The abdominal area is notoriously difficult to slim down and tone through diet and exercise, and these challenges often worsen with age, pregnancy, weight gain and weight loss. The tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a popular plastic surgery that removes excess skin and tightens stretched abdominal muscles. Dr. Christopher Hankins is a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon who uses the lipoabdominoplasty technique to improve upon the traditional procedure. His Pearland and Houston patients enjoy a slimmer, tighter body shape with this unique approach.
How Does the Traditional Abdominoplasty Work?
In traditional abdominoplasty, an incision is made at the lower end of the abdomen, and the abdominal tissue down to the muscle fascia (thin connective tissue) is raised from that incision all the way up to the rib cage. Then, the flap is pulled down to remove all of the excess skin.
In the process of this dissection, nearly 80% of the blood supply to the skin is lost. For that reason, potential complications of this technique include healing problems of the incision because the blood supply must travel all the way from the rib cage down to the end of the abdominal flap. Because of this limitation of blood supply, most surgeons are very hesitant to perform liposuction of the abdominal fat.
The concern is that liposuction will interrupt the already-fragile blood supply to the lower end of the flap and result in wound healing problems or wound breakdown. Seroma (fluid accumulation underneath the skin near a surgical incision) can be an issue because the level of dissection is at the fascia proper. Seromas often require intermittent aspiration (fluid removal).
The Lipoabdominoplasty Approach
In contrast, the lipoabdominoplasty (invented by Osvaldo Saldanha, a Brazilian plastic surgeon) involves the use of liposuction to create many small cavities that allow the abdominal flap to slide down to the desired lower position while conserving the blood supply to the abdominal flap. This enables the surgeon to perform extensive liposuction to the abdominal flap without fear of disrupting the blood supply. As a result, you get better wound healing and a superior cosmetic result. In addition, because the level of dissection preserves the sub-scarpal (deep) fat where our lymphatics reside, seroma is not an issue. Patients recover faster, and the drain is required for only three to five days versus 10 to 14 days with the traditional technique.
Why Choose Premier Plastic Surgery
Dr. Hankins only offers treatments and procedures that are in the patient’s best interests. He is committed to achieving excellent results and evaluates the whole body to ensure the chosen surgical approach is the right option for each patient. His background includes five plastic surgery fellowships under distinguished physicians in the United Kingdom and the United States.
He earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch of Galveston and has published 19 manuscripts in prestigious, peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Hankins serves on the editorial boards of four medical journals and reviews articles for three others. His dedication to his craft offers his patients safe and effective plastic surgery to reach their cosmetic goals.
If you struggle with loose abdominal skin and stubborn fat, contact Premier Plastic Surgery to learn more about lipoabdominoplasty. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Hankins in Pearland or Houston, Texas, at (713) 370-4433.