“Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck” by Dr. Frank Campanile
by Dr. Frank Campanile
Sometimes, all the crunches in the world don’t seem to be enough to get you the six-pack you always wanted. When it comes to contouring the belly and waistline with cosmetic surgery, patients have two basic options: abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or liposuction . While either option can definitely help slim down your midsection, the process is very different for each surgery, and not everyone is a candidate.
The Effects of Liposuction
Liposuction is the process of sculpting away fat deposits for smoother, more aesthetic body contours. While not a weight loss solution, lipo does help patients look slimmer because of the change in their body shape. The best results are seen in those patients who practice a reasonably healthy lifestyle already, but just have a few problem spots that stand out to them.
The way liposuction works is by permanently removing the subcutaneous fat that lies below the skin’s surface. The same approach that’s used for losing excess weight sometimes isn’t as effective at targeting this fatty layer of tissue. There are a few different methods that can be used during lipo. Tumescent liposuction first requires an injection of sterile saline solution to saturate the area, which loosens fat cells for easier withdrawal. Laser liposuction utilizes laser energy to rupture the fat cells, and ultrasound-assisted liposuction emulsifies them. Once the fat cells have been treated for easier removal, they’re withdrawn via suction through a slim hollow tube called a cannula. The incisions used for liposuction are so small that stitches are often not required after surgery.
Tummy Tuck Results
A prominent belly isn’t always the result of excess fat deposits. Sometimes, the stomach may become more pronounced over the years due to a combination of physical changes, lifestyle stressors and the effects of gravity. The muscles and skin throughout the body become more lax with age, and these results are evidenced by a figure that’s no longer as streamlined as in your younger years.
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, addresses the structural causes of a lower belly paunch. When physical changes like weight gain or pregnancy occur during the course of your lifetime, the skin and muscles of the belly can stretch out permanently. During a tummy tuck, your surgeon makes an incision running from hip to hip, which allows him or her access to the tissue and muscles below. Next, your surgeon tightens the muscles so they’re taut again and then removes any excess skin and tissue. The remaining skin is redraped over the repaired framework so that the belly is smooth and firm once again. The incision is closed, and should be hidden by your favorite underwear or bikini bottom.
Although a tummy tuck and liposuction both improve the contours of the stomach, they do so by very different means. Liposuction isn’t going to affect muscles that have weakened, while a tummy tuck does a lot more than just remove fat deposits. A consultation with your plastic surgeon can help you determine which option is best for you.
Tummy tucks vs. lipo doesn’t have to mean an either-or proposition. It’s not at all uncommon to combine an abdominoplasty with liposuction at the same time for more comprehensive results. The tummy tuck addresses the major issues that need to be resolved, while liposuction offers the fine-tuning that serves as the finishing touch. Working out a treatment plan with your plastic surgeon will ensure that you’re getting the best approach to meet your specific needs.