Sunday, February 6, 2011
Traditional Tummy Tuck is not always the answer!!
When I was in training more than 10 years ago, we really only had one option for the woman (or man!) who had extra skin and fat on the tummy. While traditional tummy tuck is the gold standard and a good option for many, there are many cases where you can get a wonderful/even better overall result with the mini tummy tuck and/or laser assisted liposuction. How is this possible and why is this such a different way to look at cosmetic surgery. The reality is less cutting and fewer points for scaring is better for many patients. In particular, the mini tummy allows for tightening of the stomach without a scar around the belly button and the scar above the pubic area is quite short and easy to hide. The reason a mini tummy tuck can work now when it was not as good an option more than 10 years ago is the availability of laser and ultrasound assisted liposuction. These technologies allow for impressive fat reduction, especially in the upper belly, while also allowing for skin rejuvenation to the upper abdomen (belly). The mini also allows the surgeon to tighten the six pack muscles (the rectus muscles) and/or repairing a belly button (umbilical) hernia. The recovery is usually easier, with many patients back to work within a week. Did I mention the surgery is less expensive as well. There may even be patients who are really candidates for traditional tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) but they are concerned about the extent of surgery, cost, and/or are willing to compromise on the extent of the surgical result. They may choose laser liposuction, ultrasonic liposuction, or mini tummy tuck even though the traditional tummy tuck would give the best "cosmetic correction". Obviously, if someone has lost a lot of weight or has a significant amount of loose skin after pregnancy, then the traditional tummy tuck is the way to go and worth the extra work and potential recovery. Bottom line, pick what is most important to you and make sure your surgeon is aware of your priorities and desires!