin to contract and shrink around the new less fat internal structure.  This effort to mould the skin is done with supportive garments.  The elasticity of the skin is obviously critical.  The  smaller the amount of liposuction needed, the younger and the more elastic the skin, and the shorter the period of time the bulge exists, the better the results.

Recovery is much faster than with a tummy tuck, and may be as little as 3-5 days.  There are safety issues with how much liposuction can be done at one time.  I have an upper limit of 5 liters (about 10 pounds) at one trip to the operating room.

If there is a lot of fat to remove and the skin is not elastic, one can have redundant or floppy skin after liposuction.  This needs to be thoroughly analyzed by the surgeon and discussed with the patient. 

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Body Contouring After Major Weight Loss

Surgical procedures have been designed to resolve problems of excess skin that occur after weight loss.  If you have lost a massive amount of weight and find that you have problems with excess skin and sagging tissue in one or many body areas, ask your plastic surgeon about body contouring after major weight loss.

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Breast Reduction for Men

For men who feel self-conscious about excess breast tissue, breast-reduction surgery can help. The procedure removes fat and or glandular tissue from the chest area, and in extreme cases removes excess skin, resulting in a chest that is flatter, firmer, and better contoured.

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Arm Lift

An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove loose skin and excess fat deposits in the upper arm.  The aging process or significant changes in body weight can leave a person with sagging upper arms and excess skin.  If you want to tighten the skin of this area, ask your surgeon about brachioplasty.

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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.

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Thigh Lift

Improving contours of the inner or outer thigh can be achieved with a thigh lift.  This 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.

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