Abdominoplasty is an excellent procedure to correct a prominent tummy area The procedure addresses the three components of a prominent tummy – excess and stretched skin, laxity in the muscular “girdle”, and excess fat.  Every surgery I perform is customized to the individual patient, and through an examination prior to surgery, I can determine which of the components needs to be addressed in a given patient.

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About Liposuction and Abdominoplasty 

Let’s talk about the fat component in this blog.  There are two layers of fat in the abdominal region – one layer is in front of the tummy muscles – called superficial fat, and the second layer is behind the tummy muscles – called deep or intra-abdominal fat.  Both contribute to a prominent tummy.

Intra-abdominal or deep fat can only be reduced through weight loss.  There is no safe surgery that removes this fat. Liposuction cannot be safely performed on this deep layer.

Superficial fat can be easily removed through liposuction, and this is a very common procedure.  The question is, can this tummy liposuction be performed at the same time as the tummy tuck?  The quick answer – sometimes!

Because of technical considerations related to the blood supply to the abdominal skin that is lifted and stretched downward, liposuction in the central tummy has to be done very carefully, and to a limited extent.  Aggressive liposuction, trying to remove all the excess fat at the same time as the tummy tuck, can result in loss of skin and prolonged healing.  However, moderate liposuction can be performed at the same time with limited risk.  This is the approach that I commonly take.

Another option, that is very common in my practice, is to “two stage” it.  That means that the liposuction is performed either before or after the tummy tuck – usually separated by 2-3 months.  With this approach, I can safely be very aggressive with the liposuction with very little risk to the abdominal skin.  Liposuction of the abdomen does not have a long “back to work” recovery time – most patients are back in 3-5 days – so while it is inconvenient to perform two surgeries, the safety and end result frequently warrant it.  Oftentimes, patients who need liposuction in the abdominal region also have excess fat in other areas, like the thighs, arms, love handles, and buttocks.  Doing the two stage procedure allows me to safely suction those areas at the same time as the abdominal liposuction. 

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Tummy Tuck and/or Liposuction: What’s Right For Me?

Over the years, I have done many combined procedures with great results. As a board-certified surgeon, I believe in delivering the best results I can by using the most advanced surgical techniques and the most up-to-date equipment available. Everyone’s body is unique and you deserve to feel great in your own skin.

If you’re looking for beautiful results through liposuction and are unsure if a tummy tuck can help, book a screening with my team. With a single office visit, we can help you decide on what’s right for you. Together, we’ll develop the best possible plan to have you looking and feeling as beautiful on the outside as you feel on the inside.

“Dr. Barnett and team are amazing! Great service and care all while making you feel at ease every step of the way!! There’s a reason why Dr. Barnett has been practicing for many years! He’s excellent!” *

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Take the Next Step

Ready to look and feel your best? Schedule a consultation with Andrew Barnett M.D. to discuss your options today. Consultations are available in both our San Francisco and Walnut Creek offices. You may schedule for either location by calling (415) 879-8735. Renee or Laurie will help you and answer any pre-consultation questions you may have!