In 2002, a Surgeon from Brazil, Dr Saldanha, revolutionized the way Tummy tucks are performed. Prior to this time, it was felt unsafe to combine liposuction with tummy tucks. The reason being was that the blood supply to the skin of the abdomen would be compromised too much and healing would suffer. The blood supply to the abdominal skin comes from two sources. The major source is through the muscles underneath, and the minor source from the flanks. Previously, when a tummy tuck was performed, all the blood supply to the abdominal skin that came through the underneath musculature was sacrificed. This was necessary in order to allow the skin to be released and pulled down. The remaining blood supply from the flanks was relied upon to keep the skin healthy and allow for healing. When liposuction was combined using this older technique, what little blood supply was left was further compromised. Often, too little blood supply was left for proper healing.
Dr. Saldanha showed that if liposuction is properly incorporated into the tummy tuck procedure, the skin flap can be pulled down and redraped without sacrificing the major blood supply originating through the abdominal musculature. This not only made the procedure much safer, but the results were superior as it allowed for better contouring and shaping of the abdomen.
Ary Krau MD FACS