Abdominal Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck: Which Is Right for You?
Major weight loss, pregnancy, and the aging process can leave the stomach droopy, despite a good diet and exercise routine. Body contouring treatments can address loose skin and troublesome deposits of fat when diet and exercise are no longer enough. Patients who wish to achieve a toned, flat stomach often turn to abdominal liposuction and tummy tuck surgery. Both are highly effective at improving the definition of the abdomen, but they provide different results. To learn more about the differences between abdominal liposuction versus tummy tuck, schedule a consultation with Gatineau, QC plastic surgeon Patricia Berbari.
What Is Abdominal Liposuction?
Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure used to remove stubborn areas of fat from different areas of the body, such as the thighs, neck, back, and abdomen, particularly when diet and exercise no longer provide the desired results. When performed on the abdomen, liposuction can help target fatty deposits to reveal a flat, contoured stomach. Although abdominal liposuction can help patients achieve a smooth, slender stomach, it cannot address loose, hanging skin.
The Abdominal Liposuction Procedure and Recovery
The liposuction procedure is performed with the patient under sedation or general anesthesia. When used to target trouble spots on the abdomen, small incisions are made in the treatment area. Next, a saline solution with anesthetic and epinephrine (to reduce bleeding) are injected into the treatment area. This solution helps facilitate the removal of fat from the body using a special suction tool, called a cannula. Once sufficient fat is removed and the desired contours are achieved, the incisions can be closed to complete the procedure.
Patients may feel relatively recovered within a week after treatment, but it may take longer depending on how much fat was removed along with the size of the treated area. Patients will need to wear a compression garment for about six weeks after treatment to help reduce swelling and allow the tissues to become accustomed to their new contours.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery, or abdominoplasty, is a procedure used to create a slender, contoured abdomen, tighten the abdominal muscles, and eliminate loose skin. There are different types of tummy tuck procedures, including the mini tummy tuck, traditional tummy tuck, and extended tummy tuck, to address varying degrees of loose skin. It's also not uncommon to combine abdominal liposuction with tummy tuck surgery to achieve enhanced contouring results.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure and Recovery
The tummy tuck procedure and recovery time will vary based on which method is being used. The mini tummy tuck targets the lower abdomen and incisions are made below the navel. The traditional tummy tuck procedure is used to contour the upper and lower abdomen. Incisions may be made below and above the navel. The extended tummy tuck is the most invasive and is used to remove loose skin and excess fat from the abdomen, flank areas, lower back, and upper hip. With each type of tummy tuck, strategic incisions are made where tissues are pulled tight and the excess is removed.
Recovery after a mini tummy tuck is generally faster than both the traditional and extended methods, and many patients are recovered enough to return to light activity about a week after surgery. Recovery after a traditional or extended tummy tuck can take several weeks. Compression garments should be worn during recovery to support the tissues as they heal and reduce swelling.
Which Treatment Is Right for Your Needs?
Both abdominal liposuction and tummy tuck surgery can enhance your physique. To find out which treatment is best for your needs, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Berbari.