Body Contouring in Melbourne- Dr. David Ross
Which abdominal contouring procedure is appropriate for me?
This is the commonest question posed by patients when presenting for a consultation wanting to improve their truncal appearance. There are often a number of reasons why truncal and abdominal appearance may have deteriorated, commonly this is after childbirth, either single or multiple pregnancies, lax abdominal musculature due to lack of exercise, extensive weight loss or excessive weight gain or even previous abdominal surgery and scarring.
There are three factors that guide the plastic surgeon in deciding on which is the appropriate procedure to suggest and these factors can be assessed fairly easily by oneself. It is important that you consult a Plastic Surgeon who is able to undertake the full armamentarium of aesthetic abdominal procedures otherwise you are likely to be advised to have a non-optimal procedure.
First you need to test your abdominal skin fold thickness at a number of places on the trunk, above and below the umbilicus, on each flank and around the loin area. If these thicknesses are above 3cm you would be best to lose weight prior to abdominal contouring surgery or have liposuction as a part of your procedure to decrease your skin fold thickness.
Secondly you need to test for anterior abdominal wall muscle laxity. This is done standing and completely relaxing your abdominal muscles and subsequently contracting the muscle maximally. If this action results in a markedly different abdominal contour it is likely that you will require an abdominal muscle plication procedure to improve your abdominal contour and to improve core strength. This procedure is the equivalent of an internal girdle that provides support for stretched and weakened abdominal musculature.
Finally you need to test for loose and redundant anterior abdominal panniculus (skin/fat). This is done standing and bending forward to touch just below the knee caps. If in this position there is a considerable role of lax abdominal tissue felt around the umbilicus area it is likely that you have too much redundant skin and would be best advised to have skin excision as a part of your optimal abdominal contouring procedure, either in the form of a mini-abdominoplasty, a full abdominoplasty or possibly even a body lift.
Once you have completed these tests it should be apparent, which procedure would be most appropriate for you.
- Thickened skinfolds, no muscle weakness, no loose skin = liposuction only
- Muscle weakness, thin skinfold, no loose skin = endoscopic or mini abdominoplasty
- Loose skin, no muscle weakness, thin skinfold = abdominal lipectomy
- Thickened skinfolds, muscle weakness, no loose skin = liposuction and mini abdominoplasty
- Thickened skinfolds, loose skin, no muscle weakness = significant weight loss and reassess or possibly liposuction and abdominal lipectomy for limited result
- Muscle weakness, loose skin, thin skinfolds = full abdominoplasty or bodylift with rectus muscle plication (optimal candidate for abdominoplasty)
- Muscle weakness, loose skin and thickened skinfolds = Full abdominoplasty with rectus plication and liposuction
Once you have been able to establish which procedure is going to be most appropriate to address your concerns pertaining to abdominal contour, I would suggest reading more about them on the Bayside Plastic Surgery website and possibly looking at outcomes of other patients who have undergone these procedures. If you are wanting find out more information as to how to address your abdominal contour concern, please ring our office at Brighton on 03 9596 8888 and our staff will arrange a consultation with Dr Ross to help you decide how to proceed.
David A. Ross
Bayside Plastic Surgery
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