Staging Large Tummy Tucks for Better Results
Every week, patients come to our office for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) consultations. These patients are evaluated for single versus double-stage abdominoplasty surgical procedures. In general, women with significantly large abdominal pannus require two-stage surgeries.
Is Two-Stage Abdominoplasty Right for Me?
All patients are evaluated during their consultation to determine whether or not they are a candidate for a second stage surgery, requiring liposuction of the abdominal flap (to reduce its thickness), or if a single operation will be sufficient.
We prioritize patient safety above all else. Liposuction of the flanks and epigastric region is dangerous during the initial abdominoplasty due to vascularity and blood supply problems.
Once the vessels are cut along the lower C-section areas, aka inferior epigastric and the circumflex iliac arteries, the blood supply must come from the upper flank areas. There are three specific blood vessel suppliers, and if these are sculpted and liposuctioned, they could end up devascularized, leading to skin necrosis and death of skin and fatty tissue from the flap.
Dr. Linder understands this, and to be as safe as possible, he delays the lipo-sculpting of the upper epigastric and upper flank areas for three to six months to allow revascularization of the lower flap.
Patients with a large abdominal pannus will require a second stage in order to debulk the flap. This will make the patient much happier with her final result and should be instructed to the patient preoperatively.
Understanding a Two-Stage Tummy Tuck
After three to six months, patients return for the second stage.
Here, complete lipo-sculpting of the abdominal flap, flanks, and upper iliac crest rolls is performed to debulk the flap and reduce the size of the midriff. This allows for more complete results.
The video above explains Dr. Linder’s approach and technique on tummy tuck procedures in Beverly Hills, California.
The purpose of the tummy tuck is not only to eliminate fat but to remove the excess skin from the problem area. Candidates who are a good fit for a tummy tuck procedure have often experienced weight loss and present skin laxity.
There are different types of tummy tucks depending on the amount of excess skin the patient has. There’s the mini tummy tucks, full tummy tuck, or tummy tuck that requires a hernia repair.
The more extensive of these procedures may require a two-step abdominoplasty procedure.