An abdominoplasty refers to a cosmetic surgery procedure that is used to tighten excess skin on the abdomen after weight loss or pregnancy. There are different techniques used in abdominoplasty surgery and these are distinguished as either a tummy tuck or a mini-tummy tuck. To determine which procedure is right for you, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian can evaluate your abdomen to determine the amount of skin redundancy, muscle laxity, abdominal diastasis, presence of stretch marks, and umbilical laxity. Once these aspects of your torso are evaluated, a decision can be made as to whether you require a full abdominoplasty or a mini-abdominoplasty.
A full abdominoplasty is ideal for patients who have excess skin, stretch marks, looseness of the umbilical skin, and laxity of the abdominal muscle fascia. During the procedure, excess skin is removed from the lower abdomen, the umbilicus is repositioned, and the abdominal muscle wall is strengthened with sutures. In most cases, a drain is placed within the incision line in order to evacuate any excess fluid accumulation after surgery. Recovery after a full abdominoplasty may take several weeks.
A mini-abdominoplasty is ideal for patients who have a small amount of excess skin below the belly button. It is an excellent procedure for women who have had a C-section and have extra skin immediately above the incision line. During a mini-abdominoplasty, excess skin is removed and the lower abdominal muscle wall is tightened to recontour the waistline. A drain is often required after a mini-tummy tuck, but recovery is significantly shorter than a full tummy tuck.
Body Sculpting Options
There are many surgical procedures that are commonly performed in patients requesting a tummy tuck, including a Brazilian Butt Lift, liposuction, mini-tummy tuck, breast augmentation, and breast lift. Non-surgical procedures performed with a tummy tuck include the Brazilian Cellulite Treatment, stretch mark removal, skin tightening, Ultherapy, and Coolsculpting.
Stretch Mark Laser
Women of childbearing age may have excessive stretch marks in the lower abdomen and around the belly button. Although tummy tucks can remove some of the stretch marks, the procedure can do very little for stretch marks that are visible above the belly button. At Kare Plastic Surgery + Skin Health Center in Los Angeles, we offer two distinct fractional laser treatments to help improve stretch marks.
The Clear + Brilliant laser and Fractional CO2 laser are both effective in eliminating stretch mark visibility by stimulating collagen contraction and growth. Dermal integrity is an important defining characteristic that will dictate the type of laser used for stretch marks and the number of sessions required.
According to medical literature presented by the Mayo Clinic, retinoids are an essential component of stretch mark treatments.