A brief online search into the ins and outs of plastic surgery and you’ll come away with one common piece of advice: choose a board-certified plastic surgeon for your desired procedure. Ask at least one surgeon about complications, and how many procedures they have performed. These are good, but they are just the beginning. Savvy patients know that there are better, more specific questions that will help them get the best results and have the best patient experience. Here, we discuss what you should be asking as you determine who should have the honor of performing your abdominoplasty surgery.
Abdominoplasty is a tummy tuck procedure. However, there’s more to it than that. Going beyond the basics, you want your surgeon to explain to you what kind of tummy tuck you need, a full abdominoplasty, mini-tuck, rectus repair? Do you need more than one technique, or do you need something else entirely? A very good surgeon will be able to make a recommendation and also back it up with clear reasoning. The options for tummy tuck surgery are varied, which means you should know a little about your own anatomy.
The abdominal wall is made up of various layers. The skin, then fat, then muscle at the innermost layer. For a tummy tuck to successfully achieve optimal contouring, every layer must be addressed. In more detail, the abdominal wall has two vertical rectus muscles that sit front and center. They are surrounded by the oblique muscles on each side. When the central muscles split, it is referred to as rectus diastasis. If the muscles require repair, this may be done without a full tummy tuck incision if the patient does not have excess fat and skin to trim.
The layer of abdominal fat may be the primary problem that needs correction. In this instance, the surgeon would recommend liposuction instead of a tummy tuck. The skilled eye observes the skin and anticipates how it may or may not retract after fat reduction. For some patients, the skin may look loose and wrinkled after liposuction alone. Tissue laxity may be corrected surgically, with the proper abdominoplasty technique, or a doctor may correct the problem with a nonsurgical skin tightening protocol performed after liposuction incisions have healed. The same treatment protocol may be advisable for patients with minimal unwanted fat and loose skin or for patients concerned primarily with the appearance of sagging or wrinkled abdominal skin. For skin tightening alone, patients may consider Refirme Skin Tightening treatment. For nonsurgical fat reduction and skin tightening, Refirme may be combined with Liposonix. The treatment can also be added to a treatment protocol after surgical liposuction.
The question of whether or not to have a tummy tuck is just the tip of the iceberg. For a more in-depth discussion about your cosmetic goals, schedule a consultation with us in Pottsville or Hazleton.