“What are the Differences between Liposuction and a Tummy Tuck?” by Dr. Zemplenyi
Many people can’t seem to win the “battle of the bulge” by exercising in the gym and cutting back on calories. In these cases, either liposuction or a tummy tuck seems to be a viable solution for getting rid of unwanted fat around the mid-section and other parts of the body.
Although many patients think of a liposuction and a tummy tuck as basically the same procedure that accomplishes the same goal, these two types of techniques are really quite different. Undoubtedly, both procedures help improve the contours of the abdominal area, liposuction can be used on the stomach area (as well as around the face, legs, chest, flanks, arms, and buttocks), whereas a tummy tuck is reserved mainly for the patient’s mid-section.
There are various techniques for doing liposuction. With each technique the areas to be sculpted are first carefully marked. Then, in the operating room a mixture of anesthetic, adrenalin and salt water is injected into the patient’s target areas in order to make it easier to remove the fat which is then suctioned out through tiny incisions.
The fat is be removed using small cannulas (metal tubes). Sound waves (ultrasound) or laser or water jets can be used to loosen the fat. Vacuum suction is then used to remove the fat and fluid from the body..
Unlike liposuction, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is reserved for the midsection, and is a fairly major surgical procedure.
During a tummy tuck, the doctor makes an incision in the lower abdominal region. In this case, the weakened muscles and fascia of the abdomen are tightened. The doctor also removes the patient’s loose skin and tissue, resulting in a much flatter and tighter stomach area. Sometimes, if a person only has loose skin and excess fat, without weak abdominal muscles, only the skin and fat are removed, without tightening the muscles. The belly button may also need to be moved to a new position. Individuals may benefit from abdominoplasty when weight loss after gastric bypass surgery leaves their abdominal area with loose, excess skin.
However, unlike a tummy tuck, liposuction doesn’t take care of sagging skin that may come along with stubborn fat. Abdominoplasty does remove that remaining loose skin.
Although both procedures (tummy tucks and liposuction) are used to contour the curves of your body, each procedure is geared toward different patients.
The types of patients who benefit most from a tummy tuck are those who’ve lost a lot of weight in a short period of time. These people are left with loose, saggy, abdominal skin that can easily be removed with a tummy tuck.
On the other hand, patients wanting to smooth out a few areas of their body (for example, the legs, arms, and flanks) should opt for liposuction as a better alternative.
On a final note, individuals with fat deposits that simply won’t budge or those with excess skin can opt for liposuction and/or abdominoplasty as the best solutions!