Body Contouring FAQ

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Dr. Steinwald frequently receives questions about body contouring procedures from patients in Lake Forest and Chicago. Liposuction and tummy tuck surgery are the most common procedures. To help you learn more before you meet with him in your consultation, we have provided his responses to the most commonly asked questions.

Can I combine body contouring procedures with other procedures?

Yes, Dr. Steinwald often recommends that patients combine procedures like liposuction and tummy tuck in Chicago to maximize their cosmetic results and minimize downtime. Some women having a tummy tuck choose to combine their procedure with liposuction and a breast enhancement procedure like breast augmentation or breast lift for a Mommy Makeover.

Should I wait to have a tummy tuck until after I have more children?

Most women choose to wait until after they are finished having children because the changes resulting from pregnancy can impact the benefits of abdominoplasty surgery. When you become pregnant, the abdominal skin and muscles stretch to accommodate the baby. If you undergo a full tummy tuck, where the abdominal muscles are tightened, then your muscles may become lax again. Discuss this issue with Dr. Steinwald during your consultation so he can explain different options.

Do I need to be at my ideal weight before undergoing liposuction?

Typically, the best candidates who visit Dr. Steinwald near Chicago for liposuction are at or near their ideal weight before undergoing the procedure. This can help identify "problem" spots, such as pockets of fatty deposition (such as "love handles" or outer thigh "saddlebags") that just don't respond to your best efforts at dieting or exercise. Patients with these types of issues (and fairly well-toned overlying skin) are the ones who generally get the best results from liposuction recontouring. Patients who are somewhat overweight can also benefit from relatively targeted liposuction, but it shouldn't be considered a weight-loss modality, a substitute for diet or exercise, or a treatment for obesity. Ultimately, whether you should wait depends on your individual anatomy and goals for surgery.

When can I go back to work after liposuction or tummy tuck?

Patients undergoing liposuction only can usually return to work after the first week, but with garments still in place. It may take longer for lower extremity liposuction. If you can work from home, you may be able to return to work activities sooner. In general, tummy tuck patients require more time for recovery (at least 2 weeks). Dr. Steinwald provides post-surgery instructions for recovery during your consultation.

Will the fat I have removed from liposuction stay away forever?

The fat cells in the areas treated are removed permanently during liposuction. As people gain weight, however, the existing fat cells (i.e., those remaining in relatively greater quantities elsewhere on the body) will begin to swell, whereas people who are approaching a weight considered to be "obese," can actually start make more fat cells (which could conceivably happen in the areas already treated with liposuction). Therefore, to maintain that slimmer new contour, it is important to stay at the same weight, follow a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.

Will my scars from tummy tuck be visible?

Dr. Steinwald is experienced in locating the incision so that the scarring, in most cases, will be hidden below the underwear/bikini line. This location minimizes the visibility.

Can liposuction treat cellulite?

Traditional liposuction does not directly treat cellulite. However, because that dimpled appearance from cellulite is partially caused by fat deposits (as well as the connective tissue separating these superficial compartments), liposuction may, in some cases, smooth those areas and diminish cellulite.

Do I have to have drains with my tummy tuck?

Although many patients need at least one drain coming out through either end of their horizontal incision to help prevent seromas (fluid collections) and to promote tissue adherence, newer techniques exist for patients at or within 10 to 20% of their ideal body weight to obviate the need for drains. During a "drain-free abdominoplasty," Dr. Steinwald takes extra time to place deep "quilting sutures" from the repositioned tissues to the (also tightened) abdominal wall framework, which "tacks" down these tissues. These maneuvers also have the added advantage of providing better definition of the abdominal contour, especially in the midline. In these cases, potentially uncomfortable drains are not necessary, but it becomes even more important for the patient to wear an abdominal binder and then lighter supportive garments for the first 2 to 4 weeks.

Your Next Step

Learn more about body contouring today. Request a consultation online with Dr. Steinwald. Or, call the Lake Forest Plastic Surgery office at (847) 234-9464 to schedule your visit. Dr. Steinwald looks forward to helping you achieve your aesthetic goals.

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