If you’re unhappy with the shape of your abdominal area, there are several options we offer that can help. The tummy is a frustrating area for many people, and you may find that even with diet and exercise, you’re unable to obtain the silhouette you’d like. One reason for this is that as we age, it’s normal to gain weight around the middle, and different people carry weight in different ways. Additionally, hormonal changes, pregnancy, and weight gain or loss can change the shape of your midsection. If you’re considering cosmetic treatment for your tummy area, a tummy tuck or liposuction are two highly effective options. To help you learn more, here are some frequently asked questions that many of our patients have about tummy tuck vs liposuction:
What is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?
While a tummy tuck or liposuction can be a great option for improving your body shape, there are a few major differences. Most importantly, a tummy tuck is great for someone who has excess or loose skin in their abdomen area. Liposuction cannot treat loose skin, but instead takes away unwanted fat. What is it that you’d like to change about your tummy area? The answer to that question will indicate which procedure makes most sense for you.
What are the benefits of liposuction, compared to a tummy tuck?
Liposuction removes stubborn fat that you’re unable to target through diet or exercise. Liposuction is generally a less invasive procedure than a tummy tuck. Liposuction also has the benefit of being performed on many areas of your body. While liposuction in the tummy area is very popular, we also often perform liposuction on the hips, butt, arms, back, and even chin. There are many areas that can benefit from liposuction so be sure to ask us about any parts of your body where you have unwanted pockets of fat. Finally, fat removed during liposuction can be used for natural fat transfer procedures. For instance, we can use that fat to perform a breast augmentation or butt lift.
What are the benefits of a tummy tuck, compared to liposuction?
The biggest benefit of a liposuction vs tummy tuck is that a tummy tuck can tighten areas affected by loose skin. Loose tummy skin is an especially common complaint in women who have been pregnant, or in both men and women who have lost a lot of weight. As we age, our skin loses elasticity so events like pregnancy or substantial weight loss can leave us with stretched-out skin. If you have excess fat as well as loose skin, often we can customize a procedure to remove fat during a tummy tuck. Additionally, during a tummy tuck we can tighten abdominal muscles. Over time, abdominal muscles can separate or loosen, and this is especially common in women who have been pregnant. While liposuction cannot tighten muscles, a tummy tuck is often a great option for muscle improvement as well.
What are the differences in recovery time for liposuction vs a tummy tuck?
Although each case is different, liposuction generally has a shorter recovery time as compared to a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck is a more invasive procedure in general, since it can involve adjustments to muscles as well as skin. A tummy tuck can also involve fat removal, like liposuction. But since the adjustments to skin and muscle can take more time to heal, you can expect a longer recovery time for a tummy tuck. For a tummy tuck, you generally need several days to a week before you can stand up straight. Within 1 – 2 weeks you can return to light daily activities, and it will be a few months before you are completely healed. With liposuction, if you have a small amount of fat removed, you could be back to a desk-job as early as the next day. Most patients take a few days to rest and recover from liposuction, and it can take a while for all the swelling to dissipate, but in general the recovery time is relatively fast. This quicker recovery time is particularly true for people who have liposuction done without general anesthesia.
How can I decide if I should have a tummy tuck or liposuction?
If you’re not sure if how to decide between a tummy tuck vs liposuction, ask yourself what is your primary goal. Are you looking to improve loose skin? Tighten abdominal muscles that have become loose or separated? If so, a tummy tuck is probably your better option. However, if you’re looking to get rid of stubborn areas of fat, liposuction is likely the choice for you. There are also combination procedures that we can customize for you. The best way to make an educated and confident decision in liposuction vs a tummy tuck is to come in for a consultation with a cosmetic surgery expert.
Can I have a tummy tuck and liposuction at the same time?
Yes – in some cases the combination of a tummy tuck and liposuction is the best way to achieve your goal. We have performed many procedures that combine multiple treatment techniques, and are happy to speak to you about how liposuction, a tummy tuck, or a combination of both may give you the results you seek.
Which is more invasive: a tummy tuck or liposuction?
In general, a tummy tuck is more invasive than liposuction. Within the liposuction treatment options, there is a wide range of choices from the most minimally invasive liposuction, to more invasive options that target larger areas of fat.
Is liposuction or a tummy tuck better for getting my “pre-baby” body back?
In terms of deciding between liposuction or a tummy tuck for a returning to a pre-pregnancy body, that will depend on how pregnancy affected your body. If you find you have fat deposits you’re unable to target with diet and exercise, liposuction may be the best option. Many women find that after they lose their baby weight they’re left with excess skin, loose skin, and loose abdominal muscles. For these women, a tummy tuck is often their best choice.
Can liposuction or a tummy tuck be done after C-sections?
In many cases you can have liposuction or a tummy tuck after a C-section, but it’s important to have a private consultation with a cosmetic surgery expert to learn about your options. The scar from your C-section may affect the choices we can give you for these abdominal procedures. You’ll want to wait at least 6 months, and in many cases even longer, to ensure that you’ve had time for your body to heal from your C-section. You’ll also want to give yourself time to lose baby weight naturally. Be patient with yourself and your body after you give birth, since most people lose weight over those following months. However, if at that point you are frustrated with excess skin or areas of fat, come see us. We can help you understand how a tummy tuck or liposuction can give you back the body shape you’re hoping for.
If you are wondering how a tummy tuck or liposuction can give you improvements in your body shape, get in touch with us. Our expert surgeons can give you detailed assessment of how each procedure would work for you. We’ll make sure you feel confident and empowered to make the decision that is best for your body.