Mini tummy tuck with lipo is often performed together to achieve smoother results. Nevertheless, the combo procedure is only suitable for women who need a minimal correction in their abdominal area.
Unlike the traditional or full tummy tuck wherein the scar runs from hip to hip, a “mini” just uses a smaller incision that is almost as short as a C-section (15-20 cm). Regardless of the incision length, a good surgeon will make every effort to place the scar close to the pubic hairline so it remains concealed by the underwear.
Nevertheless, the exact length and position of mini tummy tuck scar is dictated by the skin quality, location of excess skin, and condition of the lower abdominal muscle.
To achieve good results from mini tummy tucks, there should be no or very little loose skin above the navel.
Through a small incision within the underbelly, plastic surgeons are able to remove a limited amount of loose skin in the lower abdomen and/or correct diastasis or splayed muscle.
For an additional amount of contouring, the surgery is often complemented with liposuction sugery (usually of the upper abdomen, hips, and/or flanks) to remove the fat rolls or “unsightly” bulges caused by excess superficial fats close to the skin.
This combo procedure means the patients will only experience one recovery and pay for one anesthesia and surgical facility fee.
Despite the benefits of multiple cosmetic procedures under one surgical setting, it remains imperative to limit the operative time under six hours to minimize the trauma, bleeding, and other variables that can lead to increased risk of complications.
To further minimize the surgical trauma and avoid compromise the healing, most surgeons will only liposuction areas far from the tummy tuck incision, or they will perform the procedures separately if large-volume lipo is warranted to achieve good results.
But even some patients who seem to require little correction, it might be ideal to stage their surgeries. For instance, performing abdominal liposuction first and then waiting 3-6 months to see if the skin would be able to redrape to the new contour, or if a mini tummy tuck is warranted, is a viable option.
While liposuction removes the excess fat through small round incisions, it is imperative not to overdo things to avoid unnatural contour and skin asymmetries. Simply put, the surgery is more about how much fat is left behind rather than how much is removed.
The aforementioned “rule” also applies to tummy tuck. Inadvertent over-removal of skin can lead to the destruction of natural contours and valleys of the abdomen.
Male breast reduction cost differs from patient to patient due to certain variables such as the surgical technique, operative time, location, adjunct procedure if there is any, surgeon’s fee, and amount of correction needed.
As of this writing, the price range is typically between $5,000 and $10,000.
However, a small percentage of patients may benefit from liposuction-alone surgery as a way to reduce their breast size. This minimally invasive approach typically ranges from $3,000-$5,000.
Despite the lower cost, liposuction is not suitable for patients with “real” gynectomastia or male breast enlargement wherein the culprit is the excess glandular tissue. For these men, direct skin excisions are always needed to achieve good results.
Liposuction surgery, meanwhile, is only suitable for men with pseudo or “fake” gynecomastia that is caused by the excess fat, which is removed through tiny round incisions that heal and fade into imperceptible scars.
Occasionally, an excision-based male breast reduction is combined with liposuction to achieve a more natural contour, although the adjunct procedure means additional fees.
For a small number of patients, health insurance coverage for male breast reduction is possible, although the requirements are increasingly becoming more stringent. In fact, policyholders who cite psychological effects such as poor body image as their reason for seeking surgery are generally turned down.
Nowadays, insurance companies will only cover male breast reduction surgery if the abnormal growth of tissue poses serious health problems, such as an aggressive tumor that is developing along with the breast tissue.
Simply put, extensive laboratory tests and specialists’ recommendations must prove that the surgery is a necessity rather than a “luxury.”
Despite the challenges of getting pre-approval from insurance companies, patients have other financing options like regular and medical credit cards, bank loans, home equity loans, and doctor payment plans.
A growing number of plastic surgery patients are tapping into medical credit cards to finance their procedure due to their attractive zero percent promotions. Others have reasonable payment plans and interest rates, although some have also been accused of predatory practices.
A doctor payment plan is another good option, especially when it has been customized based on what will work for each patient. However, most plastic surgeons will still require full payment prior to surgery.
While it is okay to be price conscious when making large purchases, the cost should not be the determining factor when selecting a surgeon, but instead his skills and experience.
A surgeon’s buttock implants pictures will reveal a lot about his artistic skills, or lack thereof. Keep in mind that cosmetic plastic surgery is more about art than exact science.
Buttock augmentation surgery via implants is suitable for thin patients who want larger improvement, which makes fat injection (or Brazilian butt lift) a poor choice since the results are largely dependent on the amount of their excess body fat.
While a Brazilian butt lift can reshape the entire butt cheeks, the implants can only augment the upper half because of the way they are positioned—i.e., above the ischial region—so you will not sit on them. With this placement, the prostheses could provide a near permanent result.
Despite some limitations of using implants, the approach is suitable for thin patients who have a very flat “behind” because it provides more forward projection.
When looking at a surgeon’s before-and-after photos, they should reveal a high level of symmetry, which is achieved by correct pocket dissection.
Another important component is the incision site. There should be no visible scars since they are hidden between the natural folds of skin, such as the buttock crease and the junction where the back of the thigh meets the “cheek.”
