Archive for October, 2012:

New and Improved Tummy Tuck Techniques

If you are considering a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) or mommy makeover, there are advanced techniques in abdominoplasty that you should be aware of.  An abdominoplasty is the best technique for improving the appearance of a protruding abdomen and reducing saggy or redundant skin around the middle. It is particularly popular following pregnancy where the muscle has been stretched and among those who have lost a significant amount of weight.

Typically when an abdominoplasty is performed, there is a need for patients to have suction drains left in the incision site for several days in order to prevent seroma (the accumulation of fluid).  These plastic drains require being sutured to the skin and may be a cause of some discomfort and limit activity following surgery until they can be removed.  They have long been one of the most uncomfortable features post-tummy tuck for my patients.

I have recently been utilizing two newer techniques in abdominoplasty with great success where there is no use of drains following surgery, and  I have seen no increase in seromas for these patients.  Recovery is quicker and comfort is increased.

One technique utilizes progressive tension sutures during the tummy tuck procedure.  With the use of the progressive tension sutures, I am able to secure the abdominal flap to the underlying fascia, thereby, distributing tension over a larger area.  This technique eliminates the space where the seroma formation would typically occur, thereby, eliminating the need for post-operative plastic drains.  Patients remain more comfortable and mobile following their surgery and have fewer post-operative concerns.

The second technique we’ve been using with great success is the Avelar tummy tuck, which also eliminates the need for drains following surgery. This technique combines the use of liposuction with a tummy tuck.  When this technique was first developed there were more complications when tummy tuck and liposuction were combined.  Dr. Avelar pioneered a technique that kept the fat and skin from being separated from the fascia and the blood vessels remained intact throughout the procedure.  With this technique, the risk of seroma (the accumulation of fluids) is minimized, eliminating the need for drains post-operatively. The blood flow to the tissues remains intact and risk is minimized.  With the improved blood flow, liposuction can be safely added to the abdominoplasty procedure.  By eliminating the need for outside  plastic surgical drains and improving the blood flow, recovery is quicker, providing more comfort and fewer complications for patients.

If you are interested in learning more about tummy tuck without the use of drains, please contact Dr. Ringler for a complimentary consultation. 616.328.8800

 

 

Archive for October, 2012:

New and Improved Tummy Tuck Techniques

Is scarless healing and body part regeneration a possibility for humans? A study published in Nature this month headed by developmental biologist, Ashley Siefert from University of Florida in Gainesville has scientists pondering that question. Apparently there are two species of African spiny mouse have the ability to do what no other mammal has been known to duplicate – entirely regenerating their own damaged tissue.

The mice have skin that is brittle and easily torn, which must be a defense mechanism to help them escape predators. Most animals, humans included, grow scar tissue when their skin is damaged or injured, much to the disappointment of plastic surgeons and their patients. The African spiny mice were shown to not only regrow their own skin, but also sweat glands, fur and cartilage. This is the first time that trait has been found in mammals, although it is not uncommon in insects, reptiles and amphibians.

The researchers are now looking for clues in terms of molecular mechanisms and genetics circuits that might help lead to the regeneration process. Regenerative medicine has already made great advances in the past few years with stem-cell-seeded organs grown in the laboratory. It’s going to be exciting to see how learning more about how these processes are triggered can benefit wound healing, help plastic surgery patients heal without scars, and people to live longer, healthier lives.

If you are interested in learning more about plastic surgery and how to minimize scars following surgery,  please contact Dr. Steven L. Ringler for a personal, private consultation.

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1151 E Paris Ave SE #200 · Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546 · (616) 328-8800