The tendency to accumulate fat in the abdomen may be inherited, and this fat is often especially resistant to diet and exercise. Many patients become discouraged at having lost unwanted pounds without seeing a flatter abdomen. The overall proportions of the body may be unbalanced, or the abdomen may simply have retained areas of fatty tissue that cause it to protrude.
In these cases, liposuction can successfully trim excess fat in the abdomen for a flatter abdomen and more slender, balanced shape. A detailed history of your weight, diet and exercise will be requested by Dr. Kremer. Keep in mind that the higher your goals, the more you will have to actively participate in this process in order to achieve those goals.
If you are just concerned about removing fat, liposuction alone will achieve that goal. But if you want an athletic, sculpted look, and you want to look great in a bikini, you may need to incorporate extensive exercise into your plan. If you're considering abdominal liposuction, the following information will provide you with a good introduction to the procedure. For more detailed information about how this procedure may help you, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with Dr. Kremer.
Frequently asked questions about Abdominal Liposuction by Dr. Michael A. Kremer:
A newly trim abdomen can provide a psychological lift and an extra incentive to exercise regularly and maintain fitness. Many patients even find physical activity more pleasurable after shedding extra fat, and they also find that clothes tend to fit better.
During the consultation, Dr. Kremer will talk with you about the changes you would like to make in your appearance. He will explain the different options available to you, the procedure itself, and its risks and limitations as well as the kind of anesthesia required.
Dr. Kremer will begin with a physical examination to evaluate your overall weight, your skin and muscle tone, and the pattern of distribution of fat deposits. He will also record your diet, exercise, and weight history. You will need to let him know about any medications that you are currently taking.
Be sure to ask all the questions you have about the procedure. Learning everything you can about your options, risks and benefits is the key to making an informed decision.
Before surgery, Dr. Kremer will mark the precise areas of the body where the fat is to be removed. An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted in a vein in your arm to make sure the fluid level in your body stays within healthy limits throughout the procedure.
During the procedure, Dr. Kremer makes a tiny incision in the skin, typically in the navel or just below the bikini line, and inserts thin tubes called cannulas into the fatty area. The cannulas are used to break up the fat deposits and sculpt the area to the desired proportions. There are a number of different cannulas available today that differ in length, diameter and the shape of their tips. The unwanted fat is removed with a powerful vacuum, leaving the skin, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels intact.
In the tumescent technique ("wet technique"), a saline solution containing a local anesthetic and adrenaline is injected into the area to be treated, which makes the fat deposits easier to break up and extract. This extra fluid also minimizes trauma to the surrounding tissue, reducing swelling and post-operative pain. The administration of adrenaline also decreases bleeding during surgery, further reducing risks.
An earlier method of liposuction, called dry liposuction because no liquefying agent was used, required general anesthesia. This technique is not in frequent use today and is not used by Dr. Kremer.
The technique Dr. Kremer will choose for your operation will be determined by a combination of factors, including the precise area to be treated, the amount of fat to be removed, or the quality of your skin.
On average, the procedure takes 1-2 hours per area treated.
If the amount of fat to be removed is fairly small, your surgery can usually be performed on an outpatient basis, either in Dr. Kremer's office or in an outpatient surgery clinic. If you are having large amounts of fat removed, or are undergoing several procedures at once, you may need to spend the night in the hospital so that medical staff can monitor your initial recovery.
Most of the bruising and swelling should subside within three weeks. To speed the healing process Dr. Kremer will probably tell you to begin light activity as soon as possible.
You should be able to return to work within a few days if your work is fairly sedentary. You should avoid strenuous activities for several weeks as your body heals, but within 4 to 6 weeks you should be able to resume all normal activities. It's important to continue wearing the compression garment, which should be easily hidden under your clothing, until Dr. Kremer tells you that it is no longer necessary.
You should see visible results of your surgery within two or three weeks, but the full effects may not be evident for six months to a year. The more fat that you had removed, the longer it will take to achieve optimal results, because the skin has to adapt to a more radical change in shape.
Most people are pleased with the new contour of their abdomen and often feel a boost in energy and self-confidence.
Because a portion of the fat cells are permanently removed by liposuction, so you will not tend to regain weight in that area. It is important to note, however, that abdominal liposuction does not guarantee that you won't gain weight or fat deposits in other areas of your body. Moreover, since fat cells have been removed from the treatment site but not from surround areas, this weight gain can appear uneven. It is important to maintain your weight and contour with exercise and proper diet.
In general, the best candidates for abdominal liposuction:
- Have specific fat pockets that are resistant to diet and exercise.
- Have had no previous surgery in the area where liposuction is desired.
- Have firm, elastic skin.
- Do not have frequent fluctuations in weight.
- Desire reshaping and not weight loss.
- Do not have significant medical problems such as diabetes, heart or lung disease, or poor circulation.
- Are psychologically stable.
- Do not smoke.
- Are well informed about the procedure.
- Are accepting of any limitations of the procedure.
- Have realistic expectations about the outcome.
The above is only a partial list of the criteria that Dr. Kremer will consider in determining whether or not this procedure is appropriate for you.
Since the normal aging process affects the firmness and elasticity of the skin, older patients may not achieve quite the same results as younger patients.
Abdominal liposuction is often performed in conjunction with a tummy tuck, or with liposuction to other parts of the body.
Although liposuction is the most commonly performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedure in Germany, and the majority of these operations are successful, there are risks and limitations to the procedure, as with any surgery.
After surgery, some patients experience dimpling, lumpiness, numbness, scarring, discoloration, or sagging skin in the treated area.
More serious complications include blood clots, infection, excessive fluid loss leading to shock, pulmonary embolism or fluid build-up in the lungs. A combination of the following factors is associated with an increased risk of serious complications:
The removal of large amounts of fat
More than one procedure being performed at the same time
The use of general anesthesia
In order to minimize these risks, it is important that you follow all of Dr. Kremer's instructions, both before and after surgery.