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Dr. Core Explains Lipoabdominoplasty

Article courtesy of Grady Core, M.D., F.A.C.S.
April 24, 2014

Over the past 5 years, Dr. Core has changed his approach to abdominoplasty and has adopted the Brazilian technique of Lipoabdominoplasty. Beginning around 2001, Dr. Saldanha of Sao Paulo Brazil developed this technique, which allows for liposuction to be done simultaneously with a tummy tuck. Prior to Dr. Saldanha’s innovation, most American plastic surgeons felt that it was too dangerous to perform liposuction with an abdominoplasty and still today, most American plastic surgeons will refuse to do liposuction on the abdomen at the same time that they perform an abdominoplasty operation.

However, Dr. Saldanha has proven without question that not only is it something that can be done together, but it is actually safer to perform the operation with this technique as compared to the traditional American technique. The difference between the two is that in the traditional technique, after the excess skin and fat on the lower abdomen is excised, the upper abdominal flap is elevated and actually separated from the abdominal wall and the central blood supply of the abdominal wall. This is done under direct vision and the purpose for it was so that the skin and fat of the upper abdominal wall would be able to slide down the abdomen and cover the entire abdomen and hence, give the appearance of tight skin.

However, Dr. Saldanha’s technique does not separate the upper abdominal skin and fat from its blood supply. Instead, Dr. Saldanha incorporated two important innovations and has preserved the blood supply. The first innovation was that after he resects the skin and fat of the lower abdomen, he actually leaves a layer on the abdominal muscles called Scarpa’s fascia. Scarpa’s fascia provides an alternative blood supply that flows through from the groin vessels up into the upper abdominal flap and provides extra blood supply. In addition, instead of undermining the upper abdominal flap, Dr. Saldanha actually liposuctions this entire area extensively, which not only reduces the thickness of the flap, but also allows it to slide to the lower abdomen in the exact same manner as the undermining technique did in the traditional operation.

With Lipoabdominoplasty, we are, not only, able to accomplish all the aesthetic goals of the traditional procedure, yet we can actually accomplish them better, because now we can thin the abdominal flap safely with liposuction. In addition, lipoabdominoplasty has also helped reduce the incidence of seroma after abdominoplasty, which is a collection of excess fluid under the flap, which can occur after the drain is removed. The reason is because the lymphatic vessels which carry the fluid away are also retained in the Scarpa’s fascia that is left on the abdomen. There is much less space that is created underneath the abdominal flap for fluid to accumulate. Lipoabdominoplasty allows us better results in a safer manner than a traditional technique.

A CORE FACT:

Dr. Core does not use traditional liposuction when performing lipoabdominoplasty or any other type of liposuction. He only uses an ultrasonic assisted lipo-selection technique called Vaser. Vaser uses ultrasound in a non-traumatic fashion to liquefy tissue wherein the ultrasound is specific for fat cells only. Therefore, Dr. Core is not performing the traumatic technique of traditional suction assisted lipoplasty.

If you have further questions about lipoabdominoplasty and how it can be applied in your specific case, you can obtain further information by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Core. Dr. Core also performs mini abdominoplasty in a similar fashion as so to the full lipoabdominoplasty and has applied these concepts in the mini abdominoplasty technique. 

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