Sculpt and tuck: The all-in-one approach to body contouring
You've probably noticed the buzz about the latest trends and advancements in plastic surgery in your social media feeds and beyond. And why not? We're in an era where attaining that dream silhouette is more achievable than ever, especially with combination procedures such as liposuction of the flanks with a tummy tuck.
Let's dive into this all-in-one approach to body contouring with insights from members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. We talked to ASPS Member Surgeons Lara Devgan, MD, and Payam Jarrah-Nejad, MD, to uncover the reasons behind its rising popularity.
Understanding the tummy tuck
First, it's important to understand what a tummy tuck entails. A tummy tuck, medically known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen, making it smooth and tight. The surgery can also repair weakened or separated abdominal muscles, known as rectus diastasis.
"A tummy tuck is an operation that can be really helpful for body contouring in women who have an excess of subcutaneous fat and skin and or weakness of the abdominal wall," said Devgan. "We see this in women who have borne children or patients who've lost a significant amount of weight."
The dual approach: Liposuction and tummy tucks
There is a reason why surgeons often combine a tummy tuck with liposuction.
"I always do liposuction with tummy tucks. That's my secret. It really helps the contouring," said Jarrah-Nejad, pointing out a critical factor often overlooked – the flanks or sides of the abdomen. "When you address the excess skin and the rectus diastasis on the abdomen but leave the flanks alone, they will look disproportionately larger."
Jarrah-Nejad's approach stems from understanding the human body's proportions and wanting to give women the best possible results in one procedure.
"It doesn't add much time to the surgery," said Jarrah-Nejad. "The patient's already there, so you might as well give her the best contour possible as opposed to the patient doing her abdominoplasty and later on coming back for another procedure. You don't want the patient going back and forth to the operating room."
Addressing the "boxiness" dilemma
Devgan further emphasizes the importance of this combined approach.
"If you do a tummy tuck with no lipo contouring, you can have a very beautiful appearance from a side profile, but if you look at the front view of the abdomen, it can look a little bit boxy and a little bit rectangular in shape," said Devgan.
This "boxiness," as Devgan describes, can neutralize the natural curves of a female figure.
"The advantage of adding liposuction is that you can get away from the boxiness of a straight-up tummy tuck," said Devgan. "Because it's a shame to take something pretty in nature and make it boxy."
A shift in perception: Beyond body weight
An eye-opening insight she brings to the table is that the need for liposuction is less about weight or mass index and more about subtle sculpting of the body.
"Very surprisingly, even in extremely thin patients, it's almost always required, in my opinion, to do some degree of liposculpture, at a minimum of the flanks and lower back, in order to accentuate an hourglass shape," said Devgan.
Leading the charge
This day and age is all about customization and ensuring every woman gets a result tailored to her unique body and desires. More women are recognizing the benefits of adopting this dual approach to body contouring as they invest in self-care.
The future of tummy tucks
The combined approach of liposuction of the flanks with tummy tucks stands out as another way the specialty is committed to achieving the best possible results for women. Patients can look forward to results that enhance the natural beauty of their feminine form with this two-in-one procedure from experts like Devgan and Jarrah-Nejad.
To find a qualified plastic surgeon for any cosmetic or reconstructive procedure, consult a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. All ASPS members are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, have completed an accredited plastic surgery training program, practice in accredited facilities and follow strict standards of safety and ethics. Find an ASPS member in your area.