Sunday, July 24, 2005

Body in Motion Plastic Surgery Tummy Tuck

I started working on Tummy Tuck Abdominoplasty documenation with movies in 1997. I evolved a standard way to show the problem before surgery and the results after tummy tuck. The views (movies) had to be:
  • Easy to get the same views days, months, and years apart between before / after movies
  • Not embarassing to the patients
  • Show the problem, the entire problem: front, sides, and back
  • Show how the tissues move
Gradually this evolved into a movie of the patient turning in a circle and then bending over from the side. One of my English patients demonstrated the power of bending towards the camera to show loose skin from the front. For the belly button, a close up with the hands at the side and how the loose skin about the belly button moves as the arms are raised over the head. Standard views:

  • Turning in a circle
  • Bending over (view from the side)
  • Bending over (view from the front)
  • Belly Button close-up arms raising over the head and back down
Since 1997 I have been showing such movies at national Plastic Surgery meetings getting feedback from other plastic surgeons. Many told me they were excited at the advantages of this movie documentation. In several of the courses I took at the last cosmetic surgery meeting, I saw other plastic surgeons using some of these standard views to show their patients before after surgery.

View movies before and after Tummy Tuck Abdominoplasty (plastic surgery for the Stomach).

Michael Bermant, MD
Board Certified
American Board of Plastic Surgery

The Human Body in Motion and Plastic Surgery

The beautiful body is more than what a still picture shows. There is poetry in how the muscles and skin move during sports, fun, and just interacting. A frozen patient on a picture can show much, but no where as much as watching them moving, living, and alive.

A great plastic surgeon Julia Terzis taught me that animation, how the body moves, is important. Watching her videos documenting nerve injuries, reconstruction, and how patients moved inspired me to better understand the body in motion. Her grants permitted movies, too expensive at that time for most of us, to record the problem and track the evolution of the improvement after surgery.

Over the years, I tried to show problems of movement using still images. Standard photographic views with muscles tight can show deformities of scars. Firmer gland of gynecomastia tends to reveal itself when muscles are tight since the gland compresses differently than the softer fat. However, movies just show much more. When digital movies of the miniDV format became available, I saw a reasonably priced solution. I have been trying to document the problem and then the surgical solutions since. What I have found has been inspirational.

Check out this page about the deformity after another doctor's liposuction. The still images with muscles compressed and relaxed show the crater deformity after excessive liposuction. Impressive, but not as much as the movies about the same problem.

However, taking the movies, editing them, and finding how to make them easily available to the public takes a great deal of time.

to be continued...

Michael Bermant, MD
Board Certified
American Board of Plastic Surgery