Do You Need Tummy Tuck or Liposuction?

Liposuction and tummy tuck are both excellent ways to tighten and tone the abdominal area. However, the two procedures have distinct differences. In this post, Dr. Lloyd Landsman discusses liposuction and tummy tuck to help give prospective patients an idea of what might be more appropriate for their individual needs.

Understanding Liposuction

Liposuction, also referred to as liposculpture, is a body contouring procedure that involves removing unwanted fat from a targeted area. It is very effective on abdominal fat, but it can be performed to sculpt other areas of the body, too, including the hips, thighs, back arms and neck. It is often incorporated into mommy makeover treatment plans with tummy tuck.

During the procedure, a thin, hollow tube called a cannula is inserted through several tiny incisions to break up and remove fatty tissue and reshape the treatment area. Most patients take a few days off from work to recover. Swelling and bruising in the treated area may take several weeks to resolve.

One of the limitations of liposuction is that it does not improve the tone or quality of the skin or muscles. In the case of abdominal liposuction, Dr. Landsman sees the best results when the abdominal muscles are still intact, and the abdominal skin is elastic and taut. Simply removing fat from an abdomen with poor skin and muscle laxity will not deliver the desired aesthetic results.

Signs Liposuction Might Be the Right Choice for You

  • You have excess stubborn fat on your abdomen.
  • Your skin is relatively elastic – i.e., if you pinch it between two fingers, it “snaps back” into place quickly.
  • Your abdominal muscles are intact.

Understanding Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck is a comprehensive solution to several problems in the abdominal area, including excess fat, loose skin, separated or damaged muscles and sometimes stretch marks. Tummy tuck is always combined with some amount of liposuction particularly in the area of the hips and upper abdomen (above the belly button)

During the procedure, excess skin and fat are removed from the middle and lower areas of the abdomen. The abdominal muscles are repaired and stitched into place, which can greatly reduce a “bulge” in the lower abdomen. Stretch marks may be improved or even eliminated, depending on whether they are located on the skin that is removed. Tummy tuck incorporates liposuction to address unwanted fat, but it is a more involved procedure than liposuction alone.

Tummy tuck is performed through a horizontal incision created on the lower abdomen, which leaves scarring that fades over time but never completely disappears. Most tummy tuck patients take at least one week off from work to recover from the procedure, and many take several months to get back to their complete normal routine.

Signs Tummy Tuck Might Be the Right Choice for You

  • You have had multiple pregnancies or fluctuated dramatically in weight.
  • You have excess abdominal fat and skin.
  • Your abdominal muscles have separated and are weakened.
  • You have stretch marks on your lower abdomen.

The best way to determine the procedure that is a better fit for your personal aesthetic needs is to sit down with a board certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Landsman. Please call 631-864-4111 or email our practice to make an appointment with Dr. Landsman.

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