People who are interested in having a more contoured abdomen inquire about liposuction and abdominoplasty, or tummy tucks. Specifically, they are usually interested in knowing what the differences are and which procedure is most ideal for them. It is true that both procedures can create drastic changes to the abdominal area, but there is likely one procedure that would be more ideal for you, at least to start with.
As far as liposuction is concerned, this procedure is ideal for removing stubborn fat that is centralized to certain areas of the abdomen. Liposuction involves limited scarring; only small incisions are used (less than a cm long). Liposuction is usually done under general anaesthesia, unless it’s only a very small area that is being treated, and usually no hospital stay is involved. This means that the recovery time is much less than that of a tummy tuck and patients are able to resume normal daily activities, usually, within a week. There is also, as you can probably imagine, far less discomfort and pain control involved post operatively. If you are happy with your abdominal skin tautness and abdominal muscle tone, but just need help getting rid of that extra stubborn fat bulge, then liposuction could be the right choice for you. Keep in mind though, liposuction will not remove any excess or loose skin, stretch marks, or repair loose abdominal muscles. In some cases, liposuction can actually create loose skin where there may not have been any before. Sometimes this skin will tighten over time, as with some cases of natural weight loss, but in other cases, it will remain loose and “pouchy”. This result usually depends on the extent of liposuction performed, with more liposuction increasing the chances of looser skin post operatively, and your own natural skin tone (elasticity). It is because of this that some patients choose to follow up a liposuction procedure with a tummy tuck in order to remove excess skin noticed after the fat loss during liposuction.
On the other hand, an abdominoplasty procedure or a tummy tuck, is perfect for the patient who has excess and loose skin in the abdominal area, loose abdominal muscles, unwanted stretch marks, or a combination of the three. Abdominoplasty procedures involve the patient undergoing general anaesthetic and a much larger incision than required for liposuction. The recovery time for a tummy tuck procedure is lengthier and more involved than with only liposuction being performed. Typically, patients can return to their normal activities within two to three weeks, but the scar involved can take up to two years to fade to its lightest colour. Exact recovery times, though, depend on the type of abdominoplasty procedure performed (usually this decision relates to how much excess skin needs to be removed).
It is worth mentioning that liposuction can be performed in conjunction with an abdominoplasty procedure. So, if a patient has a combination of loose skin and perhaps a little excess and stubborn abdominal fat, both could be taken care of at the same time.
Both liposuction and abdominoplasty are excellent procedures to achieve body contouring changes and, if possible, surgeons will usually recommend the least invasive option first. As far as determining exactly which procedure is best for you, or if a combination of the two might be ideal, it’s always a good idea to have a private consultation with a surgeon. If you find yourself with further questions Dr. Edelstein or Dr. Jindal at Edelstein Cosmetic would be more than happy to meet with you to discuss your goals and which procedure they feel would be best for you in achieving your goals.
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