Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction

Many patients are unhappy with the appearance of their abdomen.  They may complain about the extra fat, the loose skin, the lack of tightness, or the presence of stretch marks.  It is important to understand the difference between a Tummy Tuck, or abdominoplasty, and Liposuction in order to decide which is most appropriate.

Liposuction involves the removal of fat with the help of a suction device through very small incisions.  Any volume of fat can be removed – from large volume to just small amount in the problem areas.  After the fat is removed, the skin will generally tighten to accommodate your now slimmer body.  The amount that your skin can tighten depends on several factors: the amount of fat removed, the area it is removed from, and the quality of your skin. 

Liposuction is used specifically to remove fat and improve the overall shape of your body. When performed on your abdomen, liposuction can result in a tighter upper and lower abdomen and flanks, with very small and hidden incisions. Liposuction will not do much to improve your skin. This means that if you have hanging skin, or pannus, liposuction may make this appear worse. Also, if you have abdominal wall laxity because of loss of muscle tone, liposuction will do nothing to help this. Lastly, if you are complaining of stretch marks, liposuction will not eliminate this and may in fact make it look worse.

A Tummy Tuck in New York, or abdominoplasty, is a larger operation but has a significantly greater impact on the appearance of your abdomen. A Tummy Tuck will remove the excess or hanging skin, remove stretch marks, and remove excess fat.  It also involves tightening of the underlying abdominal muscles that become loose with age, after pregnancy, or changes in weight. Tightening the muscles is the most powerful way of giving you a flatter, tighter abdomen.

Your board certified plastic surgeon will be able to examine you and tell you if liposuction or a tummy tuck is best for you.  Oftentimes, the two are combined in order to give you the best improvement in the contour of your abdomen.  Keep in mind that the recovery from a Tummy Tuck is greater than the necessary recovery from a Tummy Tuck. This may also factor into your decision between these two popular procedures.

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