in Beverly Hills, CA & Tucson, AZ
Tummy Tuck for Lipedema – Lymphatic Sparing Tummy Tuck
WHAT IS A LIPEDEMA TUMMY TUCK?
When you have lipedema (painful fat syndrome), the elasticity of your skin naturally declines, especially with rapid fluctuations with weight gain and loss. The abdomen is specifically susceptible to loose, hanging skin for this reason. Our award-winning plastic surgeon, Dr. Jaime S. Schwartz, offers reconstructive surgery of the abdominal skin for men and women at Total Lipedema Care (TLC) in Beverly Hills, CA.
It is no secret that lipedema throughout the abdomen can be frustrating and a challenge to find relief from the disorder. The fluid-filled fat makes the skin easy to bruise, pulls with heavy fibrous tissue, continually damages the skin, and enlarges the upper abdomen. Lipedema fat cannot be lost with conventional diet and exercise measures — it is only through surgical intervention that this type of fat can be eliminated. These fatty tissues stay put and can cause infection, mobility issues, textural changes, and more. When performed as a medical necessity, our team at TLC will assist in providing the necessary documentation for your insurance company’s request for coverage. This surgery at Total Lipedema Care allows patients the chance to experience life without the overhanging skin on the abdomen as a result of advanced lipedema. To discover more about how a tummy tuck can be a life-improving surgery for lipedema, please call or fill out our request form online to get the process started.
WHO IS A CANDIDATE?
A comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis of lipedema are both needed to be a candidate for an abdominoplasty for lipedema. Insurance companies may require an extensive list of documentation and qualifications for the surgery to be covered by insurance. Women and (the small percentage of) men who meet the clinical criteria of lipedema will greatly benefit from abdominoplasty. Hanging skin after weight loss can cause serious health complications for patients with lipedema. Open wounds, rashes, sores, and thin skin with tears are the ideal environments for many types of bacteria to thrive. If left untreated or resistant to antibiotics, bacterial infections can lead to more complicated health problems, like sepsis. A candidate for a tummy tuck for lipedema is not a weight loss procedure — it addresses the byproduct of lipedema — loose skin and unyielding lipedema fat with liposuction and skin tightening.
If you are a patient that cannot undergo a surgery performed under a general anesthesia, don’t count yourself out. Dr. Schwartz uses his Schwartz Rapid Recuperation™ protocol — total intravenous anesthesia. No general anesthesia will be put into your body. The Schwartz Rapid Recuperation technique involves the insertion of an IV with sedation that swiftly leaves the body once it is removed after surgery.
WHAT IS THE SURGERY TECHNIQUE?
Tummy tuck surgery for lipedema is performed with our Schwartz Rapid Recuperation protocols and TIVA anesthesia in an outpatient setting. You will gently fall asleep after the IV is placed in your arm. For your tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Schwartz will follow a detailed treatment plan based on your needs. Your incision shape and size will be selected based on the amount of excess skin you need to be removed.
A tummy tuck procedure will involve the removal of loose skin and fat tissue with the thinnest incisions possible to limit scarring. He also makes incisions in less visible areas so they can be easily concealed by a swimsuit or underwear. Abdominoplasty performed for medical reasons may not include the tightening of the underlying abdominal muscles unless it is deemed medically necessary to repair damaged muscles. Fat will be removed with lymphatic-sparing, water-assisted liposuction. The skin will be pulled tight and sutured after all the excess skin is excised. You will be bandaged and dressed in a compression garment for recovery. After your surgery, it’s important to follow your scar care instructions so your incisions heal flat and blend into your natural skin.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
After your tummy tuck surgery, you will be monitored and released wearing a compression garment to minimize swelling. Walking and standing will be slow-going at first so you should rest for several days. By the Schwartz Rapid Recuperation standards, you should be up and walking much quicker than if you had a general anesthetic. Many of our TLC patients are standing and moving around well enough to go out and about the next day. Keeping your body moving will be essential to your recovery once the muscles and the incision begin to heal. You should be able to resume normal activities in two weeks. Exercise can recommence at a later date, which is commonly closer to the two-month mark or when you are cleared by Dr. Schwartz.