Everyday I see patients requesting liposuction, but what they really need is a Tummy Tuck. These are excellent procedures but are not interchangeable. You need to understand these two procedures in order to know which is better for you.
Liposuction is the mechanical removal of fat through suction. This is done through small incisions and using cannulas to suction the fat out of your body. Liposuction only removes fat and does not remove skin. Your skin will “shrink” to some extent after liposuction, accommodating the slimmer, skinnier you. Laser liposuction uses laser to help “shrink” and “tighten” the skin, improving your overall result.
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, involves surgically removing the loose hanging skin of the lower abdomen. A Tummy Tuck also tightens the underlying abdominal muscles that have become weak through multiple pregnancies. This is done through an incision across the lower abdomen that in some cases goes from hip to hip. A Tummy Tuck can be considered a “skin and muscle operation” because it commonly addresses the loose skin seen after multiple pregnancies or weight loss. It does little in terms of fat removal.
So, now knowing the difference between these two procedures, you can better decide which is best for you. If you have loose hanging skin of your lower abdomen, then liposuction is not the answer. In fact, liposuction will remove fat and do little to the overlying skin. The ultimate result may be more hanging skin after liposuction and a worse appearance. A Tummy Tuck is the procedure for removing hanging skin.
If you have had multiple pregnancies that have stretched out your abdomen and caused weakening of your abdominal muscles, than you probably need a tummy tuck. No matter how much fat is removed, weak abdominal muscles will always make the belly look large and round. A tummy tuck will address these weak muscles by tightening them in the middle. Liposuction does nothing to improve the underlying muscles. The Smooth Tuck procedure is another option for improving the contour of your abdomen.
Liposuction will also do nothing to help remove stretch marks. Stretch marks are the result of weight fluctuations and pregnancy. They are actual “cracks” in the deep layers of the skin. The only way to remove stretch marks is by removal of the skin containing these stretch marks. Usually a tummy tuck will remove the skin from the pubic area to the belly button, assuming there is enough skin laxity.
It is common for people to mistakenly confuse these two procedures. The basic rule is if you need fat removed, then liposuction may be the answer. If you need hanging skin removed, then you may need a tummy tuck. Yes, a tummy tuck is a more invasive procedure requiring more recovery, but getting liposuction when you really need a tummy tuck will result in a worse overall appearance.
Many individuals ofter have to have a combination of procedures to achieve their overall desired look. Women who undergo tummy tuck often have a breast lift as well. A board certified plastic surgeon, like myself should be able to evaluate you and advise you as to the most appropriate procedure or procedures.
If you are interested in a procedure, contact my office in New York City today. I would be happy to meet with you and discusses your needs.