Tummy Tuck Gives You a Waist You’ve Been Longing For!

Flabby bellies are notoriously difficult to control through diet and exercise.  Liposuction may be beneficial for someone who has extra fat around the abdomen, but anyone who also has lost muscle tone and developed extra sagging skin will require a tummy tuck, otherwise known as an abdominoplasty, to achieve a flatter waistline.

A tummy tuck addresses all three major problem areas at once. In one operation we remove:

1)  excess fat,

2)  saggy skin, and

3)  tighten abdominal muscles that may have become distended with pregnancy or age.

Men and women can develop abdominal wall weaknesses as they age that can be repaired during a tummy tuck.

During pregnancy, women lose their waistline as a result of the spreading of the surrounding tummy muscles. This spreading is referred to as ‘diastasis recti’ and is not an actual hernia but does cause a bulge from the pubic area to just above the belly button. Men may also experience this spreading following weight gain or in the presence of abdominal hernias.

The modern tummy tuck is not only a removal of skin but also an operation on fat, and muscle. Incisions for a tummy tuck are made below the bathing suit line from hipbone to hipbone and are generally tailored to the patient’s wishes. Some female patients prefer to wear french cut bathing suits. In that case, the incision comes up a little higher on the side extension. For those patients who prefer a traditional cut swimsuit, the incision is made right at the hip line. In all cases, the incision and resulting scar are fashioned to meet the patient’s wishes and afford them complete camouflage in a bikini or other bathing suit.

Next, an incision is made around the belly button. While the belly button is left intact on the underlying muscle, the tissues beneath are elevated from the lower tummy to the rib cage area and redundant skin and fat are removed, exposing the abdominal wall. At that point, the abdominal wall is lightened by suturing together (or “lacing-up”) the abdominal muscles and repairing any damage that occurred during pregnancy or weight gain. At no time are these muscles actually cut.  It is the lightening of the muscles that really reduces the waistline (and is the main reason for the post-operative pain in tummy tucks). We then perform liposuction on the abdominal wall, waist, hips and “love handles” in an effort to create a smooth, pleasing contour across the entire waistline.

Finally, the tummy skin above the belly button is stretched down to the meet the incision at the pubic hairline. A small incision is made for the belly button, which will reach back through the abdominal wall as usual. The shape and nature of the belly button don’t change unless a patient specifically requests it. Any hernias of the belly button can be corrected. For example, ‘outies’ can be made ‘innies’ or it can be made a bit smaller if the patient so desires. Patients are usually instructed to wear a ”girdle” or medical compression garment over the entire tummy area to provide support and comfort while healing. It takes generally two to three weeks to make a complete recovery, and most of our tummy tuck patients are back to work within three to four weeks.

Question: What steps do you take to try and get rid of that bothersome flabby tummy? You can leave a comment below.

Breast Lift and Augmentation: The facts you need to know!

The goals of breast lift with or without breast augmentation are to restore shape, volume, and nipple-areola position. However, simultaneous breast lift and augmentation present multiple problems, specifically because it becomes harder to control all of the variables affecting the outcome when combining the two procedures. No single method is best to treat all types of sagging (ptosis), and maintaining a good blood supply to the nipple-areola complex is of paramount importance, so a staged procedure may be necessary at times.

Why is combining a breast lift and breast augmentation the most difficult of all cosmetic breast surgery procedures? The surgery involves manoeuvres that can be counterproductive to each other since the skin is being removed and when closed back up again, pushes the breast in and upwards, whilst an implant stretches the skin in an out and in a downwards direction. These conflicting tensions can adversely affect the blood supply to the breast and skin which may affect wound healing, scar quality etc. Positioning of both the nipple and breast fold also becomes more challenging during simultaneous lift and augmentation. Secondly, no two breasts are the same, and each patient is seeking a different endpoint, sometimes with unrealistic expectations.

The first thing that I do when evaluating a patient for a breast lift is to ask them if they are happy with their present breast volume. You can simply do this by pinching the skin below the breast and pushing it up where it belongs. Most women are amazed at how little of breast volume they actually have. If that is the case, then volume enhancement, usually with an implant, is necessary along with a lift. If the volume is satisfactory, then a breast lift will suffice.

