Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck – What’s the Difference?
As a person ages, the chances of putting on excess fat and loose skin in the abdominal area will increase. Over time these conditions become resistant to diet and exercise, and may be resolved only through cosmetic surgery procedures. Advanced surgical techniques are available today to restore a flatter and firmer abdomen in a less invasive way.
Two major surgical procedures to reduce excess fat in the abdominal area and tighten the loose skin are liposuction and tummy tuck. Dr. Brian J. Parker is a leading plastic surgeon providing both these procedures to patients in Las Vegas and surrounding locations.
While both tummy tuck and liposuction plastic surgery are designed to enhance body contours, they are distinct from each other in a few aspects. At the time of initial consultation, the surgeon will explain the differences and help the patient make the most appropriate choice.
Fat and Skin Reduction
Some patients may develop excess amounts of fat in the abdominal region, accompanied by some loss of skin elasticity and weak underlying abdominal muscles. The abdomen will significantly sag in such cases, requiring skin and muscle tightening in addition to fat reduction.
All of these conditions can be addressed effectively with a tummy tuck surgery. On the other hand, liposuction is primarily a procedure to reduce excess fat deposits, and not loose skin or sagging muscles.
Complexity of Procedure
A traditional tummy tuck is usually a more invasive and complex procedure as compared to liposuction. Tummy tuck will typically require general anesthesia and the duration of the procedure will be longer than liposuction.
Liposuction is usually a less invasive procedure, particularly when tumescent liposuction or laser assisted liposuction techniques are used. It may only require local anesthesia to achieve the desired goals. Leading cosmetic surgeon Dr. Parker receives patients from Las Vegas and nearby areas for these procedures.
Tummy tuck surgery may involve multiple scars of significant length, especially when both upper and lower abdominal areas are treated. In case of liposuction, the length and number of incisions will be smaller. Very small incisions may be used in tumescent, laser or ultrasound assisted liposuction techniques.
In any case, an experienced surgeon will place the incisions in discreet locations in order to keep the scarring less visible. Scars tend to fade over time, but will not be eliminated completely.
The recovery will be shorter in case of liposuction, involving a downtime of about one week. Tummy tuck surgery, on the other hand, will usually require about 10 to 14 days of recovery period. The length of recovery will also depend on the type of surgical technique used and the extent of surgery performed in liposuction or tummy tuck.
A candidate for liposuction will typically have strong muscles and a fair amount of skin elasticity in the affected area, but having excess fat tissue deposits. The candidate for tummy tuck will have a significant amount of skin laxity, loose or separated underlying abdominal muscles and fat accumulation in the waist area.