Body Contour Procedures

Your self-image is a strong barometer of how you interact in work and social situations, and in personal relationships. It’s a basic building block of self-confidence. Aging, specific physical characteristics or environmental changes to your appearance can greatly affect your self-confidence and the persona you project in social circumstances.

A body contouring procedure can help enhance or maintain a positive self-image. Call us for more information!

Liposuction | Lipoplasty

Liposuction is the most common cosmetic surgical procedure performed on both men and women in the United States. It can produce profound body sculpting results, offering a more tapered waist, thinner thighs, contoured neck and chin, or flatter abdomen with minimal scarring and an easy recovery. Unwanted fatty deposits can be significantly reduced in various areas of the body, including abdomen, buttocks, inner and outer thighs, hips, flanks, back, neck and arms.

During the past decade, liposuction (also known as lipoplasty or suction lipectomy) has benefited from several new refinements that we implement at Somerset Center for Plastic Surgery. Today, a number of new techniques, including ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL), the tumescent technique, and the super-wet technique, are helping many plastic surgeons to provide selected patients with more precise results and quicker recovery times. Although no type of liposuction is a substitute for dieting and exercise, liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat that don’t respond to traditional weight-loss methods. The time required to perform liposuction may vary considerably, depending on the size of the area, the amount of fat being removed and the technique used.

During liposuction, a tiny incision is made, then a narrow tube is inserted and used to vacuum the fat layer that lies beneath the skin. The tube is then pushed through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. The suction is provided by a vacuum pump or syringe. If many sites are being treated, Dr. Stein will then move on to the next area, keeping the incisions as inconspicuous as possible. Fluid is lost along with the fat, and patients are carefully monitored and receive intravenous fluids during and immediately after surgery to prevent shock.

The incisions from liposuction are small and strategically placed to be hidden from view. However, imperfections in the final appearance are not uncommon after lipoplasty, as the skin’s surface may be irregular, asymmetrical or even baggy, especially in older patients. This condition can easily be alleviated with Thermage. Numbness and pigmentation changes may occur. Sometimes, additional surgery may be recommended.

After Liposuction Surgery

After the liposuction procedure, you will able to go home while wearing compression garments made of spandex over the operated areas. These should be worn around the clock for the first 2 weeks and when active for another 2 weeks. The amount and duration of discomfort varies from patient to patient, but you’ll be walking around the day of surgery. Most patients are able to stop taking pain medication and go back to work within a few days. Non-strenuous activity can begin at 5-7 days, low impact exercise at 3 weeks and unlimited activity at 6 weeks.

You will see a difference in the shape of your body soon after surgery, and improvement will become even more apparent after four to six weeks, when most of the swelling has subsided. After about three months, any persistent mild swelling should disappear and the final contour will be visible. You should be very pleased with the results of the surgery, finding yourself more comfortable in a wide variety of clothes and more at ease with your body. A healthy diet and getting regular exercise will help you maintain your new shape!

Thigh Lift

Thigh lift surgery is used to elevate the lower thighs by removing excess skin and fat, while the remaining tissues are tightened to produce a more attractive body contour. Skin laxity and poor tone may be related to the normal aging process, genetics, pregnancy or significant weight loss.

Patients who have lost large amounts of weight and whose skin remains loose will benefit greatly from this procedure. A thigh lift will tighten and smooth the skin, creating a firmer silhouette. The operation takes between four to six hours, depending on your specific needs.

After a Thigh Lift

The first night after surgery, you are cared for by nurses in a comfortable, safe setting. This way, you can receive IV pain medication and fluids if necessary while you get through the toughest period. You will feel tightness and discomfort that will gradually subside over the first one to two weeks. Elastic compression garments are worn for several weeks, then for a couple weeks during times of activity.

Drains are removed after one week at the earliest. Depending on how much fluid is carried out per day, the drains may need to stay in longer. Usually, patients are able to return to non-strenuous work activities after two weeks. Low impact exercise can begin around four weeks after surgery and by six weeks, activity is unrestricted.

Abdominoplasty | Tummy Tuck

After pregnancy or weight gain, the abdomen often fails to return to its original shape and often does not respond to exercise or diet programs. In these cases, tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) can provide a long-term solution. This frequently performed procedure is used to tighten overly stretched skin and abdominal muscles for a flatter, smoother appearance. A tummy tuck flattens your abdomen by removing extra fat and skin, and by tightening muscles in your abdominal wall.

This is a major surgery and should be the last resort for people who have exhausted all other measures, not as an alternative to weight loss. Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should postpone the surgery. Also, women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as vertical muscles in the abdomen that are tightened during surgery can separate again during pregnancy.

If your only problem area is below the belly button, you may benefit from a less complex procedure called a partial abdominoplasty or partial tummy tuck, which can often be performed as an outpatient procedure.

At Somerset Center for Plastic Surgery, Dr. Stein may recommend either a partial or complete abdominoplasty, done in conjunction with other procedures for a better body contour.

Complete abdominoplasty usually takes two to five hours, depending on the extent of work required. Partial abdominoplasty may take an hour or two. In the full tummy tuck, an incision is made across the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area. Another incision is made around the belly button to free the surrounding skin and all of the skin is separated from the abdominal wall. Dr. Stein then pulls the loose muscles from the left and right sides and sutures them together. This tightens the muscles to create a stronger abdominal wall and a smaller waist. Excess skin is removed and a new opening is made for the belly button at the right position. The incisions are closed with sutures (stitches) and/or staples, and gauze is placed over the incision area.

After a Tummy Tuck

For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you’re likely to feel some pain and discomfort, which can be controlled by medication. Patients usually stay the first night after surgery in the ambulatory unit of the hospital. Though you may not be able to stand straight at first, you should start walking as soon as possible. Surface stitches will be removed in five to seven days. Most people return to work within 10 days to two weeks, depending on the work you do.

Exercise will help you heal better. If you’ve never exercised before, you should begin an exercise program to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots and tone muscles. Vigorous exercise should be avoided until you can do it comfortably. It takes nine months to a year before scars flatten out and lighten in color. Scarring is permanent, but will not show under most clothing, even under bathing suits.