Abdominoplasty or liposuction? Questions for PD Dr Mathias Tremp

Excess fat, especially on the abdomen, is a common problem. Often the fat remains even despite regular physical activity or diet. There are various treatment options.

Liposuction in combination with nutritional counselling is certainly a very efficient and close treatment. Patients with excess skin especially after significant weight loss additionally benefit from a tummy tuck.

Read also: Aesthetic and reconstructive surgery on the body, body lift, buttock lift and pomodelling, women's intimate area

How does liposuction work?

Before liposuction, a so-called tumescent solution is injected into the fatty tissue. This form of local anaesthesia prepares the tissue by stretching it, reduces the risk of bleeding and, as a positive side effect, reduces the risk of infection.

We use the so-called PAL® (power assisted liposuction) MicroAir device. The PAL system works with a particularly tissue-friendly vibration technique. The cannula vibrates up to 4,000 times per minute. This procedure is very efficient and gentle on the surrounding tissue and lymphatic system.

How is an abdominoplasty performed?

During the tummy tuck, the excess skin is removed. The incision is made in the bikini line, the length of the scar depends on the extent of the excess skin. In the case of discreet excess skin in the lower abdomen, a so-called mini-abdominoplasty is sufficient, the scar corresponds to a caesarean section scar.

In the case of more pronounced excess skin, the incision can be extended horizontally or vertically (Fleur de Lys abdominoplasty). As a rule, the belly button is also dissected out and sewn in again in the correct position. If there is an additional rectus diastasis (=space between the straight abdominal muscles), the abdominal wall muscles are reconstructed with a so-called rectus plication.

Can a tummy tuck be performed with liposuction?

Very often an abdominoplasty is combined with liposuction (lipo-abdominoplasty) if there is excess skin and fat at the same time.

This leads to an improved shape (high definition liposuction, lipoabdominoplasty).

Does it require a general anaesthetic or can the procedure be performed under local anaesthetic? Is the procedure painful?

An abdominoplasty is performed under general anaesthesia. Liposuction can usually be performed well under local anaesthesia or so-called twilight sleep, this varies from person to person.

After the procedure the pain will feel like sore muscles, we will give you appropriate pain medication.

How long does the procedure take? Is the procedure performed on an outpatient or inpatient basis?

Liposuction takes 60 - 180 minutes depending on the fat tissue. The tummy tuck takes approx. 90 - 210 minutes. An overnight stay is recommended for the abdominoplasty. Liposuction is usually performed on an outpatient basis.

What are the risks?

After liposuction there is a temporary numbness that will normalise over the next 6 months. The formation of dents is minimal with modern technology. Other risks such as infections, bleeding or so-called fat embolisms (occlusion of blood vessels (embolism) due to fat droplets being washed in) are very rare.

After the abdominoplasty there is a feeling of numbness that will partially recover after about two years. Possible complications are wound healing disorders, post-operative bleeding or infections.

How long will I be unable to work?

After liposuction you should take it easy for about 5-7 days. After a tummy tuck you will be fit for work again after approx. 2-4 weeks.

What do I have to keep in mind after the operation?

It is important, especially after liposuction, that you start lymphatic drainage relatively soon. You also need to wear an abdominal belt consistently for 4 weeks.

The compression garment stabilises the surgical area, promotes healing and the reduction of bruising. You should also keep your weight stable after the operation or try to lose weight. The nutritional counselling will help with this. You can resume physical activity after 4 weeks.

What are the costs?

Counselling is free of charge.

The costs of liposuction vary individually and depend on the operation time. The abdominoplasty can occasionally be covered by the health insurance, especially after significant weight loss. This must be checked individually.

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Do you have questions about liposuction and body lifting?

Contact us for a meeting.

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