A spare tire, love handles, and that lower “pooch” that is impossible to get rid of – these are the dreaded effects of the “middle age spread.” Men and women alike fall victim to these unwanted fat deposits on their midsection. A slowed metabolism is often to blame, making fat loss in these trouble zones all the more difficult. Patients often come to our Marin County office wondering what we can do to help. Depending on the amount of excess skin and fat in the area, our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Terry L. Hand, will recommend either a tummy tuck or liposuction. A consultation will help determine the choice that is best for each individual, but below is a general guideline for the needs each procedure meets.
Liposuction can be used on various areas of the body to remove stubborn, unwanted fat. Because it does not tighten the skin or the underlying muscles, it is best used on patients who have firm, elastic skin that will conform to the body once the fat is removed. Compression garments worn after the procedure will help to accomplish this.
Patients are typically put under general anesthesia for the procedure, but the incisions are small. The fat is removed with a tool called a cannula that will be inserted into a few incisions in the targeted area to melt and suction out the fat. Incisions are closed with sutures, and scars are typically unnoticeable over time. Because liposuction is less invasive, recovery will be shorter than with a tummy tuck.
Feel free to view our liposuction before and after photos for an idea of the results you can expect with this procedure.
Patients who have a significant amount of excess skin or skin with poor elasticity are better candidates for a tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty). Many patients who have gone through major weight loss from gastric bypass or other methods choose this procedure in addition to other body lift procedures as a final step in achieving their renewed healthy body. Women who are finished having children also elect this procedure to remove stretched abdominal skin. Abdominoplasty can even remove some or all stretch marks, depending on where they are located.
A tummy tuck often involves a crescent-shaped incision from one hip to the other that allows the abdominal muscles and skin to be tightened and the belly button to be repositioned. Because this procedure is more invasive, at least a couple of weeks of recovery time are needed. Dr. Hand also performs a mini tummy tuck that addresses the lower third of the abdomen. This procedure may or may not involve muscle tightening and utilizes a smaller incision in the same area. In some cases, liposuction is used during the tummy tuck procedure to achieve the best results. The procedural technique will depend on the body type and needs of the patient and will be determined more precisely at the initial consultation.
Please view our abdominoplasty before and after photos of some of our most satisfied patients.
If you are interested in body contouring procedures in the San Francisco Bay area, please contact board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Terry L. Hand by calling (415) 461-6742 to schedule a consultation. For your convenience, you may also fill out our online contact form.