Aside from visible scars, unnatural contour is also a dead giveaway of the surgery. The general rule of thumb is to create results that will match the patients’ underlying anatomies, such as their butt shape and dimension and even their waist-to-hip ratio.
If a patient’s buttock appears elongated in the “before” photo, an oblong-shaped implant rather than a perfectly round one can deliver a more natural-looking result. However, a growing number of surgeons are offering customized implants to meet the aesthetic goals of their patients.
As with any body contouring procedure, buttock implants surgery is mainly about “good proportions.” For this reason, you should also examine the patients’ waist, hips, and thighs.
Take note that buttock augmentation is typically performed simultaneously with liposuction of the waist, flanks, and/or thigh to achieve a more hourglass figure, which is the quintessence of feminine beauty. The idea is to make the buttocks “stick out more” by removing the excess fat around them.
If done appropriately, liposuction surgery rarely results in visible scars because the incisions where a suction probe is inserted are very small. However, it is important to preserve some fats instead of removing them altogether to achieve smooth results and natural contour.
Compared to other body contouring surgeries, liposuction results in a rather straightforward recovery that most patients can return to “quiet” work within two to five days. This has become possible due to the introduction of tumescent technique in which only local anesthesia is used.
In the past, liposuction surgery always required the use of general anesthesia, leading to prolonged recovery. Patients were also exposed to high surgical trauma because the fatty areas were not injected with tumescent fluids that could make them swell, paving way for gentler extraction.
Photo credit: patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
While today’s liposuction recovery is quick and less painful compared with previous techniques, the downtime still depends on the treated area, the patient’s nature of work, and their pain threshold.
Patients whose job is physically demanding may have to wait two to three weeks postop before they return to work. The idea is to avoid increased heart rate and blood pressure, which are tied to persistent swelling, late-onset bleeding, and other factors that might compromise their recovery.
Also, patients planning to undergo large-volume liposuction with multiple areas treated are advised to take a little more time off.
Although many patients are able to return to their work within a couple of days, leading Orange County plastic surgery expert Dr. Tarick Smaili says it makes sense to do just part time or reduce their work load to avoid “feeling wipe out at the end of the day” since it takes a while to regain their preoperative energy level.
Dr. Smaili also says that patients who try their best to stay relaxed tend to recover faster than those who constantly expose themselves to stress.
Meanwhile, the amount of pain in the first few days postop is manageable for most patients that mild painkillers are usually enough. The use of compression garments is also believed to provide some level of comfort by supporting the recovering tissue.
Compression garments can also help skin adherence, leading to smoother results.
Unless liposuction involves the face, swelling and bruising—which can take four to six weeks to dissipate—can be easily hidden under normal clothing.
While most patients are advised to avoid strenuous activities for a minimum of three weeks, during the initial healing stage it remains important that they perform light exercise such as walking to prevent weight gain, persistent swelling, and deep vein thrombosis in which blood clots form in legs.
As a type of body contouring surgery, liposuction removes “unwanted” fat using suction through a slender, blunt-tipped tube called cannula. While small round cuts in the skin are made to access the fatty tissue, within a year they will most likely fade into imperceptible white “dots.”
The success of liposuction depends on several factors, which include the surgeon’s skills, patient’s weight and health condition, skin quality, and motives and expectations.
Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili shares his liposuction preparation tips that help his patients achieve impressive results and at the same time avoid complications.
- Achieve your goal weight. The general rule of thumb is to be within 15-20 percent of your ideal weight before any body contouring surgery is attempted. Nevertheless, it remains important that you are able to keep it long term through regular exercise and superb diet.
Even after achieving your goal weight, sometimes it makes sense to wait for at least six months before you undergo a body contouring procedure to make sure that you will not experience weight fluctuations that will affect the surgery’s results.
- Preparation for “good” blood. The general rule of thumb is to avoid blood thinners such as aspirin and ibuprofen for 10-14 days prior to surgery. The same rule also applies to a variety of nutritional and herbal supplements such as green tea, maidenhair tree, ginseng, and high-dose vitamin E.
- Superb diet. Some surgeons recommend a low-sodium diet a week prior to surgery to minimize postop swelling and bruising, while others are more focused on increasing their patients’ fruit and vegetables intake.
Despite some differences in preoperative diet, the consensus is to eat a small amount of [lean] protein at each meal because it plays a crucial role in tissue repair.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol for at least three weeks. Tobacco products are particularly deleterious to your healing as the nicotine leads to poor blood circulation and increased risk of infection and skin necrosis (death of tissue).
Alcohol, meanwhile, affects how your liver metabolizes medications and is known to increased postop bruising and cause longer recovery.
- Prepare your skin. While there is no truly proven treatments which can change the inherent quality of skin, it remains helpful to avoid skin irritants (used in skin resurfacing treatments), sunbathing, and tanning booths at least three weeks prior to liposuction.
- Organize your house. Purchasing your supplies (e.g., postop drugs, dressing, loose clothing, easy-to-prepare meal), cleaning your home, and making simple arrangements days prior to surgery can go a long way toward a comfortable recovery.