The abdominal region is one of the most commonly requested areas for liposuction. This is not surprising since it is an important part of how looks and fitness are evaluated.
Click here for before and after pictures.
The abdominal region is also the most difficult to self-evaluate for success during liposuction. We see many people who think they will get good results with smartlipo and who we advise not to have the procedure because they need diet and exercise, or who have enough laxity that they need to consider having a tummy tuck instead. Coming in for a consultation with M.R. Khalifeh, MD will lead you to an assessment on wether the procedure will work on you.
UNDERSTANDING THE ANATOMY RELEVANT TO THE COSMETIC APPEARANCE:
There are basically four factors that will contribute to the look of the abdomen. Starting from the deepest (most inward) layer to the most outward layer, these factors are:
1) INTRAabdominal fat and visceral content: the abdomen houses important organs. some organs are tethered (such as the liver, the kidneys) and do not contribute to the look of that the abdomen takes except in cases of abnormal enlargement during sickness (at which point the patient is not typically considering liposuction). Other organs are not tethered such as the small intestine and its companion fat layer called the omentum. These organs can move and descend and do contribute to the look of the abdomen. The omentum fat layer, or intraabdominal fat content, is a place where the human body can store fat during weight gain, and this can create a bulging from the inside out which is best remedied by diet and exercise. Remember, liposuction is no substitute for diet and exercise.
2) Muscle layer (rectus, obliques) and investing fascia: the next layer that contributes to the looks of the person is the strength or weakness of the abdominal muscles. By weakness, we do not mean muscle weakness per say, but weakness of the strong layer that holds all the muscles together. A weakness of the muscle layer causes the two midline muscles to separate and the contents listed in section 1 now have room to bulge outward creating typically a bulge around the umbilical region. This is most evident in a pregnant woman and the way the body is designed is to allow those muscles to separate during that time. The most common reason for muscle weakness is having had numerous children, and the second most common reason is massive weightloss. The weakness or strength of the muscle layer is something that is best evaluated by a plastic surgeon. Most patients and non-board certified plastic surgeon that do not perform the tummy tuck operation as an alternative will underestimate the importance of the muscle layer for a straight abdomen.
You may see a graphic picture here of muscle tightening during tummy tuck, which may help you understand this concept better.
3)EXTRAabdominal fat: Now we get to the area that is most correctible by laser liposuction, which is the fat layer external to the muscle layer discussed above. This is the layer of fat that is safely accessible during the liposuction procedure. To the extent that the shape of the abdomen is caused by the extra abdominal fat layer, one can seek correction with the laser liposuction procedure. even this layer is subdivided into two horizontal layers (divided by a thin membrane called scarpa’s layer) as well as some vertical type divisions (fibrous fat compartments), however those divisions, in the experienced liposuction surgeon’s hand, are not an impediment to the tools used and the fat can be reshaped.
4)The skin and the dermal layer: this is the final relevant layer and the looseness or strength of the skin will also contribute significantly to the final result. With laser liposuction, the skin can be tightened a little more than traditional liposuction alone. However the initial state of the skin is very important in determining the final results. Typically the conditions that cause stretching of the muscle layer (pregnancy, weight loss/gain) also stretch the skin. This results in a “double-whammy” that make results more difficult and make such patients potential candidates for the tummy tuck operation. The patient with extraabdominal fat and good skin tone will be the best candidate for the laser lipo procedure.
THE INCISIONS REQUIRED FOR LIPOSUCTION:
The scars involved: Over the years I have worked hard to change the technique in a way that keeps the incisions well hidden. I use 2-4 umbilical incisions during the case because the umbilical incisions will be very difficult to notice. I will also use groin incisions that can be hidden by underwear or bikini. I have moved away, as much as possible, from upper abdomen incisions, preferring instead, where possible, to work from below up, especially with the help of standing liposculpture. click here to see pictures for abdominal incisions
THE COSTS INVOLVED:
Typically we run specials, which can be found by clicking here,
We strive to be competitive with other centers based on the scope of work being performed. We will not advertise a teaser rate and then hit you with additional area fees. We have seen what we consider one full area (the abdomen) be divided into three areas (upper, lower, anterior flanks) by other centers. Typically, a complete treatment focusing on all regions of the abdomen, and including associated costs will run between $3500 to $4,500 after our promotions, including the necessary compression garment. CLICK HERE to see our brand new Price Match Guarantee!
THE RECOVERY PROCESS: CLICK HERE for recovery from liposuction
ALTERNATIVES: especially for women who have had children, the tummy tuck operation is an alternative form of treatment that needs to be studied. Needless to say, diet and exercise are also alternatives and need to be part of the treatment plan of anyone seeking to reshape his or her body.
More interesting Stuff:
Video showing Dr. Khalifeh Discussing why not everyone can get smartlipo and get a flat stomach:
click here for pictures of standing up laser lipo procedure