Tummy Tuck Technique

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abd_41_surgeryThe RejuveTummy™ Lipoabdominoplasty procedure for a safe tummy tuck totally under local under local tumescent anesthesia:
Dr. Shu has adopted a revolutionary minimally invasive approach to tummy tucks that can be safely and effectively performed as a surgical procedure completely under local tumescent anesthesia with conscious sedation. The technique, called RejuveTummy™ lipoabdominoplasty, combines two procedures—liposuction of the abdomen and a tummy tuck. Dr. Shu’s technique involves extensive liposuction and preserves the perforating vessels and Scarpa’s fascia, providing faster recovery time and better body contour with fewer complications compared to a traditional tummy tuck. By avoiding the use of general anesthesia or heavy sedation (and complications associated with this type of anesthesia), this new procedure offers an improved postoperative recovery.

The management of the belly button, skin incisions, and amount of skin removed are identical in both procedures. The tightening of the muscles can be performed with either procedure. However, Dr. Shu’s technique can remove a larger amount of fat, which can improve abdominal contour by thinning the fat layer considerably more compared to a traditional tummy tuck, while also decreasing the risks of skin necrosis. In addition, Dr. Shu’s approach does not require the use of traditional suction drains.

Performing the RejuveTummy™ lipoabdominoplasty procedure totally under local tumescent anesthesia adds additional benefits over the traditional tummy tuck:

Traditional Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) RejuveTummy™ Lipoabdominoplasty
AnesthesiaGeneral anesthesia With post anesthesia reactionLocal tumescent anesthesia Awake, can eat and ambulate
Bleeding and traumaSignificantMinimal
Perforating vessels and Scarpa’s fasciaNot preservedPreserved
Abdominal suction drainsYesNo
Operating timeLongRelatively short
RecoverySlow and long recoveryShort and fast recovery
Post operative painModerate to severeModerate
Supra-pubic skin sensitivity Less preserved More preserved
SafetyMore complicationsFewer complications
Incision and scarLongRelatively short
Abdominal profileLess naturalMore natural and youthful

Minimal bleeding occurs due to the vasoconstriction created by the tumescent anesthesia. Traditional tummy tucks can be associated with profuse bleeding or even blood transfusions, requiring meticulous hemostasis throughout the surgery using electrocautery (which by itself creates blood vessel and tissue heat damage).

  • The patient is wide awake and can ambulate, eat and drink during the surgery. This cannot be done during a traditional tummy tuck. Following liposuction and before the tummy tuck, the patient can be inspected in a standing position if the surgeon wants to record the shape and size of the skin to be removed. This step eliminates guessing and improves the odds to achieve a satisfying body shape and contour line, as well as a symmetrical skin incision.
  • The operating time is significantly reduced since bleeding is not involved.
  • The technique eliminates skin puckering on either end of the scar (dog ears), as liposuction allows the creation of similar fat thickness in the superior and inferior borders of the flap.
  • The post-operative period is similar to that of an abdomen liposuction procedure. The patient is able to stand up and function normally after the surgery, results that cannot be seen after a standard tummy tuck under general anesthesia or heavy sedation. Due to its long lasting effects, tumescent anesthesia offers a minimum of 12 hours pain control following the surgery.
  • Less noticeable scar compared to a scar from a traditional tummy tuck
  • This new approach creates a more youthful abdominal silhouette and more harmonious results while avoiding complications and the prolonged recovery time associated with the traditional tummy tuck.
  • Preserves the supra-pubic sensitivity and is safer for smokers and post-bariatric patients

abd_53Limitations of a RejuveTummy™lipoabdominoplasty
The tummy tuck procedure will not remove stretch marks on the mid or upper abdomen, but it will shift the marks lower. A scar will extend across the lowest part of your abdomen at about the bikini line. An additional small scar will appear if the belly button requires transposition. However, these scars can be easily hidden by underwear or a swimming suit. The scars typically worsen in the first 3 to 6 months while they heal, and it takes approximately 9 months to a year before scars blend into the surrounding skin. Serious complications are rare, but there are risks to consider with every surgery.

You are at increased risk for complications if you have diabetes, poor circulation, heart, lung, or liver disease, smoke, have a family history of blood clots, or take certain medications. Morbid obese patients are not recommended for this procedure.

RejuveTummy™ lipoabdominoplasty Recovery

  • Anesthesia: local tumescent anesthesia with or without intravenous sedation (twilight anesthesia)
  • Length of Surgery: 3 hours
  • Pain level: Moderate, 3-7 days of pain medication
  • Numbness: At least 6 months
  • Work: Can usually return in 1 week
  • Exercise: Resume after 4 weeks
  • Final result: About 6-12 months after scar heals
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