ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TUMMY TUCKS?
Yes. Tummy tucks may sometimes be just removal of some loose skin which is essentially cutting out skin alone. It may involve cutting out skin and tightening the underlying muscle below the umbilicus or it may involve cutting away the skin and also tightening the underlying muscle that has split above the belly button. The latter we call the full tuck.
HOW DO I TELL IF I NEED A FULL TUCK?
One of the ways is to lie on one’s back and sit up gradually. The pressure of sitting up will cause a bulge down the center of the upper stomach from the chest to the umbilicus. If there is a central bulge then it is possible you have a split or weakness in the muscle that needs to be addressed. Often this will present as bloating or bulging of the upper stomach when one is standing or after eating.
WHAT CAUSES THE MUSCLE TO SPLIT?
The muscle splits often from pregnancy due to the expansion of the abdominal wall or from weight gain. In some patients it happens for no good reason.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE UMBILICUS IN A FULL TUMMY TUCK?
With a tummy tuck, one isolates the umbilicus and keeps it attached to its base. Once the skin above the umbilicus is brought down to the pubic area, the umbilicus is brought again through a small hole in the skin. It is the same umbilicus going through a new hole.
WHAT HAPPENS IF ONE HAS HAD AN UMBILICAL HERNIA REPAIR?
Tummy tuck can still be performed. If it is a hernia repair that involved mesh one may not be able to save the umbilicus. This is something that would need to be brought to the surgeon’s attention.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LIPO TUCK AND A TUMMY TUCK?
A lipo tuck combines tumescent liposculpture which Dr. Lanzer has been performing for 22 years together with cutting of the skin. The initial stage is a full tumescent liposculpture to remove as much fat as possible. The residual loose skin is removed. The advantages of doing tumescent liposuction first is that it is antibacterial, reduces bleeding and hydrates the tissues. Dr. Lanzer performs lipo tuck as an outpatient. There is no admission to a hospital.
HOW DOES A PATIENT DECIDE BETWEEN A TUMMY TUCK AND A LIPOSUCTION?
Sometimes it can be difficult for a patient to understand what is better for them to have. Liposuction removes fat and causes a skin tightening so that the skin contracts and becomes flatter and smoother. Tummy tuck actually cuts out the skin, making the stomach flatter and smoother. Generally speaking, in making a decision, I consider what is the primary concern of the patient. If it is fat, then liposculpture would be the primary option. If it is loose skin then tummy tuck would be the option. There is a crossover and sometimes patients could have either procedure. It is a matter of a balance to work out which is the best way to go.
HOW DOES ONE DECIDE BETWEEN A NECK LIFT AND A LIPOSUCTION?
There is a similar balance on the face and neck as we saw on the stomach. Sometimes patients can get away with just a simple liposculpture of the neck which causes retraction and tightening of the skin. In other cases we would look more at actually lifting and cutting the skin.
IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TUMMY TUCK AND LIPOSUCTION DETERMINED BY AGE?
Age plays a role in that we try to avoid a more extensive surgery in patients who are older. Also, patients who want to have a quicker recovery would go for liposuction as opposed to a tummy tuck. Other than that, the skin does retract well in all age groups and I have not noticed a huge difference in skin retraction between different age groups.
DO MEN HAVE LIPO TUCK?
Yes. Men have lipo tuck as well. It is often seen after excessive weight loss or lap banding surgery.
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Surgical Warning: Every form of surgery has a possibility of a complication and these are given to you in detail by Dr Lanzer. It is a good idea to understand your surgical procedure well, and to obtain further advice from another Specialist Cosmetic surgeon such as a Dermatologist like Dr Lanzer.
All photographs represent one person's experience, and results may vary for each patient. All photographs are of actual patients of Dr Lanzer. The visible change in these photographs has occurred as a result of the procedure/s undertaken.
Best results are obtained when the procedure is combined with a balanced diet and exercise.
Some before and after photos shown are not exact, in that they vary in light, contrast, clothing, background, distance from camera, hairstyle and make-up.