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Why The Skin Layer is so Important in Tummy Tucks and Liposuction Procedures

Skin: it’s the largest organ of your body, the layer which protects you and keeps you from evaporating away all your moisture. Inside the skin runs a vast network of elastic fibers which are responsible for maintaining tension, firmness, and recoil; picture it like millions of tiny rubber bands. When you pull the skin, it stretches out; and, importantly, when you let go, the elastic fibers will recoil, pulling and shrinking the skin back to its original shape and size. These fibers are abundant when we are young, but unfortunately decrease in number the older we get. It’s perhaps the most under-discussed aspect of any novice liposuction consult, and far too many providers gloss over its importance. This is why so many patient are left unhappy, or worse, with loose hanging skin if elasticity is ignored during a liposuction procedure, particularly on the abdomen. All too often, a “cosmetic doctor” or “cosmetic surgeon”, without the proper board certification in plastic surgery, will fail to address this important aspect simply because they are unable to perform the necessary surgical skin removal. This is yet another reason why it is so vitally important to make certain your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the ONLY cosmetic board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Because in the end, if your “cosmetic doctor” can’t offer the full range of treatments needed to individualize a treatment plan, you may simply be getting limited options which aren’t right for YOUR scenario. 

Use the following link to see if YOUR surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery:

https://www.abplasticsurgery.org/public/verify-certification/ModDefault.aspx?section=SurgeonSearch— 

Stay tuned for the next post in which we’ll show you how the skin elasticity is affected by changes in weight, as well as the rapid skin stretching which occurs in pregnancy. 

This article was written and illustrated by Christian Subbio M.D., a board certified-plastic surgeon in Philadelphia specializing in tummy tuck and liposuction.