If you dislike the way that your midsection looks you are certainly not alone. When it comes to areas of the body that we dislike, our abdomen regularly ranks as one of the most commonly cited. There can be a range of reasons for this, from weight gain that leads to surplus fat accumulating on the stomach area to the after-effects of pregnancy. Whatever is causing you to feel down about the shape and firmness of your abdomen, there are cosmetic surgery solutions which can help you achieve the smoother, flatter silhouette that you desire.
Many patients confuse liposuction and a tummy tuck since both can dramatically alter the shape of your midsection. However, the procedures for both are very different, as can be the results that they provide. To help you to determine which is the right procedure for you, here is our guide to the differences between liposuction and a tummy tuck.
What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a minimally-invasive cosmetic surgery procedure that is designed primarily to remove localized excess fatty tissue from specific parts of the body. While in this case we are talking about the abdomen, liposuction can also successfully be used on the thighs, buttocks, upper arms and other areas of your body.
The procedure itself involves our surgeon injecting salt water into your abdominal area, which will break up the fatty deposits so that they can be removed. Then the liposuction cannula, which is a long, thin metal tube, will be inserted under the skin and into the fatty area. This is attached to another tube and a vacuum, which will suck out the fat cells and deposit them into a container. To help break up the fat deposits further, our surgeon may move the cannula forwards and backwards.
In most instances, multiple entry points to your abdomen will need to be used. These incisions are very small and will heal without stitches. Any scarring is minimal and will fade over time.
In many cases, liposuction can be performed using just a local anesthetic. However, you may prefer to be put to sleep for your procedure – this can be discussed with our surgeon. The recovery period from liposuction is usually fairly simple and short. You will need to wear a compression garment over the affected area for up to eight weeks which will help reduce swelling. Post-operative pain relief will also be provided. You should be able to return to work within a week of your procedure.
Liposuction is recommended for…
Liposuction is generally a good option for those patients who have relatively good skin quality and muscle tone, and simply want to shift stubborn fat and enjoy a more streamlined silhouette. It is important to understand that liposuction will not eliminate excess skin nor improve the appearance of stretch marks or address issues to do with loose abdominal muscles. For these types of cosmetic problems, you would be best off considering tummy tuck surgery.
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is a major cosmetic surgery procedure that is designed specifically to tighten up the entire abdominal area, removing excess skin and eliminating the puckering and stretchmarks that make many patients feel self-conscious.
Tummy tuck procedure
Tummy tucks are available as full and partial procedure. In a full tummy tuck the entire abdomen is addressed while in a partial tuck, our surgeon will focus on improving only the area that sits below your belly button.
After you have been given a general anesthetic which will put you to sleep, our surgeon will create an incision that runs the width of the lower part of the abdomen, and another to free your belly button from surrounding tissue. The skin will then be separated from the abdominal wall so that it can be pulled tightly before being secured in place using sutures and excess skin cut away. In some cases, the abdominal muscles underneath the skin may also need to be realigned before the remaining skin can be secured. The button can then be replaced, and in some cases will be situated higher on your new, smoother, flatter stomach.
Tummy tuck recovery
Since a tummy tuck is a major operation, the recovery period is much more significant than that of liposuction. You can expect to need to take up to six weeks off of work and will be unable to participate in strenuous activities for three months or more. You will be given a compression garment to wear over your wound which you should wear for as long as directed. Wound care is particularly important to prevent a post-operative infection from setting in and you will be given specific instructions for caring for your wounds effectively. Strong painkillers may be necessary for the first few days or so, after which point, overt the counter medications should be sufficient.
Tummy tuck is recommended for…
A tummy tuck is recommended for patients who have excess loose skin or stretched muscle tissue, which liposuction will not be able to treat. After recovering from your tummy tuck procedure, you will find that you abdominal muscles are better aligned and you have a smooth, flat and relatively scar-free abdominal area.
If you would like to find out more about either liposuction or a tummy tuck, or would like to make an appointment to discuss your candidacy, contact us and our knowledgeable and highly discreet team would be happy to assist you. Please telephone our offices today.