The tummy tuck procedure has evolved and improved since the procedure was first tried in 1899. The standard technique, which has been with us for about 30 years, consists of a horizontal incision in the lower abdomen. The skin and fat is lifted up off of the muscle. The belly button is saved by cutting around it. The muscles are tightened and the skin and fat flap is brought down and trimmed off. This is still a fairly standard technique in most plastic surgery practices.
It has a couple of problems that make this method rather risky. There may be insufficient blood getting to the lower central skin after the procedure and this can result in an area of dead skin which can create a hole. This might take weeks or even months to heal up with intensive wound care. Liposuction at the same time as this technique makes this problem worse. As a result we avoided liposuction at the same time. This resulted in residual abdominal fat that would need liposuction as a second procedure. The second is that there is a large space under this flap that needs prolonged drainage tubes and often drainage fluid will accumulate there after the drains have been removed. This is called a seroma, and the fluid needs to be removed by new drains or needles.
I have been doing a better technique recently which seems to have solved these problems. Research has shown us that the blood supply for the lower abdomen comes through deep blood vessels in the upper outer portion of the abdomen. If this area is preserved then healing problems become rare or non existent. Liposuction can be done at the same time and healing still remains very good. So now we can do complete liposuction of the abdomen and then go ahead and do a modified tummy tuck to preserve these blood vessels.
The results have been amazingly good. The fat is gone. The stomach is tightened more than we could before. Healing is great. Drainage tubes come out in a week or less. Recovery is quicker. Pain is less. We use a pain pump to automatically numb the surgical area with local anesthetics for about four days. Skin numbness is less. Seromas have all but been eliminated. Return to normal activities is much quicker.
If you are extremely thin and you do not need the liposuction we can omit it and do the rest of the new and improved technique.
I have been very encouraged and excited by these results. If you are thinking about getting a tummy tuck done please make sure that you find out more about this technique first. I would be happy to schedule a consultation to tell you all about it. Please call us at (209) 323-2979 for an appointment.
My practice is in Stockton, but many patients come from all the surrounding areas, such as Lodi, Modesto, Manteca and Tracy and beyond.