“Combining Liposuction & Tummy Tuck” by Dr. Frank Campanile
by Dr. Frank Campanile
If you’ve noticed a “spare tire” around your midsection that just doesn’t seem to budge even though you’re already at your target weight, you might be considering liposuction. Lipo is ideal for improving body contours by eliminating isolated pockets of fat like those around the belly or love handles. However, sometimes lipo alone isn’t enough to get the shape you’re hoping for. Combining liposuction with abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, can deliver even more comprehensive results.
What Causes a Bigger Belly?
Excess weight around the belly isn’t always just a product of weight gain, and isn’t necessarily due to fat alone. Other structural changes in the midsection can be responsible for contributing to curves where you don’t want them:
- Pregnancy stretches the abdominal muscles out a great deal, and they may not always regain their former firmness.
- Long-term obesity can permanently affect abdominal muscle structure by stretching out the muscles as well.
- Rapid weight loss can leave behind loose, excess skin for the appearance of a bulge that isn’t caused by fat cells.
Although diet and exercise can help you reach your target weight, changes in the skin and muscle aren’t going to be improved through weight loss. And, while liposuction can reduce the buildup of fat cells around the belly, it won’t help when those lumps and bumps are due to muscle changes or excess skin. That’s where a tummy tuck comes in.
How a Tummy Tuck Helps
A tummy tuck takes care of much more than just removing fat cells. During a tummy tuck, your surgeon makes an incision running from hip to hip that allows him or her to access the underlying musculature of the abdomen. If the muscles have separated or fallen, they are then lifted and tightened again using layered internal sutures. Next, excess skin and tissue are removed, and the remaining skin is redraped over the repaired muscular framework for a firm, slim look again. Tummy tucks can be included with a body lift, which also improves the contour of the thighs and buttocks, or as part of a Mommy Makeover.
Although a tummy tuck removes excess skin and tissue, this surgery may not target exactly the right location to give you the shape you want. Not all the isolated fatty deposits in the abdominal area can be resolved through abdominoplasty alone. Additionally, the contours of the belly and waistline aren’t affected only by the lower tummy, which is the area improved by abdominoplasty. Fat cells throughout the hips, love handles and even the flanks can all contribute to how your waistline looks in context.
What Happens when Combining Surgeries?
Combining liposuction with a tummy tuck offers a more comprehensive approach to body sculpting than either procedure on its own. Abdominoplasty addresses the structural issues that contribute to the appearance of a more prominent belly, while liposuction is ideal for the fine-tuning that’s essential for smoother contours not only in the stomach but also adjacent areas.
Not every surgeon effectively combines a tummy tuck with liposuction. Choosing a skilled, board certified plastic surgeon with plenty of experience in this combination approach is essential for achieving natural, beautiful results.
For a few problem spots in the midsection, liposuction should be enough to do the trick. However, a tummy tuck might be necessary for people with loose muscles and excess skin in the abdominal area. Often, a combination of the two procedures is the ideal solution for getting the slim, sculpted lines you deserve.