Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction: What’s the Difference?

Southern Plastic Surgery stock photoWhen many patients come to our Southern Plastic Surgery office for their first consultation looking for body contouring, they often ask me the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction. Many people assume that the two amount to about the same thing since both can help improve contours abdominal area. While both tummy tuck and liposuction procedures can help clients eliminate the stubborn, exercise-resistant fat that often clings to the midsection, the two procedures are actually very different.

Liposuction can be used on more than just the stomach area, including areas around the face, legs, chest, flanks, back, arms and buttocks.  In tumescent and super-wet liposuction, a small incision is made and a liquid mixture of anesthetic, adrenaline, and salt water is injected in order to make the fat easier to suction. The liquid and fat are then drawn out through cannulas, or metal tubes used to remove fluid from the body. Liposuction can often be performed along with a tummy tuck in certain procedures like Mommy Makeover surgery. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses sound waves in addition to liquid injections to liquefy fat, and is most often used in areas like the face where careful accuracy is required.

A tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) is reserved solely for the midsection and is a fairly major surgical procedure. During a tummy tuck, an incision is made in the lower abdominal region, weakened muscles and fascia of the abdominal wall are restored and tightened, loose skin and tissue is removed, and the stomach-area is flattened and tightened. Unlike a tummy tuck, liposuction does not address sagging skin that may come along with stubborn fat, which is why tummy tuck and liposuction are often used in conjunction for post-bariatric weight loss patients. For patients who do not need as much fat or loose skin removed, a mini-tummy tuck may offer the results they desire with less down-time afterward.

While both treatments are used to contour the curves of the body and re-establish the patient’s desired silhouette, each procedure is often better suited to specific patients. For example, patients who have recently lost a large amount of weight in a short period of time are often left with loose, sagging abdominal skin which can easily be removed with a tummy tuck. For patients who require less skin and muscle tightening and would like to just smooth and improve contour in a few areas, liposuction may be a better option. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your desired look with Dr. David Whiteman and determine which procedure(s) will best suit your needs.

Check out our before and after galleries of both tummy tuck and liposuction procedures to get a better idea of how the results can be beneficial to you. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and recent news.

Choosing a Plastic Surgeon You Can Trust

While the commercial shown below is humorous, board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. David Whiteman uses the message as a reminder to patients to thoughtfully consider the implications of any cosmetic surgery and only entrust a certified plastic surgeon who maintains the patient’s best interest when making choices that effect cosmetic surgery results.

Women who select overly large breast implants that are not well suited to their bodies often end up needing breast revision surgeries such as a breast implant reduction or a breast lift at a later date. Some believe bigger breasts are better, but as with any cosmetic procedure, there are other important variables to consider when selecting a breast implant size like the patient’s height, rib cage size, overall body frame size, body weight, and original breast size. These variables explain the need for choosing a plastic surgeon that you can trust.

You should find a board certified plastic surgeon that you are comfortable with, who wants you to look your very best after your cosmetic surgery procedure. Your plastic surgeon should place more emphasis on your overall look instead of just the area he or she is enhancing. Take breast augmentation for example: be wary of any surgeon who suggests breast implants in a size you’re not comfortable with- no matter how good they promise it will look. Remember that your body is your own, and you have to live with the results.

Dr. David Whiteman has been performing plastic surgery procedures in Atlanta since 1993, and understands that no two bodies are the same. In preparation for a plastic surgery procedure, he takes time to discuss the patient’s expectations as well as realistic expectations. He listens to his patients and makes recommendations for their specific body types/ selected procedure, but overall the patient makes the calls. Dr. Whiteman believes that extensive patient education provides patients with results they will be happy with. For more information on other plastic surgery procedures that Dr. Whiteman performs such as rhinoplasty, facelift, liposuction, and tummy tuck, visit his website or continue to read his blog.

Custom Surgery- The Adaptability of Mommy Makeover Surgery

As a fresh school year begins, all parents hope that their children will have teachers who can commit to paying an adequate amount of time and attention to their child’s individual educational and developmental needs.  As a plastic surgeon, Dr. David Whiteman of Southern Plastic Surgery recognizes this same need in parents (and patients): the need for individual care and a customizable treatment plan.

This is why, with every surgery; Dr. Whiteman emphasizes the variable nature of combination cosmetic procedures like mommy makeover surgery.  As described in a previous blog post, Dr. Whiteman performs mommy makeover surgery to remedy the effects of pregnancy and child birth on a woman’s body.
Every woman’s body responds differently to pregnancy: some women experience significant weight gain, some are more reactive to the hormone fluctuation and experience more breast changes, and some have very limited physical changes from pregnancy.  Every woman also has a different opinion about her desired aesthetic result.  The best cosmetic surgery is one that is performed by a board certified plastic surgeon who is able to clearly understand your surgical expectations and work with you individually to formulate a plan for surgery and after-care to optimize your results.

If you’re a mom who is ready to let yourself look as good as your kids do going back to school this year, contact Dr. Whiteman’s office to schedule a consultation for mommy makeover surgery or review his website and blog for additional information.