Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction: Understanding the Difference in Cosmetic Procedures

Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction: Understanding the Difference in Cosmetic Procedures According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, plastic surgery trends 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.

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How does Liposuction work and is it right for me?

Liposuction can help boost someone’s confidence and end their struggles of trying to lose stubborn pockets of fat but before you think about having it done, it’s best to know how to works and what possible negative effects their might be. 

As technology progresses, so do liposuction techniques. Currently the hottest tool in liposuction is called Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) which uses small but fast vibrations to help break down the fat issue and make it easier to suck out. This new technology reduces the amount of physical effort required during liposuction meaning the surgeon does not fatigue and can maintain better results throughout the procedure. With shorter procedures, recovery also tends to be better as liposuction is a big stress on the body and you will experience bruising in the areas treated.

To start, aesthetic fluid is injected into the target area which not only numbs the area, but also helps liquidise the fat and make it easier to remove. As a local anaesthetic is used, liposuction is generally only performed on specific areas at a time, rather than whole body.

A good surgeon will make sure you’ve gone through adequate attempts at losing fat through improved diet and exercise before resorting to liposuction and decline your request if you’re too big. Obese people aren’t suited for liposuction as a full body operation is not a viable solution, rather those overweight people with annoying pockets or folds they wish to have removed are far better suited. Liposuction is also referred to as liposculpture as it’s a process that not only removes fat from targeted areas but can also move it around to sculpt a desired look.

Once the fat has been sucked out, it becomes much harder to gain fat in that area again. We have a finite number of fat cells that grow and shrink as we gain and loss fat. Once these fat cells are removed, we then have fewer cells that can grow and get fat. This means after liposuction one is less likely to gain fat in the treated areas but if your diet and exercise start to slip, you may notice fat gain in places that you aren’t familiar with as your body looks to store energy where it can.

The recovery process from a liposuction surgery can take a few months as swelling and fluid retention slowly goes away. Results are typically not fantastic for the first month until proper healing has occurred and the changes become noticeable.

So if you’re considering liposuction, know that it’s not a long term fat loss solution. Try diet and exercise first and if you come across some stubborn, hard to lose areas of fat that you can’t stand, then liposuction could be right for you. Like any surgery it has it’s risks such as infections or allergic reactions to anaesthetic so make sure to find a qualified, experienced surgeon that knows what they’re doing.

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