Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck: Which is Right for Me?

One of the more common questions I receive from patients during plastic surgery consultations is to clarify the differences between certain procedures that may seem similar to the uninitiated. Specifically body contouring procedures like a tummy tuck and liposuction. Though these procedures are both highly in-demand for creating a flatter abdominal area, they are actually very different. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, involves removing loose or excess skin from the lower abdomen and tightening the abdominal muscles whereas a liposuction procedure actually removes troublesome deposits of fat.

A tummy tuck can often make sense for patients trying to get rid of excess skin around the abdomen, treat unsightly stretch marks, as well as a loose abdominal pooch that is caused by muscle separation that occurs during pregnancy or excessive weight gain. Results from a successful tummy tuck will produce a flatter stomach, smoother skin, leaner abs and even a more contoured waistline when performed with my Scarpa Fascia technique.

Undergoing liposuction makes sense for those patients who are interested in contouring by removing stubborn fat from specific areas of the body that can be tough to treat just through diet and exercise. Typically, these patients are close to a comfortable body weight. Liposuction may not be right for patients who are considerably overweight or obese and looking to drop significant weight, since removing large amounts of fat in a single day with liposuction it not recommended.

Determining whether a tummy tuck or a liposuction procedure makes the most sense for a specific patient may depend on the quality of a patient’s skin. In the following video, I explain how the laxity and condition of a patient’s skin can be the determining factor when choosing a cosmetic procedure:

When it comes to cosmetic surgery procedures, what is right for a certain patient may not be right for another. That is why it’s so important to schedule a consultation with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon (like myself) to discuss your surgical options and your aesthetic goals in-depth before making any hasty decisions. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. David Whiteman at Southern Plastic Surgery today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for additional tips and news updates.