The second thing to do is grade the amount of breast sagging. This is done by using Regnault’s classification which looks at the position of the nipple as follows:

1)  Grade 1 (minor): nipple at breast fold
2)  Grade 2 (moderate): nipple is below the fold but above the lower breast contour
3)  Grade 3 (major): nipple is below the fold and below breast contour
4)  Pseudoptosis (“false sagging”): nipple lies above the fold, there is little breast volume, some of which lies below the fold

Other characteristics that one looks out for are:

1) Skin: elasticity and excess;
2)  Breast tissue:  firm and fibrous or soft and fatty; and
3)  Skin-breast tissue relationship: firm and adherent or loosely adherent and is the breast full or empty. Skin quality and the skin-breast tissue relationship are the key factors in determining the breast lift procedure and the quality and longevity of the final result.

As a general rule, if the skin elasticity is normal, the breast envelope is full, and the skin is adherent to the underlying breast tissue, then the scars would be limited, and vice versa. In other words, one progresses from limited scars such as periareolar scars (scars around the nipple-areola complex) to periareolar-vertical scars (scars that run down the front of the breast below the nipple-areola complex) to more extensive, full-length inverted-T or anchor scars.

For the patient with “pseudoptosis,” inserting a breast implant alone, usually tear-dropped shaped, is typically all that is needed. For Grade I sagging, an implant alone or a lift plus an implant may be required.

Depending on a number of factors, the lift may be performed via a crescent, periareolar, or vertical approach. A vertical approach is preferred if there is significant looseness below the nipple. However, the periareolar incision is generally used in just a few specific situations. Since this skin-only incision is unable to lift much weight, it is an option in women with small breasts who need only a small amount of nipple repositioning, usually < 2 cm.

In addition, it is considered advantageous in women with pointed, conical or tubular breasts, because it causes areolar flattening and eliminates the tubular nature. The main issue I have with performing a periareolar breast lift is its tendency to cause areolar flattening and leave the areola more prone to stretching.

In Grade 2 sagging, especially where the breasts are large and heavy, a vertical breast lift is often required because it will effectively lift the breast tissue to achieve increased projection. However, a periareolar incision may still be considered for women with light breasts. When performing a vertical breast lift, the procedure may be converted into a short inverted-T lift if a difficulty is encountered controlling the nipple-to-breast fold distance.

With Grade 3 sagging, the lift technique depends on the nipple-to-breast fold distance. If it is > 10 cm, most surgeons perform an inverted-T breast lift. Otherwise, vertical breast lift remains an option that will enable control of the nipple-to-breast fold distance, as the vertical scar tends to shorten in the post-operative period with scar contraction.

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Tim – Sydney Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon

www.cosmeticculture.com.au
www.drtim.com.au

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Candidates for body lifts typically have lost large amounts of weight. They should be healthy and well nourished without vitamin or mineral deficiencies. They should not smoke, as smoking increases the risk of complications.

To learn more about body lifts, request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

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Loose skin, stretch marks and fat on the abdomen are among the most common reasons patients seek an abdominoplasty from a plastic surgeon. In some cases, patients have excess skin and fat on the abdomen from weight loss. In other cases, age or pregnancy has changed the contour of the abdomen. Many are frustrated that diet and exercise don’t tighten their lower abdominal skin. Some even lose the motivation to exercise because they can’t see their muscles underneath their loose skin. For many of these patients, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is their best opportunity to reclaim a youthful figure.

To learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

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Candidates for an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) have some or all of the following problems:

  1. Loose skin on the lower abdomen
  2. Stretch marks on the lower abdominal
  3. Abdominal muscle laxity
  4. Pubic laxity

Good abdominoplasty candidates should be healthy non-smokers. Avoiding smoking is important to decrease risks. Although it’s better for patients to be near their ideal weight, many patients who are overweight are still good candidates for the procedure.

To learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

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During pregnancy, skin may be stretched to the point that microscopic fractures form in the skin, or dermis, resulting in stretch marks (also known as striae). Caesarean section scars may accentuate fatty bulges by tethering the skin to the underlying muscles, causing the fat and loose skin to fold over the scar. The rectus abdominis muscles on the abdomen may become separated in the midline, creating a potbelly appearance. Fat also redistributes with age, becoming concentrated in the lower abdomen. The hourglass waistline of youth gives way to a larger midsection. That’s why many women choose abdominoplasty as part of their “Mommy Makeover” and as a bonus the Caesarian scar can be removed at the same time.

Although abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) can achieve dramatic improvements, it’s important to also consider adjacent areas of the body for optimal results. For many patients, liposuction around the waist and thighs will provide more comprehensive results. Mothers will frequently choose breast surgery as well. This combination of procedures completes their transformation back to the hourglass figure they once had.

To learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

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A Mommy Makeover may be performed in one or more stages. Age, health, needs and desires are all considered carefully when formulating a plan for each patient. Many patients choose to do more than one procedure at a time.

The abdomen tends to experience the greatest change following pregnancy with stretch marks, loose skin and lower abdominal fat being the most common complaints. The abdominal muscles may also be stretched to the point that they remain separated in the midline, accentuating the patient’s lower abdominal bulge. To treat these problems, an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) can be performed where excess skin and fat is removed from the abdomen and the muscles tightened.

After having children, fat tends to redistribute to new areas on the body where it may be unwanted. This is frequently true even if women are successful at losing their baby weight. Most often, bulges of fat accumulate around the waist and on the thighs. On these areas, liposuction is frequently performed as part of a Mommy Makeover. My preferred technique is power-assisted liposuction (PAL), the safest and most effective way to remove fat from these areas.

The breasts also go through dramatic changes with pregnancy and breastfeeding. Patient concerns about their breasts vary greatly, but the most common breast procedures I perform as part of a Mommy Makeover include:

  1. Breast augmentation
  2. Breast augmentation and lift (Augmentation Mastopexy)
  3. Breast lift
  4. Breast reduction

To learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

Supplements and Cosmetic Surgery

Herbal supplements and vitamins are known to have a significant and measurable effect on promoting wound healing, reducing bruising,  enhancing immunity, and reducing oxidation caused by both surgery and anaesthetic drugs. However, these supplements are still drugs that could cause dangerous side effects during cosmetic surgery. About 50% of cosmetic surgery patients take supplements (usually more than one), but often do not tell their surgeons because they assume they are safe.  Some  of  the  most  popular  herbal  supplements  taken  are  chondroitin,  echinacea, and  glucosamine:

  • Chondroitin is often used to treat osteoarthritis.  People using chondroitin may suffer from bleeding complications during surgery, particularly when used in combination with doctor-prescribed blood-thinning medications (like warfarin).
  • Echinacea is often used for the prevention and treatment of viral, bacterial and fungal infections, as well as chronic wounds, ulcers, and arthritis.  However, it can trigger immunosuppression, causing poor wound healing and infection.
  • Glucosamine, often offered in conjunction with chondroitin, contains chemical elements that mimic human insulin, and may artificially cause low blood sugars during surgery.

Other common supplements taken by patients that may cause thinning of the blood are the “4  Gs”  (gingko biloba, garlicginseng, and ginger), fish oils and Vitamin E.

Cosmetic surgery should be viewed with the same care and concern as heart or brain surgery. Everything we do is important for our patients, so every precaution and safety should be taken to minimise complications from surgery and anaesthesia. Remember, we need your help and cooperation at all times.  Advise us of every drug you take, prescribed and non-prescribed and cease taking any blood thinning agents 2 weeks prior to surgery unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Tim  –  Sydney  Cosmetic  Plastic  Surgeon

www.cosmeticculture.com.au
www.drtim.com.au

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty ) for a Contoured Waistline

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Loose skin, stretch marks and abdominal fat are among the most common reasons patients seek help from a plastic surgeon. In some cases, patients have excess skin and fat on the abdomen due to weight loss. In other cases, age or pregnancy has changed the contour of the abdomen. Many people get frustrated about diet and exercise being unable to tighten their lower abdominal skin. Some even lose the motivation to exercise because they can’t see any improvement. For many patients, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is their best option to reclaim a youthful figure.

Candidates For A Tummy Tuck

Candidates for a tummy tuck have some (or all) of the following problems:

  • Loose skin on the lower abdomen
  • Stretch marks on the lower abdomen
  • Abdominal muscle laxity
  • Pubic laxity

Good abdominoplasty candidates should be healthy non-smokers. Although it’s better for patients to be close to their ideal weight, many patients who are overweight are still good candidates for the procedure.

Mommy Makeover

During pregnancy, skin may be stretched to the point that microscopic fractures form in the skin, or dermis, resulting in stretch marks. Caesarean section scars may accentuate fatty bulges by tethering the skin to the underlying muscles, causing the fat and loose skin to fold over the scar. The rectus abdominis (“six-pack”) muscles on the abdomen may become separated in the midline, creating a potbelly appearance. Fat also redistributes with age, becoming concentrated in the lower abdomen. The hourglass waistline of youth gives way to a larger midsection. That’s why many women choose abdominoplasty as part of their “Mommy Makeover“.

