Tummy tucks and liposuction are two separate procedures that are often confused for each other. Liposuction is a procedure that involves removing fat from the body using a vacuum-like device, while tummy tuck involves removing excess skin from the abdomen. Both of these procedures are often used to create a slimmer, more toned appearance in the stomach area.
In most cases, liposuction is done with a tummy tuck because it improves the appearance of belly fat by removing it and also helps patients achieve their desired results. Tummy tucks remove loose skin and tighten muscles to create a smooth, flat abdomen; liposuction can be performed at the same time as your tummy tuck surgery or after healing has occurred (typically 2-3 months after surgery).
You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on what is more painful tummy tuck or liposuction, tummy tuck and lipo before and after, and tummy tuck and lipo cost.
Is Liposuction Done With A Tummy Tuck
If you’re carrying extra weight around your midsection that you can’t seem to lose, you may be considering plastic surgery to help you get the lean physique you’re after. Lipo and tummy tucks are two popular procedures to address these concerns, but what are the differences between the two surgeries? In this post, we’ll talk about the differences between the two and how to tell which is right for you.
First, it’s important to know that these are not weight loss surgeries. Both liposuction and a tummy tuck are meant to sculpt the body, not reduce your weight.
What is Involved in a Tummy Tuck
During a tummy tuck, Dr. Ortiz will make a horizontal incision across your hips, between your pubic area and belly button. This incision allows him to repair the muscles by pulling them together and stitching them with medical-grade nylon.
Once the muscles are repaired, excess skin is trimmed away and the remaining skin is sutured together. The result is a flatter, smoother stomach with a faint scar across the hip area. The results of a tummy tuck can be permanent with proper diet and exercise. Substantial weight gain will undo the results of your tummy tuck.
Tummy tucks are more intensive procedures than liposuction. While lipo only removes excess fat, a tummy tuck reconstructs the muscles of the abdomen and removes excess skin.
Who is a Tummy Tuck For?
Tummy tucks are ideal for healthy people who have stubborn fat on their midsection that they cannot lose with diet and exercise. If your abdomen is sagging or protruding due to age, pregnancy, weight loss, or prior surgeries and you have no other health conditions, you are likely a good candidate for a tummy tuck.
What is Involved in Liposuction
Liposuction is a far less invasive procedure than a tummy tuck. It can be performed on almost any part of the body that has excess fat: the stomach, back, arms, legs, and even under the chin.
During the procedure, a solution of saline, water, and anesthesia is injected into the fat cells to be removed. Then, using a cannula similar to an IV needle, the fat is sucked out. The result is a more sculpted figure.
Unlike a tummy tuck, liposuction does not remove excess skin. This is why it is best suited for removal of small fat deposits. In addition, it’s important to know that liposuction is not a weight loss surgery and you will not lose drastic amounts of weight with this procedure.
The removal of the fat cells is permanent, but lipo does not prevent you from gaining weight in the future. You will need to maintain your new figure with diet and exercise.
Who is Lipo For?
Like a tummy tuck, a healthy person with stubborn fat deposits that do not respond to diet or exercise is likely a good candidate for liposuction.
Which is Right For Me: a Tummy Tuck or Lipo?
If loose skin is a concern for you, a tummy tuck will give you the best results.
If you simply have small pockets of fat around your midsection that you’d like to address, liposuction is probably the best option for you.
What Is More Painful Tummy Tuck Or Liposuction
Many of our patients that are interested in a flatter stomach ask what the difference is between a tummy tuck and liposuction. After all both procedures can drastically help clients improve the abdominal area by creating a tone and tight midsection. However, liposuction and tummy tuck procedures are actually very different in terms of the results they provide.
Liposuction is ideal for removing localized fatty tissue that is centralized to specific areas (think “buldges”). The tumescent liposuction is specifically effective for safely removing excess stubborn fat. Liposuction is also far less invasive than a tummy tuck, which involves a scarring, general anesthesia, and long recovery times.
Additionally liposuction can be used on many other places of the body than the stomach, including the sides (love handles), arms, chin, legs, and butt.
Liposuction is perfect for people who generally have good skin and muscle tone. These are individuals who do not have issues like excess skin in the midsection or loose abdominal muscles. Often liposuction improves the shape of the patient’s stomach to a point where they look better in and out of clothes; solving the main concern of the patient.
However liposuction will not eliminate extra skin, stretch marks, and issues stemming from loose abdominal muscles. Often these issues can be associated with massive weight loss or pregnancy.
BEFORE AND AFTER LIPOSUCTION
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a great procedure for removing excess abdominal skin while tightening the abdominal muscles.
The tummy tuck procedure starts with an incision across the lower abdomen allowing a surgeon to remove excess skin and tighten slack muscles. Any remaining skin is then re-draped over the abdominal area leaving a flat and tight stomach.
In short, a tummy tuck is the best solution if the main issue experienced by the patient is loose skin or stretched muscle tissue (not fat).
BEFORE AND AFTER TUMMY TUCK
THE KEY INDICATOR: ISOLATED FAT OR EXCESS SKIN AND/OR LAX MUSCLES?
Liposuction is commonly the best treatment for those with good skin tone and a relatively flat abdominal wall. Patients who do not have excess skin or lax muscles and just require the removal of isolated pockets of excess fat are ideal candidates for liposuction. Liposuction removes excess fat between the skin and abdominal wall through tiny incisions. A skilled surgeon won’t simply remove fat, but will sculpt an aesthetically pleasing contour.
