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How Extra Liposuction Helps a Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty

The world of cosmetic surgery is vast, with procedures available to alter almost every part of the body. However, when it comes to changing the abdominal area, two procedures stand out: liposuction and abdominoplasty (Lipoabdominoplasty). By understanding how these procedures work individually and in combination, you can make an informed decision about your own plastic surgery journey.

In this blog, Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Bish Soliman will discuss the specifics of these procedures, their benefits, and why they work so well together. He will also discuss who makes a good candidate for liposuction with abdominoplasty, the procedure itself, the recovery process, and the potential risks and complications you should be aware of.


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The Basics of Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a ‘tummy tuck’, is a surgical procedure. It entails removing excess fat and skin from the abdomen and tightening the muscles in the abdominal wall.

Abdominoplasty is not a weight-loss procedure. Instead, it is intended for people who have a sagging or loose abdomen due to significant weight loss, pregnancy, or age. Tummy tuck – abdominoplasty is a complex procedure that entails an incision made in the lower part of the abdominal area (the suprapubic area). The incision can be from one hip to the other, depending on the amount of skin tissue to be removed. After the incision is made, Dr Soliman will detach the skin from the undelaying tissues of fat and muscles. The abdominal muscles are strengthened with sutures and then the skin is redraped. Excess skin is eliminated.

The tummy tuck- abdominoplasty targets the abdominal muscles and the surplus of skin, but it doesn’t entail eliminating excess fat (if present) in the abdominal area. To eliminate fat from the abdominal area and the flanks, liposuction is the viable option.

The Basics of Liposuction?

Liposuction is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes excess fat deposits to alter your body contours and proportions. Unlike abdominoplasty, which primarily targets the stomach area, liposuction can be performed on various parts of the body, such as the thighs, buttocks, upper arms, and even the neck.

The procedure involves making small incisions through which a thin, hollow tube, called a cannula, is inserted. The cannula is used to loosen fat cells, which are then suctioned out of the body. Liposuction is not a weight-loss solution. It’s best suited for those who are at or near their ideal weight but have stubborn pockets of fat that don’t respond to diet or exercise.

While liposuction can help alter your body contours, it does not address loose, saggy skin or muscle separation, which is where abdominoplasty comes in. The combination of these two procedures can provide a solution for some patients dealing with weak abdominal muscles and excess of fat and skin tissue in the area.

The Benefits of Combining Liposuction with Abdominoplasty – Lipoabdominoplasty

Liposuction and tummy tuck – abdominoplasty, often performed together, offer a different approach to body contouring that addresses both excess fat and skin. This combined procedure, known as lipoabdominoplasty, starts with liposuction, where Dr Soliman removes localised fat deposits, particularly in areas around the abdomen, hips, and sometimes the thighs. This is followed by a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), which involves the removal of excess skin and tightening of the abdominal muscles. This dual approach not only reduces unwanted fat but also helps in better defining the abdominal profile.

One of the main advantages of combining these procedures is that you only need to undergo anaesthesia once, which can decrease the overall risk. Additionally, having both procedures at the same time means you’ll only have to go through the recovery process once.

Moreover, combining these procedures can often lead to more natural-looking results. Liposuction alone may leave you with loose skin, while abdominoplasty alone might not provide the degree of fat reduction you desire. But when performed together, these procedures can harmoniously alter the abdominal area.

Who is a Good Candidate for Lipoabdominoplasty?

A good candidate for this procedure is someone who is in overall good health and has achieved a stable weight. This stability is crucial as significant weight fluctuations can affect the results of the surgery. It’s particularly suited for those who have stubborn fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise. These deposits, often located in the abdominal region, hips, or thighs, can be effectively reduced through liposuction.

In addition to excess fat, candidates often have loose, sagging skin in the abdomen area. This is a common concern among women post-pregnancy or individuals who have undergone significant weight loss. Abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, addresses this issue by removing the excess skin and tightening the abdominal muscles, resulting in an altered abdominal profile.

It’s important for candidates to have realistic expectations about the results. While lipoabdominoplasty can significantly alter body contour, it is not a substitute for weight loss or a healthy lifestyle. The procedure is best suited for those close to their ideal body weight who seek to address specific areas of concern.

Candidates should also be non-smokers or willing to quit, as smoking can impede healing and increase the risk of complications. A thorough medical evaluation and discussion with Dr Bish Soliman are essential to determine suitability for the procedure. Dr Soliman will assess the individual’s health history, body type, and aesthetic goals to ensure that lipoabdominoplasty is an appropriate and safe option.

Ultimately, the decision to undergo lipoabdominoplasty should be made after careful consideration and consultation with Dr Soliman, ensuring that the individual’s expectations align with what can realistically be achieved through the procedure.

