Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction
Tummy tuck and liposuction are proven surgical solutions that can trim fat and improve the contours of the body.
When choosing which option is right for you, there are many variables to consider, including muscle integrity, locations of fat pockets, and your own expectations. Below, experienced Albany plastic surgeon Dr. Bruce Barach reviews some of the key differences between these two popular procedures.
Tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is often a good choice for patients whose loss of skin elasticity created folds in the skin after they gave birth or lost weight. Liposuction may be the preferred choice when creating a more natural-looking body shape requires the removal of a significant amount of fat in targeted areas. In some cases, it may be appropriate to combine liposuction and tummy tuck in a procedure known as lipoabdominoplasty.
With abdominoplasty, the stomach benefits from a smooth, “tucked-in” profile after the removal of excess skin and fat and the tightening of the abdominal muscles. Women often choose abdominoplasty as a way to restore tone to stomach muscles that weakened or separated during pregnancy.
Studies have shown that the best candidates for abdominoplasty have loose skin but not much belly fat. Obese individuals, in fact, are advised to lose as much weight as possible before considering a tummy tuck. For patients whose fat is located mostly below the belly button, a partial abdominoplasty, or “mini tummy tuck,” may be advisable.
Liposuction is an effective way to target pockets of fat in the body that stubbornly remain even when diet and exercise lower overall weight. The best candidate is healthy, not significantly overweight, with skin that is elastic. The vitality of your skin will affect your satisfaction with the procedure, as firm skin will smoothly cover the newly trim areas of your body.
Patients commonly seek reductions in the abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, arms, neck or back. Men may also choose liposuction as a way to treat “male breasts.”
For some patients who believe they are candidates for tummy tuck, accumulation of fat in the abdominal area is significant, and this is where Dr. Barach may recommend lipoabdominoplasty. This procedure allows both the removal of substantial volumes of fat and the reconstruction of the abdominal wall and tucking of the skin.
Combining both techniques allows the surgeon more flexibility in shaping the abdomen and surrounding areas, and is especially effective at targeting fat deposits on the sides of the waist and the flanks.
To learn more about body contouring procedures, we invite you to schedule an appointment by contacting Dr. Barach’s Albany practice today.