Dr. Grant Stevens and colleagues study over 400 Los Angeles patients after tummy tuck-liposuction surgeries and demonstrate that the popular procedures are safe in combination.
Los Angeles, January 17, 2007 - Cosmetic surgery is becoming more mainstream with each passing year. More people are having it and more people are talking about it. The topic has become wildly popular with the media, with entire television programs focused on plastic surgery "makeovers."
One frequent point of debate is the safety of combined plastic surgery procedures, such as a tummy tuck with liposuction. In the Los Angeles area and around the country, there's increased demand for multiple procedures in one trip to the operating room as patients seek to minimize costs and downtime related to surgery. But questions have arisen as to the safety of these combination procedures. In fact, one state issued a ban on tummy tuck / liposuction combinations in recent years, believing the simultaneous procedures to be inherently dangerous.
Dr. Grant Stevens, Medical Director of Marina Plastic Surgery, felt that more data was needed to correctly assess the risks of simultaneous cosmetic surgery procedures. He and four colleagues conducted a clinical study of 406 abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgeries by Dr. Stevens over a 15 year period of time. Of that group, 57 patients did not have simultaneous liposuction. The remaining patients did have liposuction combined with their abdominoplasty. The results of the study were clear: there is no additional risk for patients combining liposuction with a tummy tuck procedure.
The surgeons took a variety of factors into consideration during the study. In addition to comparing results for the liposuction and non-liposuction groups, Dr. Stevens and his team broke the liposuction group in to four segments according to the volume of material suctioned. Consistency was further assured with comparisons of patient age, body mass and physical condition. Operating time was also factored in.
"We noted no statistically significant differences between any of the patient groups," said Dr. Stevens. "In fact, no major complications occurred at all and no patients required hospitalization."
In the interest of patient safety, the top concern in any surgical procedure, Dr. Stevens and his team reviewed strategies to minimize risk in their write-up of the study. Related to the surgery itself, they discussed the importance of preserving healthy blood flow to the abdominal flap by avoiding liposuction in that area and of keeping the procedure time short. They also stressed the need for compression of the patient's lower extremities and for getting the patient up and walking frequently after surgery.
"This study has demonstrated that with appropriate patient care, the safety of abdominoplasty combined with liposuction is equivalent to that of abdominoplastly alone," commented Dr. Stevens. "The convenience advantages for patients are huge. They can plan one trip to the surgical center, one recovery period and one short time away from their normal lives."
Dr. Grant Stevens is a California board-certified plastic surgeon and the Medical Director of Marina Plastic Surgery in Marina Del Rey and Beverly Hills. He specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery and has been named one of America's Best Physicians by his colleagues in The Guide to Top Doctors. He is an active member at Centinella-Freeman Marina Hospital where he is the past Chairman of the Department of Surgery, the past Chairman of the Liposuction Committee, and the past co-director of the Breast Center. He is also on staff at St. John's Medical Center and the Marina Outpatient Surgery Center. Dr. Stevens is an Associate Clinical Professor at the USC Medical School and Director of the American Society of Aesthetic Surgery-approved Marina Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship.
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