Waist Training, Liposuction or Tummy Tuck: What happens during surgery? (Part 2)

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Many of us male and female alike can remember those years in our teens and twenties (30s if you are lucky) when our tummies were flat and we didn’t have to worry about that extra “pouch” under the belt line. At that time you did not have to answer the over or under question: Do I put my belt over or under this pouch? With increasing age fat tends to want to deposit in certain areas of our body, the lower abdomen in particular is one of the usual suspects. We all want to be narrower in the mid section, so how can it be done? Our last conversation exposed the truths and fallacies on waist training and exercise waist training (it does not give you long-term results) and who is a candidate for liposuction or tummy tuck procedures. If you missed it check out Waist Training, Liposuction or Tummy Tuck: What really works (Part 1). Liposuction and tummy tuck procedures provide surgical options for narrowing that waistline. If you are considering liposuction or a tummy tuck procedure you should learn more about what the surgery entails.

What is Liposuction?

 Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that can be used to reduce specific areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercising. Common areas of concern are the abdomen and love handles; but the chin, back, hips and thighs are other areas which can also be addressed.

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Liposuction Animation Video – ASPS: Click on photo to view.

  1. Tiny incisions are made in the skin to give access to the underlying fat
  2. A fluid solution is infiltrated into the fat. This fluid consists of IV fluid, epinephrine to decrease bleeding, and sometimes local anesthetic for numbing.
  3. Liposuction cannulas are used to suck out the fat.
  4. The incisions are closed.
  5. After surgery most patients return to work in 1 week.   Patients wear a snug “spandex style” compression garment over the area of surgery to help decrease swelling and speed up the healing process

What is a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a cosmetic procedure that improves the appearance of your abdomen. There are 6 steps:

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  1. We make a lower abdominal incision that can be easily hidden by your favorite undergarment or bathing suit.
  2. We lift the skin and fat above the abdominal muscles all the way from your lower abdomen to your rib cage.
  3. We repair the rectus diastasis by tightening the abdominal muscles, similar to lacing up an internal corset.

    Tummy Tuck Animation - ASPS: Click on photo to view.

    Tummy Tuck Animation – ASPS: Click on photo to view.

  4. We pull down all the excess skin and fat and remove it.
  5. We bring your belly button out through a new hole in the skin (it remains attached to the same place on theabdominal wall)
  6. We do a beautiful plastic surgery closure.
  7. After surgery most patients take two weeks off from work. There will be some swelling and bruising which will temporarily mask the final shape of the abdomen, but the final shape can be seen at 3-6 months after surgery.

 

Is a Panniculectomy the same as a Tummy Tuck?

No. A panniculectomy is a reconstructive procedure that is done for improvement of symptoms like severe rashes, skin infections, and difficulty with daily activities such as walking due to a large amount of overhanging skin and fat. This procedure is done most frequently for people who have had massive weight loss, think celebrities like Al Rocher and Star Jones. Unlike a tummy tuck this procedure may be covered by health insurance. There are 3 steps:

  1. We make an incision just above your lower abdominal fold.
  2. We remove all the excess tissue and skin that is hanging over that fold, nothing more. The belly button is not brought out through a new hole in the skin; it remains in the same position. This means that the belly button may end up close to the incision, or even be removed if it is hanging over the fold.
  3. We do a beautiful plastic surgery procedure.
  4. The recovery is similar to the tummy tuck (look above).

Don’t forget that you can eat your way right back out of your tummy tuck; after we have done our part to give you a flat tight tummy you still have to do your part to maintain it. So protect your investment by watching what you eat and hitting the gym. To learn more about what to expect after tummy tuck surgery visit us at Morehousehealthcare.com.

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Waist Training, Liposuction or Tummy Tuck: What really works? (Part 1)

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Patients are always asking me about the effectiveness of waist training; Jessica Alba, Brooke Burke and Khloe Kardasian swear by it, but recently after Kim Kardashian posted an Instragram photo showing herself all cinched up in a waist trainer it seems like the questions have really been flying. Does waist training really work? What can I do to narrow my waistline? Here are the facts.

Left: Classic tight laced corset style  Right: Malaysian Bengkung belly binding

Left: Classic tight laced corset style Right: Malaysian Bengkung belly binding

First of all waist training is really nothing new, it harkens back at least to the 1500s when corsets first came in vogue and maybe even further back in Asian and African traditions of pre-natal and post-natal belly binding.

