Most body contouring procedures are performed on an outpatient basis (home the same day) under general anesthesia or deep sedation. Liposuction is performed with small incisions and long suction instruments to remove fat from under the skin. Areas of excess skin must typically be excised, which will result in longer scars, but much-improved contour. Generally, scars for body contouring procedures are well-hidden when you are in clothes, and may be hidden even when wearing a bathing suit (abdominoplasty and breast surgery). Your specific concerns and surgical plan will be discussed during your initial consultation.
General or deep sedation
Length of surgery
Abdominoplasty: 2-3 hours
Breast Augmentation: 1 hour
Breast-lift: 1-2 hours
Breast Reduction: 2-3 hours
Arm-lift: 1 hour
Liposuction: 1-2 hours
Body Contouring After Significant Weight Loss: 2-6 hours
Length of stay
Outpatient (home the same day) typically, may require an overnight stay in the hospital depending on the complexity involved.
Back to work
1-2 weeks depending on the amount of work involved
Mild to moderate
Common, generally resolves within 7-10 days
You will notice significantly improved changes within the first 1-2 weeks. It generally takes 2 weeks for 50% of the swelling to resolve, and 3 months for 80% of the swelling to resolve. Your final result will take a full year. However, you will be enjoying your results well within the first 1-2 months.
Do I need a full tummy tuck for my belly? Can’t I just have liposuction?
The type of procedure recommended by your surgeon will depend on your specific anatomy. There are three things that will be evaluated when it comes to abdominal contouring – the skin, fat, and deep muscle/fascia layers (which continue to protrude after they’ve been stretched by pregnancy or significant weigh loss leading to a full appearance). Patients with primarily excess fat and younger elastic skin may be good candidates for liposuction alone. However, tummy tuck surgery may be the only option if significant excess skin or significant laxity of the abdominal wall is present. Your surgeon will examine your abdomen during your consultation and help develop a plan that is right for you.
What are the different types of liposuction? Does it matter what type I get?
In general, the goal of liposuction is remove fat from unwanted areas. Traditionally, this has been done by simply sucking it out with a long instrument passed underneath the skin. This is still by far the most common way to perform liposuction. There are newer technologies using laser, ultrasound, and water blasting, which have been marketed to be “the best.” However, these are just different ways to achieve the same end point, and for the most part, the results are not significantly different. There are certain pockets of fat that may be more amenable to ultrasound liposuction, but you can discuss your concerns and develop a plan with your surgeon.
Can I combine a tummy tuck with other procedures?
It is quite common to combine abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery with other procedures, including breast augmentation or breast lifting, thigh lifting, facial procedures, and other intra-abdominal procedures such as gynecological procedures. Combination surgery takes advantage of one recovery period by
taking care of everything at once. There are some procedures that may increase your risk of complications when doing them in combination – you can discuss this with your surgeon during your consultation and develop a plan that is safe.
What will the scars look like after abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty is aimed at removing excess skin and fat tissue from the abdomen. Therefore, it will result in scars on the lower belly. Fortunately, these scars can be placed very low, just above or within the pubic hairline. Typically, the scars will extend out toward the lower hips on either side, but are usually hidden below underwear and bathing suit lines. Additionally, while scars are present, they tend to heal very well and fade significantly with time. You may also have a fine scar around the belly button, but this is typically of little consequence.
I’ve heard abdominoplasty really hurts. Is that true? What is the recovery?
It is true that if you have a significant amount of abdominal laxity, especially after childbirth, that tight stitches will need to be used to restore the flat contour of your abdomen. These stitches can make your abdomen feel tight for a few weeks, and sometimes longer, resulting in discomfort. However, with the use of pain pills and a good recovery program, you should get through this period just fine. And the result is a significant positive change in your abdominal appearance. Over time, usually within the first few weeks, the discomfort subsides and eventually you will get back to normal. It is common to have your exercise routine limited for the first 3 weeks after surgery, followed by gradual increased activity until you are back to full speed. You may walk as much as you want even during the recovery period, even in the first few days.
What is the difference between silicone and saline breast implants?
Both silicone and saline implants can be used for breast augmentation surgery. The implants are made differently, and therefore look and feel different. Silicone implants tend to feel more natural if you were to hold the implants side by side. However, depending on where they are placed in the body (above the chest muscles or below the chest muscles) may make these differences obsolete. Differences felt in implants may also be depended on the thickness of the tissues of your breast. There are also differences in what happens to the implants if they break or rupture, though rupture from either implant is safe and does not cause harm. There are also price differences between these two types of implants, so this also becomes a factor when you are trying to decide. The best way to figure out what your options are, and what will work best for you, is to make a consultation, have an examination, and have a discussion with Dr. Warner.
Is it true that a ruptured implant can have serious health consequences?
No. We now know, with good scientific studies, that ruptured breast implants (even silicone) do not cause any serious medical problems or conditions. Nor do they cause breast cancer or delay detection of breast cancer. If an implant is ruptured, it will likely be recommended that you have the implant removed or replaced for cosmetic reasons or to remove any leaking silicone material, but a ruptured implant will not lead to any significant or permanent conditions.
How do I know what my breast results will look like? What is the VECTRA camera?
Predicting the correct size implants for your desired result has historically been somewhat difficult. With our new state-of-the-art VECTRA XT 3D camera, we can take a picture of your body, create a true-life 3D image of you, and then use the camera’s technology to “morph” your breasts into difference sizes and shapes. We can pick specific types of implants to see how they will look on you. You can even see what you will look like in and out of clothing with different breast sizes. This technology will greatly increase the chances of your ultimate satisfaction. Make an appointment with Dr. Warner to experience this amazing process yourself!
How much weight will I lose with my body contouring procedure?
Generally speaking, body contouring procedures do not result in a significant amount of weight loss. These procedures are intended to improve the shape of the body, and any tissue removed typically does not weigh much.
Will my procedure be covered by insurance?
Any procedure done to improve the aesthetic appearance of the body is not covered by insurance. When body contouring procedures are combined with medically necessary procedures (such as a hernia repair or hysterectomy), the medically necessary procedure may be covered. You can discuss your concerns and develop a plan with your surgeon during your consultation. Dr. Warner will explain which procedures will and will not be covered.