Abdominal Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck
Hi, I’m dr. Dan Shapiro I’m a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of plastic surgery I’ve been practicing in the Scottsdale paradise valley since 1992 and that’s all I do I just perform cosmetic or aesthetic plastic surgery.
A lot of people come in for consultations regarding their abdomen and their flanks if you will. These patients vary in different ages and people want to know Dr. Shapiro what is the difference and who is a candidate for you know abdominal liposuction versus a tummy tuck?
The best way to understand the difference between the two is understand the technique liposuction is performed by putting some fluid beneath the skin and allowing that fluid to sit for a while so it causes vasoconstriction. So there’s less bruising and bleeding, then a small cannula (a small tube) is placed beneath the skin and that fat is evacuated. It may seem like a simple thing but in fact there’s a lot of finesse that goes into that procedure in terms of contouring the body in an appropriate way. Not removing too much fat in certain cases where we want to stimulate some skin contraction and make the skin tighter.
That is something that we can do but still we’re always limited by the skin tone to get a great result with liposuction we need to temper, we need to balance the amount of fat that is removed with someone’s skin tone. If we take out too much fat and someone has some poor elasticity oftentimes we’ll have to go back and remove some extra skin. When somebody I think has too much extra skin or has an abdomen with poor elasticity, has fat that needs to be removed but we can’t do that without removing extra skin, that would be a candidate for a tummy tuck abdominoplasty.
After changes in weight or after childbirth the muscle wall of the abdomen will also loosen and that’s why people get a bulge that is refractory to attempts at exercise and weight loss. Only a tummy tuck will address that because with that procedure I will make an incision very very low the abdominal wall is elevated and then I sew the muscles very tight. This will give you a contoured abdomen, those changes cannot be addressed with liposuction. It is purely a contouring procedure and does not as address the muscle wall.
There are different types of tummy tucks there’s a mini tummy tuck that really just addresses the abdominal laxity fullness and bulges beneath the belly button. Then a full tummy tuck that addresses the whole abdomen but the recovery I think is a little bit different between the two. There is no incision with liposuction other than the small incisions where the tube is put in hence their recovery I think is easier. Still it takes a while to see that final result up to six months or so. A tummy tuck has a longer incision so there may be a longer recovery. We also at times, have drains placed with a tummy tuck to evacuate any fluid that forms in the first week or so. That will prolong the recovery and lastly because those muscles are tightened on the inside, that adds some post-operative discomfort that we deal with some pain medication some muscle relaxants etc.
The best way to figure out whether you’re a candidate for liposuction versus a tummy tuck has come in for consultation tell me what you’re looking for I’ll tell you what I can do for you and we go from there. Thank you.