Are you looking to remove stubborn fat or excess skin after weight loss? Liposuction or a tummy tuck can be a life-changing procedure that will put the finishing touches on your weight loss journey. While both methods can flatten and smooth the stomach area, they vary in results, recovery time, and technique. Here is everything you need to know about these two procedures so you can determine which is right for you.
The tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes loose, sagging skin from the stomach and tightens the abdominal muscles to create a sculpted, toned shape. This procedure is best for patients who have recently undergone significant weight loss or women who have recently given birth. During pregnancy and birth, the abdominal muscles can stretch so a tummy tuck has the additional benefit of strengthening patients’ cores.
The procedure requires anesthesia and is usually performed under IV sedation in an outpatient setting. During this procedure, your surgeon will make an incision at the bottom of your abdomen, along the “bikini line,” which will expose your muscles and the underlying fat and tissue. Dr. Golosow will then remove fat and excess skin while placing internal sutures to tighten the muscles and create a smooth, contoured stomach.
Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures because it reduces bulges of stubborn fat in a targeted area, such as the abdomen, enhancing the body’s contour. During the liposuction procedure, small incisions are made in the treatment area once the area is numbed with local anesthetic or you are put to sleep with general anesthesia. A thin metal tube called a cannula is inserted under the skin into the fatty layer and fat cells are suctioned out with a vacuum-like device.
Both procedures aim to slim down your stomach but one of the main differences is that a tummy tuck can tighten loose skin. Liposuction only removes excess fat. However, the methods and techniques used for each are different. When compared with liposuction, tummy tucks are more invasive since the procedure entails large incisions and tightening of the muscles. Hence, the procedure takes longer, is more complex, and has a longer recovery time of about 4-6 weeks.
However, if you want a less invasive procedure with a slightly shorter recovery time (about 2 weeks), then liposuction is a good option. You can have small pockets of fat removed from your stomach, hips, thighs, or buttock area so liposuction also has an aspect of versatility. Patients with mild skin laxity mainly concerned about stubborn fat may benefit most from liposuction. Both procedures offer permanent results as long you maintain a stable weight since added weight gain can cause fat cells in the surrounding area to grow or the tightened muscles to re-stretch.
Liposuction and tummy tucks are similar procedures considering that they both aim to improve the appearance of the stomach. However, there are a few main differences relating to patients’ goals that may impact your decision about which surgery to receive. To learn more and discuss your options with Dr. Golosow, call our office in Fort Myers or Cape Coral, FL, or fill out an online contact form to schedule a consultation.