Although tummy tucks can achieve dramatic improvements, it’s important to also consider adjacent areas of the body for optimal results. For many patients, liposuction around the waist and thighs will provide more comprehensive results. Mothers will frequently choose breast surgery as well. This combination of procedures completes their transformation back to the hourglass figure they once had.

The Procedure

The tummy tuck procedure involves the following steps:

  • Removing a large amount of lower abdominal skin (and stretch marks)
  • Removing a large amount of lower abdominal fat
  • Tightening the rectus abdominis muscles of the abdomen
  • Redistributing the upper abdominal skin over the entire abdomen
  • Creating a new belly button within the tightened abdominal skin
  • Tightening the pubic area

Tummy tuck procedures (and results) vary substantially. Tummy tuck techniques have evolved significantly over the last decade in an attempt to achieve the best possible results for patients.

Recovery

Following a tummy tuck, patients should take at least 2 weeks to recover before returning to work. Normal exercise routines may be resumed approximately 6 weeks following surgery.

Take the first step toward restoring your body with a tummy tuck. Request a consultation online or call our office at 13000DRTIM.

Arm Lift: The Beauty of Brachioplasty

For those patients that have what is colloquially known as ‘bat wings,’ undergoing an arm lift is probably the best way to get rid of it. These so called ‘bat wings’ are nothing more than loose excess skin that jiggles back and forth when the arms move. The cause can be one of two things. The first one is age. As we get older our skin tends to lose its elasticity. Secondly, we also tend to lose some body volume. When you combine the two you get excess skin that doesn’t contract as the underlying volume of tissue disappears. As a result you get flabby loose skin that many find to be unsightly.

The cosmetic procedure known as an arm lift, officially known as a brachioplasty, removes the loose excess skin.  Liposuction (CoolSculpting can be used as well depending on the surgeon’s opinion) may also be performed in conjunction with the brachioplasty to assist in removing stubborn fat, resulting in a more refined arm contour. Once the excess hanging skin is removed, the arm is sutured tightly leaving a firm arm devoid of any flabbiness.

Types of Arm Lifts

There are a number of different procedures when it comes to arm lifts. The type of procedure performed depends on the patient themselves. This is because every person has varying degrees of skin laxity and flab in the arms which means they may not all need the same type of procedure. It also depends on what they like and the results that they are looking for.

  • Elbow to Axilla – In this procedure an incision is made from the fold of the elbow to the axilla or armpit. Liposuction is often used in conjunction with this procedure. The liposuction is used to remove stubborn deposits of fat that give the arm a better final contour. This is a widely common procedure chosen by many patients. 
  • Mini Arm Lift – This procedure is for those who have excess skin mostly in the upper portion of the arm. It is also for those who don’t want  a lot of scarring which can happen in the procedure above. Here, the incision is made under the armpit only. 
  • Arm and Axillary Lift – For those who have too much excess skin in the upper arm and armpits this procedure is for you. This procedure gets rid of the sagging skin from the upper arm and from the armpit as well. The incisions are usually done in two places – the upper arm and under the armpit onto the chest. 
  • Elbow Lifts – This procedure is just what is says: a lifting of the elbow portion of the arm. Some people will have loose and sagging skin over their elbows. This procedure is targeted just for that portion of the arm.
  • Liposuction – If you still have elastic skin then you may not need to have a lift at all. For patients like this, liposuction may just be the solution. With liposuction the incisions are not that dramatic (only 3-4mm long) which means scarring is kept to a minimum.

The Right Candidate

Typically a likely arm lift candidate is one that has lost a lot of body weight. This means that they have lost a lot of body volume that resulted in the excess skin that was not able to adapt quickly to the loss of volume underneath it. It is highly recommended that you be at your target weight before the operation. If you are still in the process of losing weight you should wait until you hit that weight plateau in order to get a good final result from the arm lift. There’s a good reason for this. If you have the procedure and still lose the weight you may find that your arm will still have flabbiness in it even after the operation. That’s because since you still had weight to lose the skin is still stretched out resulting in the extra, loose skin.

It is a good idea to consult with a plastic surgeon when you want to have this cosmetic procedure done. This way the procedure can be explained to you including what you can expect, how your recovery will be and the risks that are involved. For further information call us on 13000DRTIM or email us on info@drtim.com.au.