If you need to slim and contour your abdomen, a tummy tuck and liposuction can both help you achieve your goals. The abdomen is a problem area for many men and women as fat tends to accumulate there, especially in the middle years. A tummy tuck and liposuction will get rid of excess abdominal fat, but what is the difference between the two procedures.
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that is done to tighten loose abdominal skin, and make the abdomen flatter and firmer. It removes excess skin and some fat from the lower abdomen, and also tightens the underlying abdominal muscles. It can also reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Tummy tuck candidates
A tummy tuck is often requested by men and women that have undergone significant weight loss, and are left with a lot of unwanted abdominal skin. In addition, many women find that after childbirth their abdominals don’t snap back into shape, and unfortunately exercise doesn’t help. Abdominal muscles that are weak or stretched can only be fixed with surgery.
What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a procedure that gets rid of pockets of unwanted fat from various parts of the body including the upper arms, thighs, hips, and back. Liposuction improves body contours and refines proportions by eliminating excess fat. When performed on the abdomen, it removes excess fat deposits in the area between the skin and the abdominal muscles.
Typical candidates for liposuction are adults with pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. They should also have good skin elasticity, as patients with skin that is firm and elastic usually attain better results. Liposuction candidates should be near or at their ideal weight, as liposuction is not a weight loss solution.
How are the procedures performed?
Tummy Tuck surgery is typically done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. The incision for a tummy tuck is made in the lower abdomen just above the bikini line. During the procedure the excess skin and fat is removed, and the abdominal muscles are tightened. The surgeon will also reposition the skin around the belly button, before closing the incision. After healing takes place the scar is usually well-hidden along the bikini line.
Swelling, numbness, tingling, and bruising are normal after abdominoplasty. The first week of recovery can be difficult, but pain medication is prescribed to ease the discomfort. Final results after tummy tuck surgery can take up to 3 months to show.
There are several techniques that can be used to perform liposuction. However, surgery generally involves using a cannula (thin hollow tube), to dislodge the unwanted fat deposits. The cannula is inserted below the skin via small incisions made in the treatment area, and is gently moved back and forth to break apart the fat deposits. The fat is suctioned using a vacuum attached to the cannula.
There is generally some swelling and bruising after liposuction and these side-effects can take several weeks to resolve. Final results are usually seen about 3 months after surgery.
Tummy tuck surgery can be more invasive than liposuction, as it involves the removal of skin and fat, as well as muscle tightening. Liposuction removes fat in targeted areas, and is therefore more limited in scope.
Since liposuction is performed with smaller incisions, healing is usually faster and less painful when compared to tummy tuck surgery.
Which is the right procedure for you?
If you need to get rid of excess skin and fat in the abdominal area, a tummy tuck may be the right procedure for you. It is also ideal for fixing separated abdominal muscles. On the other hand, if you only need to remove fat from the abdomen, liposuction may be the better option. However, it’s always advisable to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon for an evaluation.
Are you interested in tummy tuck or liposuction?
If you are in the Roseville, Rocklin, or Loomis, CA areas contact board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Rudy Coscia for more information.
Call 916-773-5559 today for the office in Granite Bay or 916-929-1833 for the Sacramento office.