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Tummy Tuck or Lipo?

Author: Letty's Staff Writer

This is really exciting to talk about.

Tummy tuck with liposuction represents a more comprehensive approach to plastic surgery that addresses a number of aesthetic concerns in a single operation.

And it isn't a matter of quantity either.

Both surgeries can be done simultaneously in a finessed and very conservative way to give a really high-impact, maximal result.

This – I believe – is where plastic surgery has been headed over the last several years and moving into the future. Tailor-made results for each individual patient that are specific to his or her exact concerns.

So, let's talk liposuction or tummy tucks, or both!

Understanding tummy-tuck surgery

Another name for tummy-tuck surgery is "abdominoplasty". This surgery removes excessive hanging skin from the belly or abdominal region. Also in many cases underlying abdominal muscles can be repaired during the surgery.

A number of factors can contribute to a patients need for this surgery.

After pregnancy and subsequent childbirth, many women have belly skin that does not retract, but instead remain permanently stretched out of shape. Aging also loosens the skin and can cause it to hang over time. Another major reason for hanging belly skin in our food obsessed western society is obesity.

For those of you who have taken the admirable initiative to regain your healthy weight through proper lifestyle changes, the remaining skin can be disheartening.

But the take home for this section is that tummy-tuck can remove hanging skin, and underlying muscle repair.

Understanding liposuction surgery

Here's the thing.

Liposuction does not correct hanging skin and will not repair muscle damage. So, even though it very often is done in the abdominal region as well – liposuction is not a substitute for tummy tuck surgery.

Understanding this difference is key.

If you have a fatty tummy, but the overlying skin is still pretty resilient then your concerns probably can be addressed with liposuction alone. Liposuction removes superficial fat in a treatment area through a suctioning device called a "cannula". However, liposuction doesn't address any major concerns about the skin. If the skin is hanging there and won't go away no matter what you do, then you need a surgery designed to remove it.

The two surgeries are NOT equivalent.

So, liposuction or tummy tuck... which is it?

Done individually the two surgeries address different issues.

Performed together they can help patients who have both hanging skin and too much fat. During a tummy tuck operation, liposuction may be performed in the abdominal region to more effectively shape and contour the area, before the skin is tightened.

This level of finesse is what patients really want.

They want just enough surgery to drastically improve their appearance and no more. Combining the two surgeries in a sophisticated way – does just that.

What about side effects?

Any surgery is major surgery. There are risks involved whenever a scalpel is applied to your body.

A few of those risks include (but are not limited to):

  1. Infection.
  2. Scarring.
  3. Nerve damage.
  4. Asymmetrical (odd-looking) results.
  5. Bruising and swelling.

Understanding those risks and weighing them carefully against any potential benefit is your job.

Liposuction or Tummy Tuck: What's the conclusion?

Tummy tuck with liposuction may be just the combination of surgeries to help you achieve that look you've wanted, but not been able to get to on your own.

The first thing you need to do is speak with your surgeon.

He or she will go over your health profile thoroughly, and inform you whether or not your particular set of circumstances will allow you to have surgery or not. Then, hopefully your surgeon will go over all of the major and minor risks associated with the procedure.

Remember that a good surgeon leaves you with no gaping unanswered questions about his or her qualifications and experience.

As always – good luck and good health!

Liposuction or tummy tuck?... Find out here.

Dr. Greenberg, plastic surgeon in Florida talks to the Daily Buzz.

Liposuction or Tummy Tuck References:

  • Mancini, Lee A. "Tummy tuck." Clinical Reference Systems. vol 2008 i3 (Nov 2008): pNA. Virginia Public Libraries 2009.

  • "Abdominoplasty." Stephanie Dionne Sherk, and Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD. The Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery and Medical Tests. Ed. Brigham Narins. 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 4 vols.

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