Many of our patients have the questions regarding liposuction and tummy tucks. These two procedures are commonly confused and they are very different. In order to get the right procedure for your needs, it is important to understand the difference between liposuction and tummy tucks.
Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction: What’s the Difference?
The biggest similarity between liposuction New York City and a tummy tuck is that both procedures aim to improve the appearance of the midsection. Still, each procedure is also distinct.
For instance, liposuction is the removal of actual fat deposits from the abdomen. The procedure involves a plastic surgeon making small incisions near where the fat is to be removed. The surgeon then inserts a thin tube called a cannula which is used to break up the fat and then removed though suction. The removed fat is either discarded or re-injected in a fat transfer procedure. The fat can be re-injected into the buttock, hips, breasts, face, or even hands. Liposuction can remove fat from the abdomen, sides, back or any area where you have unwanted fat.
A Tummy Tuck, or abdominoplasty, deals more with the skin and underlying abdominal muscles. During a tummy tuck, an incision is made in the bikini line and the abdominal skin is elevated. Sutures are placed in the abdominal muscles to tighten them. These muscles commonly stretch apart with aging, weight changes, and pregnancy. Suturing the muscles together can give a flat abdomen. The excess skin is then removed and the skin is put back together. The scar will be well hidden beneath underwear or a bikini.
So how do I know which is better for me?
Your plastic surgeon will help you understand whether a tummy tuck New York City or liposuction is the best operation. In general, if your issue is excess fat, but your skin is not loose, then liposuction may be what you need. If your skin is loose or hanging, or your muscles are separated (giving you a “pregnant” appearance), then a tummy tuck may be better. Remember, lipo is for fat, tummy tucks are for skin and muscle. It is important to select the right operation so that you get a good result.
Can Liposuction and Tummy Tuck be performed together?
Absolutely! In fact, it is common for liposuction to be part of your tummy tuck. This is because most people have excess fat AND excess skin. Oftentimes, the only way to get a great tummy tuck result is to do liposuction at the same time. Sometimes, your surgeon may recommend a staged approach, in which liposuction and tummy tuck is done in separate operations. This may be recommended for safety reasons or in order to improve your cosmetic results.
What is “Lipo 360”?
“Lipo 360” is a newer term that refers to liposuction in a 360 degree direction (or all around your torso). Some may refer to this as circumferential liposuction. This means that liposuction is performed on the abdomen, flanks, and back. This allows improvement is your entire torso since it is usually necessary to make the back look better to make the front look better. It provides a much more complete improvement. Not all surgeons are experienced with this procedure since it involves multiple areas of liposuction and re-positioning the patients during the surgery. While some surgeon may say that they will lipo your “sides/flanks” during the procedure, you need to clarify if they will be turning you over in order to do this, since you will get a much better result when the liposuction is performed from the front AND the back. This is what truly differentiates Lipo 360 from standard liposuction. If you excess fat on your abdomen, flanks, and lower back, then you are probably an excellent candidate for Lipo 360.
What Is a Tummy Tuck 360?
A tummy tuck 360 is similar to liposuction 360 in that this procedure improves the appearance of the abdomen from every angle. Like liposuction 360, a tummy tuck 360 removes the excess skin in the front, sides and back. This will involve removing the skin on the front, as is done with a standard tummy tuck, AND removing the skin of the lower back and upper buttocks. The scar will go all the around, like a belt, but is completely hidden under bikini or underwear. The other advantage of this procedure is that you will get improvement in the appearance of your thighs, hips, and buttocks. It is the surgical equivalent of “pulling up your pants” and is a great option for people who have lost a significant amount of weight. A Tummy Tuck 360 is also referred to as a circumferential tummy tuck, lower body lift, or “around the world”. It requires an experienced body contouring surgeon with exceptional skill.
The recovery for a Tummy Tuck 360 may be slightly longer than for a traditional tummy tuck, so this may be a factor in your decision.
Also, if you have had a previous standard tummy tuck, you may benefit from a surgery to remove the skin that is still present on your backside.
Can fat transfer be combined with Liposuction, Lipo 360, Tummy Tuck, or Tummy Tuck 360?
Yes, fat transfer can be combined with any procedure. It is very common to use the fat that is removed during the procedures and re-inject it into specific areas of the body. Commonly, the fat is added to the butt and hips. This can be a very powerful was to reshape the body, by using your own tissue instead of implants. Sometimes people seem to lose their curves after procedures such as liposuction or tummy tucks. By adding fat to specific areas, we can put the curves back and give a much better appearance.
Schedule Your Liposuction or Tummy Tuck Consultation Today!
Both liposuction and tummy tucks can be life-changing procedures for those looking to improve their profiles and physiques. At Schulman Plastic Surgery, Dr. Schulman uses advanced techniques that New York City men and women trust. As a board certified plastic surgeon, specializing in body contouring, Dr. Schulman has performed an extensive number of procedures for his highly-satisfied patients. He often combines procedures such as liposuction, tummy tucks, and fat transfers, making him one of the most sought-after plastic surgeons in New York City.
To book your liposuction or tummy tuck consultation today, give us a call at (212) 289-1851, or contact us online!