The best candidates for liposuction generally fit the following profile:
- Within 20 pounds of their ideal body weight
- Have no history of pregnancy or significant weight loss
- Do not exhibit issues related to loose muscles or excess (sagging) skin
- Seek only the removal of isolated (diet and exercise resistant) pockets of fat
Patients with excess skin or abdominal muscles which have become loose or stretched may need a tummy tuck procedure. In this case, a liposuction procedure could actually result in even more loose, sagging skin.
Otherwise known as abdominoplasty, tummy tucks can be performed instead of or in addition to liposuction. A tummy tuck involves surgical excision (removal) of fat or excess skin as well as the tightening of underlying muscle tissue. Tummy tuck results are often dramatic, transforming the entire abdominal area into a tighter and tone silhouette.
Ideal candidates for abdominoplasty generally fit the following profile:
- Have a history of pregnancy or significant weight loss
- Have excess, loose, or droopy skin
- Have issues related to lax or loose muscles
- Require both fat removal and skin tightening for an improved contour
LIPOSUCTION VS TUMMY TUCK: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Ultimately, the choice between a tummy tuck or liposuction procedure depends on the needs and desired final result of the patient. Liposuction does not address sagging skin, lax muscles, cellulite or stretch marks. The procedure is solely intended to remove isolated areas of unwanted fat and contour the treatment area. Tummy tuck surgery has the ability to tighten lax abdominal muscles and remove excess fat and skin in order to completely transform the appearance of the stomach.
Both procedures can provide permanent results as long as they are properly maintained by the patient post-surgery.
While both liposuction and tummy tuck techniques can vary, tummy tuck is often considered to be a more invasive procedure than liposuction. Lipo can be performed without the use of general anesthesia. The procedure requires several small incisions, which allow a small tube called a cannula to be inserted in order to suck out unwanted fat and contour the body.
A tummy tuck is a more invasive surgery which requires a larger incision. Tummy tuck incisions run horizontally between the hips and sometimes around the belly button. These larger incisions allow surgeons to surgically excise (remove) excess skin and tissue is removed, as well as manually tighten loose or lax muscle. Often the belly button is repositioned before the incisions are closed with sutures.
Recovery from liposuction is typically quicker than tummy tuck recovery. Most patients can resume light activity within 2-3 days of their surgery. Moderate to strenuous activity can resume after 2-3 weeks.
Tummy tuck recovery, on the other hand, often requires 2-3 weeks of rest before returning to work or light movement. A return to moderate or strenuous activity can take up to 3 months, at which point muscles and incisions have both fully healed.
While pain tolerance can differ from individual to individual, patients often say the process of recovering from tummy tuck surgery is more painful than liposuction. While liposuction requires small incisions in the skin only, many tummy tuck techniques involve incisions that penetrate the muscle. Additionally, the tightening of abdominal muscles during a tummy tuck procedure can cause pain and discomfort for several days after the procedure. However, any pain or discomfort from either procedure can be effectively managed via prescription pain medication.
Like any surgical procedure, both liposuction and tummy tuck surgery can result in scarring. However, the risk of developing a visible scar after liposuction is lower compared to a tummy tuck procedure. Most liposuction techniques involve incision sites are small and typically hidden where they will be covered by undergarments or bikini bottoms.
Experienced surgeons will also place tummy tuck incisions in areas where they can be hidden by clothing, but the larger incisions inherent to a tummy tuck procedure results in a greater risk of scarring. A traditional tummy tuck procedure, for example, can create scars extending from the right to left hip and around the belly button.
It’s important for patients to know that scars stemming from either procedure can be minimized with proper aftercare. Additionally, there are several effective scar removal treatments to minimize the appearance of scarring. These include steroid therapy, laser skin resurfacing, intense pulsed light therapy, and microneedling.
The cost of liposuction typically depends upon the size of the area(s) to be treated. A minor procedure could cost as low as $2,000, while treating several areas at once may cost up to $8,000. Liposuction in the abdominal area may include the lower belly below the navel, the waist and low back.
Tummy tuck surgery is not only more complex than liposuction, but requires general anesthesia, which adds to the expense. Depending on the type of abdominoplasty technique used, the cost of tummy tuck surgery can range anywhere from $6,000 – $10,000.
The final cost of any plastic surgery procedure is determined by several variables including the unique need of each patient and the surgical technique used. The only way to know exactly how much your procedure will cost is to get an in-person consultation, where a surgeon can assess your needs and create a treatment plan to provider your desired end result.
Liposuction + Tummy Tuck
Patients with excess fat and sagging skin who are seeking dramatic results may actually benefit most from a combination of both tummy tuck and liposuction. Both procedures can also be done in conjunction with other popular plastic surgery treatments like breast lift or breast augmentation in what is often referred to as a “mommy makeover.” There are several advantages of doing multiple surgical procedures simultaneously including reductions in procedure cost and recovery time.
WHICH PROCEDURE IS BETTER FOR YOU?
While both liposuction and tummy tuck are excellent body contouring procedures it’s extremely important to determine what specific issues must be corrected to determine the best course of treatment. If the problem is excess skin or loose abdominal muscles from excessive weight loss a tummy tuck may be your best option. For individuals who just need to improve isolated areas liposuction is usually the best course of treatment.