Mothers and weight-loss patients have a new reason to rejoice. Advancements in and out of the operating room have made modern tummy tucks even better at repairing the abdominal muscles, eliminating fat pockets, removing stretched skin and reshaping the entire abdomen. Dr. Lou Bucky, an expert in the abdominoplasty procedure in Philadelphia, outlines the latest and greatest in modern tummy tucks.
By: Louis P. Bucky, MD
and Adam McMillon
Repairing the Abdomen with Surgery
Even today, the idea of a tummy tuck can be confusing to the general public and curious patients. The casual perspective of a tummy tuck is a procedure that people have to remove fat from their midsection, instead of just working it off. This idea is a serious misconception, as a tummy tuck procedure is meant for repairing muscles beneath the fat and skin of the abdomen and disposing of severely stretched skin. “The best candidates for tummy tucks are moms who are done having children, whose skin is stretched out and has a lot of lax skin and stretch marks,” says Dr. Bucky. “It’s also for someone who has lost a lot of weight and has stretched skin that needs surgery to have that skin removed. There are even people who have an abdominal pooch genetically who don’t like carrying it around with them. These are the patients who stand to benefit greatly from a tummy tuck procedure.”
Abdominoplasty with Liposuction
Science and experience have come together to dramatically improve surgery, and the improvements made with the tummy tuck procedure are no different. “Women have been having kids for many years, but the changes we’ve made in tummy tucks have been quite significant,” says Bucky. “We’ve advanced liposuction, since now we know we can do it effectively while performing a tummy tuck, when before they had to be done separately. When you have the ability to do that, you can not only improve the front part of the abdomen, but also the hips, love handles and even the back. We now know that it’s safe.”
SAFELipo has somewhat revolutionized surgeons ability to remove fat and shape the abdomen during a tummy tuck. While before the procedure had to be done separately (meaning the patient had to return for another procedure), SAFELipo allows plastic surgeons to perform liposuction safely during the tummy tuck procedure, giving a patient the best restorative result in the same operation.
“In addition to SAFELipo, we also have improvements in post-operative pain management,” says Bucky. “We used to use pain pumps, which was an improvement, but now we have long-acting medications that give patients great comfort and allow them to get out of bed, which speeds up recovery.”
A Modern Approach for a Modern Patient
Improved results are bolstered by the less obvious improvement to post-operative pain management. Patients recover faster and more effectively with new medications, such as Exparel, allowing patients to return to normal life much quicker. “Not only is post-operative management improved, what we can do during the operation is improved,” says Bucky. “We can reshape the belly in addition to just getting rid of excess tissue. Combined, the advancements have made the true mommy makeover, if you will: giving women their belly back, plus.”