Abdominal Liposculpture

One of the most popular areas for liposculpture in Dr. Hayduke’s practice is the abdomen. Both men and women tend to lose abdominal definition and slowly develop a “pudgy” look to the abdomen as they age. Fat progressively accumulates in the abdominal region – even if we diet and exercise routinely. Those who choose not to diet and exercise will likely develop a more dramatic “belly” very quickly (sometimes as early as our late teen years). The excess fat produces an obvious fatty bulge – seen even in standard everyday clothing. Many women who have been pregnant often struggle with a “pooch” of the lower abdomen that frequently persists - even after intense exercise and dieting programs.

Abdominal liposculpture specifically targets the stubborn anterior (front) of the abdomen. Dr. Hayduke’s liposculpture technique permanently removes fat cells from the abdomen to achieve a flatter more refined appearance. In many cases, liposculpture of the abdomen is the perfect addition to a healthy diet and exercise program. It is essentially impossible to direct your weight loss by dieting or even exercise specifically to the abdomen – since weight loss by diet is a diffuse process that occurs throughout your entire body. Although exercise routines can strengthen the muscles (foundation) of the abdomen, they can not significantly decrease the amount of fatty tissue present in the outer fatty layer of the abdomen.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR THIS PROCEDURE

Liposculpture is a targeted removal of bulging fat. Anyone with bulging areas of fat in the abdominal region may be a candidate. It is important to understand, however, that excess skin is not removed. Liposculpture stimulates skin retraction and tightening – as long as the patient has some inherent skin elasticity present. In general, younger clients have the most elastic skin. Obviously, a client who is 25 years old has significantly more elasticity in their skin as compared to a 55 year old. The best cosmetic results are in young patients who are in the normal range according to Body Mass Index (BMI) charts, however, many satisfied clients are older patients and heavier patients who have realistic expectations (plastic surgery is not magic).

Obviously, there are differences in what can be achieved depending upon the client’s starting Body Mass Index (BMI) and age at the time of liposculpture. Liposculpture is not a method of weight loss, rather, it is a sculpting technique that softens and flattens localized bulges of fatty tissue. Clients who have an elevated BMI (overweight) may still obtain some benefit from abdominal liposculpture, however, they need to be realistic as far as the limitations that exist because of their elevated BMI. The cosmetic results are much more modest in patients with elevated BMI’s.

WHO IS NOT A CANDIDATE FOR ABDOMINAL LIPOSCULPTURE?

One thing that you will rarely see on a liposculpture (liposuction) website is an explanation of who is not a good candidate. Since many physicians who market themselves as liposculpture surgeons (or specialists) are actually not true plastic surgeons, they will basically perform liposuction on anyone who walks into their office. In many cases, liposculpture is simply the only technique that they know how to perform on the abdomen - period. This goes along with the old saying “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Since Dr. Hayduke is a true board certified plastic surgeon, he can give you an honest evaluation about whether you are a good candidate for liposculpture or if an alternative surgical procedure can achieve better results.

Clients who already have significant sagging skin (excess hanging skin) in the problem area are not candidates for liposculpture. Dr. Hayduke frequently sees this situation in massive weight loss patients (for example, those who have lost 80 pounds or more after gastric bypass surgery). The excess skin forms an apron of hanging skin and fat (called a pannus) that needs to be surgically excised with a technique called an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Clients who have had several children may have developed significant “rectus diastasis” (permanent separation of the rectus abdominus muscles) that needs imbrication with sutures. This situation can also occur in men who accumulate fat deep inside their abdomen (intra abdominal fat – around their intestines) These complex issues can only be truly addressed during a formal abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Extensive stretch marks of the lower abdomen can only be removed with a tummy tuck. Clients who have no significant skin elasticity are also generally poor candidates for abdominal liposuction (elderly). To see the results of Dr. Hayduke’s abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) procedure, please visit www.drhayduke.com and view his portfolio (photo gallery).

HOW DOES DR HAYDUKE SUB-DIVIDE THE ABDOMEN INTO ZONES?

For simplicity, Dr. Hayduke sub-divides the abdomen into the “upper abdomen” and “lower abdomen”. If you draw a horizontal line across your abdomen with a marker at the level of your belly button (umbilicus), the zone above the belly button is called the “upper abdomen” and the zone below the belly button is called the “lower abdomen”. If your bulging fat problem area is strictly below your belly button, then you may only need your “lower abdomen” treated with liposculpture. Some patients need both the “upper abdomen” and “lower abdomen” treated if both zones have significant bulging fat.

RECOVERY AFTER LIPOSCULPTURE OF THE ABDOMEN

Dr. Hayduke prefers to perform abdominal liposculpture in the office under local anesthesia (unless you insist on having your procedure under general anesthesia or if you choose to also have another simultaneously performed plastic surgical procedure). Patients go home wearing an elastic garment (binder) that compresses the treated area. Underneath this compressive garment (binder) you will have several large absorbent pads that need to be changed twice per day for the first two days. After about 2 or 3 days, the drainage completely stops and only light dressings are used. After seven days, you can discontinue wearing the binder completely. Tylenol is used for discomfort for the first three or four days after your procedure. Many patients resume work at their desk jobs after 48 hours. Females may experience some mild swelling of the labia and males may experience some swelling of the scrotum and penis for the first few days after the procedure.

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