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Posted June 01, 2022 in Abdominoplasty, Liposuction

A Tummy Tuck or Liposuction: Which Is Right for You?

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If you have a few extra pounds and maybe some loose skin around your midsection, you might be considering your options to rid yourself of these diet and exercise-resistant problems.

Fit woman measuring her waist.

Whether the right solution is a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) or a liposuction treatment will be determined mainly by the presence of significantly loose skin and the quality and health of the abdominal muscles.

What a Tummy Tuck Does

An abdominoplasty (or tummy tuck) is designed to remove a certain amount of excess fat and sagging skin. 

If you have recently lost a large amount of weight or had multiple pregnancies, this procedure is probably your best choice.

How a Tummy Tuck Works

A tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia. The length of the incision will depend on the type of tummy tuck being performed. A mini tummy tuck incision is similar to a C-section scar whereas a traditional tummy tuck incision will run along the lower abdomen from hip to hip, and the majority of excess fat is surgically removed. 

Liposuction is typically used to remove pockets of fat in the waist area. This may be performed at a later time.

Loose muscles are tightened, extraneous skin is excised, and the incision is closed with sutures.

Recovery From Abdominoplasty

You will need a ride home from your surgery and must remain bent over at a 45-degree angle at all times for seven to 10 days. A tummy tuck is considered major surgery and entails an initial recovery period of at least two weeks, at which time you should rest at home. 

To achieve the best results, avoid exercise, heavy lifting, and other strenuous exercise for six to eight weeks, and adhere strictly to the post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon. 

These instructions will explain how to manage your incisions and help avoid complications.

Tummy Tuck Results

You will be able to get an idea of your results pretty quickly. However, after bruising and swelling subside, you will have a clearer picture — you should see a tighter and smoother abdomen and a better defined waistline.

Illustrated demonstration of what is accomplished with a tummy tuck

What a Liposuction Surgery Does

A liposuction procedure is a versatile treatment to remove stubborn pockets of fat almost anywhere on the body. It is not designed to tighten skin but can sculpt the body according to your desired goals.

Like a tummy tuck, this procedure is commonly used on the abdomen but is also used on the following areas:

  • Arms
  • Back
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Neck
  • Thighs

How Liposuction Works

Liposuction can be performed under general or local anesthesia. 

First, the targeted fat is broken up or liquified for easy removal. Once ready, this liquified fat is suctioned through a small tube (called a cannula) that is inserted under the skin and moved back and forth to vacuum the excess fat in the treatment areas.

Recovery from Liposuction

Liposuction recovery is less intense than tummy tuck recovery. 

You are likely to experience some tenderness, bruising, swelling, and if you received general anesthesia, nausea as well. 

Compression garments must be worn for six weeks following your procedure which helps reduce swelling and smooth out the skin. Patients typically return to work within three to five days of their surgery and can resume their exercise routine as soon as they feel up to it. This may be as soon as a week after their surgery.

Liposuction Results

You can expect to be very swollen and sore after your surgery. This swelling and bruising will hide the quality of your results. You will start to see your initial results around the six-week mark, which will continue to improve over the following weeks and months. 

Your results are usually considered final in six months. Of course, if you are not watching what you eat, you can gain weight during the healing process.

Illustrated demonstration of what is accomplished with liposuction

Combining Other Procedures With Tummy Tucks or Liposuction

There are some common procedures that can be performed along with your tummy tuck or liposuction surgery. 

In both cases, the arms may need to be worked on, and an arm lift or arm liposuction can be added.

A Mommy Makeover is a popular procedure that combines a tummy tuck or liposuction with breast implants or a breast lift.

Becoming a Well-Informed Patient

Now that you know the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction, you can schedule a consultation being well-informed with a good idea of which is right for you.

Dr. Leonard Hochstein is a well-known board-certified plastic surgeon in Miami who provides tummy tucks and liposuction for patients who want to improve their figure and regain confidence.

Liposuction and Tummy Tucks in Miami, FL

If you have questions or want to know the cost of tummy tucks or liposuction in Miami, please call our office at 786-802-6699 or scroll up to schedule a consultation.

Click here for information on other cosmetic surgeries with renowned celebrity surgeon Dr. Leonard Hochstein.