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  • Plastic Surgery at Rhode Island Hospital

  • Body Contouring

  • Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

    Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a procedure to remove excess skin and tighten the underlying muscles to give the stomach a flatter, firmer, tighter appearance. Many women seek tummy tucks to ameliorate the affects of pregnancy, which take an enormous toll on a woman's abdominal area. Men and women alike want tummy tucks to improve the appearance of a stomach that has been stretched and scarred with weight gain and loss.

    There are several techniques for tummy tucks. The most common involves an incision across the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area but beneath the "bikini line" and another around the belly button. The skin is repositioned and sutured tightening the muscles, provides a stronger abdominal wall, and makes the waist smaller.

    Abdominoplasty generally takes 2-3 hours. Surgery is performed in a surgeon's office, medical facility, or hospital under local anesthesia with sedation. Patients often stay overnight.

    Body Lift

    The purpose of the body lift is to remove excess skin and fat from the sides and the back of the body, with main emphasis on the mid body region, including the abdomen, hips, thighs and buttocks. It is an extension of abdominoplasty. Many women find that, especially after pregnancy, they have skin and fatty excess and that their skin has been overstretched and body toning has been lost.

    The body lift procedure begins by lifting skin from the underlying tissues. Muscles are then tightened and stitched while excess fat is removed. The skin is then sutured closed. When necessary, the navel will be removed and replaced. Sometimes, surgical tubes are required for a few days after surgery to drain fluids and patients should wear compression garments for a few weeks to assist the healing process.

    Body lift surgery is a very involved process, usually taking 6 to 8 hours. Hospitalization following the surgery usually lasts for 5 days with a subsequent recovery period of 3 to 4 weeks. Although there is an investment of time and effort for this procedure, the results are dramatic.

    A formal consultation is required before surgery in order to determine whether liposuction, abdominoplasty, or the body lift is the most appropriate procedure for each patient.

    Brachioplasty (Arm Surgery)

    Brachioplasty is a surgery for those who wish to remove loose, saggy skin and fat on their arms. Having loose and flabby arms is a common side effect of weight fluctuation and the effects of aging. Certain patients may wish to combine brachioplasty with liposuction. The biggest drawback of brachioplasty is scarring from the armpit to the inner elbow.

    Brachioplasty begins with a surgeon making zigzagging incisions on the upper arm in order to remove fat and excess skin. Afterwards, the skin is stretched and sewn together. Depending on the surgery technique being used, 1 to 2 weeks after surgery drains and stitches may need to be removed.

    Brachioplasty typically is a 1 to 2 hour long surgery performed with general anesthesia or sedation in at your doctor's office or in a outpatient hospital. You are likely to receive 2 to 5 days of prescription medication to help relieve mild to moderate levels of pain. Bandages will be removed after 1 to 7 days. You may be advised to wear compression garments. Although most patients are back at work within 1 to 2 weeks, it can take 2 to 6 weeks to recover. It is advised that exercise be resumed after 2 weeks. It should be noted that final results can be seen after the scars have matured about 6 months after surgery.

    Liposuction (Abdominal and Thigh)

    Liposuction is a technique developed to remove stubborn fat deposits from the abdomen or thighs that don't respond to dieting and exercise. The fat that is removed is gone forever, resulting in a permanent recontouring of the body. This can offer a new shape for people who never thought it was possible and allowing for greater comfort and body image.

    Liposuction starts with a small incision in the umbilicus or near the pubis for abdominal work, or near the buttock crease for thigh liposuction. A thin, smooth, hollow, blunt, surgical suction rod is inserted and connected to a vacuum. The vacuum removes the unwanted fat, leaving the skin, muscle, nerves and blood vessels intact. The surgeon then carefully sculpts the area into a new, improved contour.

    Surgery generally lasts 1-2 hours per area and is performed in the surgeon's office or medical facility. The procedure is commonly performed with local anesthetic supplemented with light sedation. The risks associated with liposuction are minimal.