According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, plastic surgery trends are on the rise. In the United States last year alone, 18 million people made the decision to go under the knife for one reason or another; up a quarter of a million from the year prior. And over the past five years, cosmetic surgical procedures have steadily been on the rise.
There are many reasons why this is happening. For starters, popular culture plays a much bigger role than it did in the best, and today’s consumers are heavily influenced by influencers in the media. From Kim Kardashian to supermodels like Kate Moss, people have become invested in the appearance of others.
But it’s not just about admiring today’s most popular flat-stomach on the front cover of celebrity magazines. The truth is, successful surgery can offer a huge boost in a person’s self-image. After all, it’s no secret that self-esteem is closely linked with how one feels about their physical appearance. According to the Clinical Psychological Science journal, patients who underwent plastic surgery emerged more confident and, in time, had less anxiety and a greater sense of joy and fulfillment.
Two of the most popular plastic surgery procedures are the tummy tuck and liposuction. While similar, they are very different, and understanding key differences can help you make better decisions. Here’s what you need to know:
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
One of the first things you’ll need to understand is what exactly a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is. “During a tummy tuck, excess fat and skin are removed,” says Revivology, a medical spa in Utah. “It also helps restore some of a person’s more weakened muscles, resulting in an abdominal profile that’s smoother than before.”
The best candidates for a tummy tuck are those who are in good health and simply want to fine-tune their appearance, tightening up the lining along the abdominal wall. Under no circumstance should it be used as a replacement for weight loss. If you’re planning to lose weight, or become pregnant, a tummy tuck isn’t the right surgery for you.
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is another type of cosmetic procedure that removes fat from the body, however, this is a better option for removing excess fat that’s been difficult to get rid of through traditional methods. If you have smaller fat deposits in areas like your stomach, hips, thighs, and butt, liposuction is a better option than a tummy tuck. This is also an ideal procedure for those who are within 30% of their ideal body weight. Generally, the fat that’s suctioned out from undesirable areas hovers between one and ten pounds.
Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck
First and foremost, liposuction tends to be more popular because it’s far less invasive of a procedure. For instance, you likely won’t need general anesthesia; your surgeon will simply apply a local anesthetic (although you can, of course, request general anesthesia if you prefer). Small incisions are made around the targeted areas, and a thin tube is used underneath the skin to loosen your fat cells. It can take several visits to complete the process.
Tummy tucks typical involve longer recovery times and more apparent scarring. Of course, a great surgeon will do their best to keep scarring to a minimal. For example, they might have you wear a bikini that you like and try to ensure that the scar will be covered by your choice of swimsuit. During the procedure, general anesthesia is used. An incision is made at the bottom of the stomach to expose the muscles in the abdominal wall. Stretched muscles are sewn together to tighten them. Overall, this is completed in one procedure.
Determining What’s Best for You
When deciding to get rid of excess fat, choosing between liposuction and a tummy tuck can be a difficult choice to make. Both body contouring procedures have similar effects, but as you can understand by now, are done in different ways. If your primary issue is loose muscles as a result of weight loss, then tightening them with a tummy tuck could be just what you need. If you have isolated bulges of stubborn fat, liposuction may be the better option. In some cases, having a tummy tuck in addition to liposuction will also work, depending on your case. Opt for a consultation with at least two plastic surgeons to see how they can help you achieve your desired results.