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.

Thigh Lift Surgery Provides Exceptional Results for Post Bariatric and Skin Aging Patients

For bariatric surgery patients, the original weight- loss surgery is often only half the battle.  Patients who have successfully endured bariatric surgery and have been able to lose weight and keep it off, are regularly left with debilitating amounts of sagging, excess skin on their lower trunk and legs which inhibits them from fully taking advantage of their reclaimed lives.  Excess skin and fat is equally frustrating to those individuals who are life-long exercisers who are simply unable to rid their bodies of fat deposits on their thighs.  For both of these groups, the thigh lift (thighplasty) is a cosmetic body contouring procedure that may help them capture the silhouettes they have long chased.
The thigh lift, unlike liposuction which targets underlying fat specifically, also works to remove excess tissue on various portions of a patient’s thighs in addition to removing lean layers of fatty tissue.  Dr. Whiteman uses several versions of the thigh lift procedure including:  inner thigh lift, bilateral thigh lift, medial thigh lift to most effectively target the areas of the leg in need of re-contouring and skin tightening.
Results from a thigh lift are dramatic and often offer a renewed sense of “freedom” for patients.  While there are limited scars associated with all types of the thigh lift procedure, certified plastic and cosmetic surgeons like Dr. David Whiteman are especially adept at hiding the necessary incisions in the body’s natural folds; easily concealed by clothing and active wear.
An added advantage of thigh lift procedure is that is can easily be performed in conjunction with other “lift” procedures like tummy tucks  (abdominoplasty), breast lift (mastopexy) breast reduction, arm lift (brachioplasty), and body lift to redefine the contours of post-bariatric patients.  For patients who are approaching the procedure to reverse the effects of skin aging, the thigh lift is also easily performed with facial rejuvenation procedures.
To learn more about the cosmetic procedures Dr. Whiteman offers at Southern Plastic Surgery contact his office, visit his website, or subscribe to his blog.