If you are troubled by the appearance of excess fat or loose skin in the abdominal area, you may feel that you have tried everything to eliminate it. While diet and exercise can certainly help, in many cases, the stubborn fat surrounding the hips and abdomen can seem impossible to shed. Luckily, there are a variety of cosmetic procedures designed to help discouraged patients restore their physique and confidence, including liposuction and abdominoplasty, often also referred to as a tummy tuck.
While both procedures can be used to target the abdomen, they each have a unique approach and objective. Thus, the patient’s individual needs and goals must be taken into account when determining the most suitable procedure.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing between a tummy tuck and liposuction is skin laxity. Individuals who have significant sagging skin, often caused by drastic weight loss or multiple pregnancies, are good candidates for a tummy tuck as this procedure is designed to remove excess abdominal skin. Conversely, patients who have excess fat but firm, elastic skin are best suited to liposuction, which can eliminate stubborn pockets of fat that are often unresponsive to diet and exercise alone.
Because liposuction requires the surrounding skin to contract around the body’s newly formed contour, it is essential that patients do not have excessive skin laxity.
Another important consideration when selecting the most suitable abdominal surgery is muscle laxity. If excess fat is causing the abdominal wall to bulge, it can be improved using liposuction alone, which removes unwanted fat cells. If, however, abdominal bulging is also due to muscle laxity, only a tummy tuck can repair the abdominal muscles. This helps to strengthen the abdominal wall in order to provide greater contour to the stomach area.
The patient’s goals for the procedure are a crucial determinate when choosing between a tummy tuck and liposuction. Those who hope to eliminate excess fat only are best suited to liposuction, while people who are more concerned with sagging, lax skin and separated abdominal muscles are better candidates for a tummy tuck.
In many instances, excess skin and fat are both present and these procedures are often combined for the midsection. For younger patients who have excellent skin elasticity, it is sometimes recommended that they undergo liposuction first to see whether the surrounding skin shrinks sufficiently following the procedure.
Therefore, depending on the patient’s goals for the surgery, a combination of the two procedures may be the most suitable option. When combined, liposuction and a tummy tuck can successfully remove excess fat and surrounding skin, as well as tightening the abdominal muscles, providing more consistent results. This is a desirable option for many patients as it eliminates the need for two separate surgeries and recoveries.
When choosing between liposuction and a tummy tuck, it is important to discuss your needs and goals with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon. To learn more about these abdominal procedures, please contact our clinic to schedule a consultation with one of our expert plastic surgeons.
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