Tummy Tuck and Liposuction are two of the most popular plastic surgery procedures. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) released their annual report showing that there were over 111,000 Tummy Tuck procedures and over 199,000 Liposuction procedures done in the US last year alone. Most patients looking to improve body contouring and proportions have probably considered receiving Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck. But which one is right for you? First of all, it’s important to understand what these procedures are.
Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen, as well as tighten any loose abdominal muscles. This procedure is commonly good for men and women that are in good physical shape, but have excess skin or stomach fat that cannot be resolved with weight loss or exercising. With the recovery for a Tummy Tuck you can expect discomfort/pain, swelling and bruising for a week or 2 after the procedure. In some cases, patients are asked to sleep sitting up for a few nights prior to the Tummy Tuck to avoid stretching the incisions. Tummy Tuck patients are able to return to work and normal activities a month after their surgery.
Now Liposuction is an invasive procedure that is designed to remove fat from specific areas of the body, like the neck, upper arms, abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees, and calves. Liposuction is recommended for patients that are in good physical shape, but have certain areas of the body that do not respond to weight loss or exercise. The recovery can vary, but bruising can be expected in the first few weeks, as well as swelling that will subside after a month or 2. Majority of patients can be back to work after 2 to 3 days, however it can take a week depending on the patient.
So why would a patient get a Tummy Tuck if a less invasive procedure, with a shorter recovery time, can produce the same results? Well the biggest reason why a surgeon would recommend a Tummy Tuck over Liposuction is if the skin can form the shape of the new contours of your abdomen. Otherwise the patient will be left with excess skin that can give the appearance of excess fat, not to mention that a Tummy Tuck will also minimize stretch marks below the naval. For example, a woman who has given birth to multiple children will undoubtedly have excess skin and would be a strong candidate for a Tummy Tuck.
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