 

Left: Exercise Waist Trainer (Spandex with hook-and-eye closure)  Right:  Corset Waist Trainer (Metal boning structure and lace up closure)

Left: Exercise Waist Trainer (Spandex with hook-and-eye closure) Right: Corset Waist Trainer (Metal boning structure and lace up closure)

Secondly, there is a difference between exercise waist training (the latest rage) and waist training. Exercise waist training involves wearing the equivalent of the Incredible Hulk of spandex around your waist during exercise. Actual waist training involves lacing yourself up in a corset with metal boning and laces for several hours daily and gradually reducing down to smaller corsets over time.

Waist Training

Illustration of the changes that occur to the internal organs during the corsetting process.

Illustration of the changes that occur to the internal organs during the corsetting process.

1.  If you stop your waist will pop (back out to its original size that is).

True waist training must be continued on a daily basis in order to maintain the result. People may begin to see “semi-permanent” changes with >4 and up to 23 hours of corseting 7 days a week. Several changes occur when you wear a corset, your internal organs are displaced lower down into your abdomen allowing tightening around the rib cage and the waistline. The ribs have some level of bendability, so with enough continuous pressure the ribs may begin to angle downward and inward and the bone and cartilage begin to remodel. However, as soon as corseting is stopped the tissues will all return to their normal pre-corseted shape. If you are only laced up for a few hours a day the changes will only last a few hours, if you are laced up for longer periods the changes may last for a few months. Bottom line is that the changes are not permanent.

 Exercise Waist Training

2.  There is no permanent waist reduction that occurs with wearing an exercise waist trainer during your workout.

The manufacturers of these products cite core compression, increased perspiration, and targeted fat burning over the abdomen thereby reducing the waistline. This practice does not increase fat loss over the abdomen. You will see some temporary reduction in inches due to compression and increased perspiration, quite simply water loss. The only way to burn fat is by increasing your aerobic exercise reducing calories and eating clean. This leads to fat loss all over your body. Remember, the formula to seeing changes in your body is 30% exercise and 70% diet.

3.  There are risks to exercise waist training. If the garment is worn too tightly it inhibits your ability to breathe at a time when your breathing rate is increased to satisfy your body’s need for increased oxygen. Oxygen is part of the fuel your muscle uses to create energy to function during a workout. Some women wear their waist trainer so tightly they actually faint during their work out due to lack of oxygen.

4.  Liposuction and Tummy Tuck procedures are surgical ways to achieve a whittled down waistline.

You may find that in spite of having a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy body weight, you may still have love handles or some resistant fat and skin over the abdomen. This is true in particular for many women after child birth, as we discussed before in Erasing the Tiger Stripes: 3 Steps to Restoring Your Pre-baby Body there can be some post-pregnancy changes that the gym and certainly the exercise waist trainer cannot fix. Diastasis-RectiFor example, many women also develop a rectus diastasis after pregnancy. A rectus diastasis occurs when space develops between the two rectus abdominus muscles (six-pack muscles) as a result of being stretched during pregnancy causing the abdomen to protrude. Although core exercises will strengthen the muscle and improve the overall abdominal shape they cannot mend the gap; the abdomen will always be wider than before. Exercise waist training will certainly not improve this problem but liposuction or a tummy tuck can.

5.  Liposuction can achieve targeted fat reduction over the abdomen.

6.  During a tummy tuck we actually do tighten the muscles, creating an INTERNAL CORSET. If you have a rectus diastasis part of the tummy tuck procedure involves bringing the muscles back together thereby tightening the abdomen and narrowing the mid section.

 

Are you a candidate for Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

1.  Do you have a normal body weight?

A tummy tuck or liposuction does not replace weight loss. These procedures are for contouring and shaping. If you are more than 20% above your normal body weight or more than 50lbs overweight you are not a candidate for surgery. Remember removing the fat over the abdomen does not decrease the internal fat around your organs that is responsible for the increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

2.  Is your weight stable?

You must have a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen to maintain a stable weight. If you are still gaining weight you need to get that under control first.

3.  Do you have extra skin and fat over your abdomen?

If the extra skin and tissue hangs over causing a fold on your abdomen you are likely a candidate for a tummy tuck. If you have extra fat but no extra skin, liposuction may be a better option.

4.  Have you finished having children?

You can still have liposuction if you are planning another pregnancy, but if you are interested in a tummy tuck you should wait until afterwards. Of course if you are a man or are using a surrogate you do not have any of these worries!

Don’t forget that you can eat your way right back out of your liposuction or tummy tuck. There is no trade off for a healthy diet and regular exercise. After we have done our part to give you a flat tight tummy you still have to do your part to maintain it. So protect your investment by watching what you eat and hitting the gym. Learn more about what to expect before, during and after liposuction or tummy tuck surgery.