The Procedure: How Liposuction and Abdominoplasty Work Together

When you opt for a combination of liposuction and abdominoplasty, the procedures are usually performed in a single surgery. First, Dr Soliman will perform liposuction to remove excess fat deposits. This involves making small incisions and using a cannula to suction out the fat.

Once the liposuction is complete, Dr Soliman will proceed with the abdominoplasty. This involves making an incision across the lower abdomen, removing excess skin, and tightening the abdominal muscles. The skin is then repositioned and sutured back into place.

The entire procedure can take anywhere from three to five hours, depending on the extent of the liposuction and abdominoplasty.

Recovery Process and Expected Results from Liposuction with Abdominoplasty

Recovery from liposuction with abdominoplasty can take several weeks. Immediately after the surgery, your abdomen will be swollen and you may feel some discomfort. You will likely need to wear a compression garment for a few weeks to minimise swelling and support your abdomen as it heals.

You can expect to see initial results once the swelling starts to subside, usually within a few weeks. Keep in mind that it can take up to six months or more for the final results to become visible.

With proper care and a healthy lifestyle, the results of your liposuction and abdominoplasty can be long-lasting.

Risks and Complications Associated with Lipoabdominoplasty

Like any surgical procedure, liposuction with abdominoplasty carries some risks and potential complications. These can include infection, bleeding, blood clots, changes in skin sensation, unsatisfactory results, and complications related to anaesthesia.

However, when performed by a skilled and experienced surgeon, the risk of complications can be significantly reduced. It’s important to discuss any concerns you may have with Dr Soliman and to understand all aspects of the procedure, including the potential risks, before making a decision.

FAQs about Lipoabdominoplasty

What is the recovery time for lipoabdominoplasty?

  • The recovery time for lipoabdominoplasty can vary depending on the individual’s health, the extent of the procedure, and their body’s healing response. Generally, patients can expect a recovery period of about 2 to 4 weeks for initial healing, during which time they should avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting. Most people can return to work within 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the nature of their job. Complete internal healing and seeing the final results of the surgery may take up to several months. It’s important to follow Dr Soliman’s post-operative instructions closely to ensure a smooth and successful recovery.

Is Lipoabdominoplasty safe?

  • Lipoabdominoplasty, like any surgical procedure, carries certain risks, but it is generally considered safe when performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. The risks include infection, bleeding, scarring, and complications related to anaesthesia. Advancements in surgical techniques have significantly reduced these risks. A thorough pre-operative evaluation and adherence to post-operative care instructions are crucial for minimising potential complications. It’s important for patients to discuss their medical history and concerns with Dr Soliman to understand the specific risks and benefits in their case.

What are the benefits of lipoabdominoplasty?

  • Lipoabdominoplasty offers several benefits, particularly for those looking to alter the contour and appearance of their abdomen. This procedure combines liposuction with abdominoplasty, allowing for more significant contouring. It effectively removes excess fat, tightens loose skin, and can also repair weakened or separated abdominal muscles. Additionally, it can improve posture and alleviate some forms of back pain associated with excess abdominal weight and poor core strength.

How long do you have to wear shapewear after abdominoplasty?

  • After an abdominoplasty, wearing shapewear or a compression garment is recommended for about 4 to 6 weeks, although this duration can vary based on individual circumstances and Dr Soliman’s advice. The compression garment helps reduce swelling, provides support to the healing tissues, and helps the skin conform to the new body contours. It’s important to wear the garment as directed by your plastic surgeon to achieve the best possible results and comfort during the recovery process. Dr Soliman will provide specific guidelines on how to use the garment and when it’s safe to transition back to regular clothing.

Further Reading about Body Procedures with Dr Bish Soliman

Medical References about Lipoabdominoplasty

About Dr Bish Soliman

Dr Bish Soliman - Sydney Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, about us 01 2x
Specialist Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon
FRACS (Plas), MS (Plas), MBBS (Hons 1), BCom

AHPRA Registered Medical Practitioner MED 0001679053 Specialist Registration in Plastic Surgery

Dr Bish Soliman is a Sydney-based Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon who performs aesthetic surgery of the face, breast, and body as well as skin cancer surgery.

He currently holds two consultant microsurgery positions in major Sydney hospitals performing complex microsurgical reconstruction including DIEP breast reconstruction.

After graduating from The King’s School, Dr Bish completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Sydney. After working briefly at a major Sydney finance firm, he decided to pursue his passion and long-term goal of a career in medicine. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame at the top of his class, receiving First class honours and the prestigious Bower and Sherrard medal. He then went on to complete his junior medical training at Westmead Hospital during which time he was awarded Junior Medical Officer (JMO) of the Year, as well as a finalist for NSW Doctor of the Year.


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