Abdominal Liposuction Or Tummy Tuck: How To Make The Choice
There are many patients who don’t know what plastic surgery procedure is required to treat their aesthetic problems. One of the common questions I get to hear from patients is whether they should undergo abdominal liposuction or the tummy tuck surgery to enhance their abdomen.
The fact is that abdominal liposuction and the tummy tuck surgery are designed to treat different aesthetic problems. The only thing common between the procedures is that both of them are performed on the abdomen. In this article, we will discuss what aesthetic problems these procedures address and how these procedures are performed.
What problems does abdominal liposuction address?
Abdominal liposuction is one of the most popular and effective plastic surgery procedures. Hundreds of thousands of patients undergo the procedure every year in the US alone. So, what aesthetic issues does abdominal liposuction address? Well, the surgery contours the abdomen by removing stubborn fat pockets.
Factors like weight gain, pregnancies, and aging often lead to the development of stubborn fat pockets in the abdomen and other body areas. When you are young, the fat is accumulated in the butt and hips because of high estrogen levels. However, when you age, fat pockets develop in the abdomen and other areas of the upper body because your estrogen level plummets.
Unfortunately fat pockets are stubborn, meaning they do not respond to exercise and diet. As a result, the fat deposits remain there and cause your abdomen to appear bulky and poorly contoured. The abdomen is an important area of the human body in terms of aesthetics. An aesthetic flaw in the abdomen will affect your overall body outline.
Abdominal liposuction effectively removes the stubborn fat pockets from the abdomen, thus making your abdomen slimmer, toned, and enhancing your overall body profile. In order to be a good candidate for abdominal liposuction, your skin must be elastic and your weight should be stable. Also, you should be to the best of your physical and mental health.
In a nutshell, abdominal liposuction is good for you if you there are stubborn fat pockets in your abdomen. The procedure would contour your abdomen by removing those fat pockets. The intervention would make you appear slimmer and aesthetically appealing.
Steps of abdominal liposuction
Abdominal liposuction is typically performed under local and tumescent anesthesia; however, if you want to remain fully asleep throughout the intervention, IV sedation or general anesthesia can be used. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you may go home a few hours following the surgery if your health remains stable.
The surgery starts with the introduction of a tumescent solution in the target area, which is followed by the making of a tiny incision in the skin near the fat pocket in the abdomen. The tumescent solution constricts the blood vessels, thus preventing bleeding during the procedure.
In the next step, a hollow tube called a cannula is introduced into the target area and moved back and forth. The movement of the cannula releases the fat cells from the surrounding tissues, which are then suctioned out with the help of a suction pump or a special syringe. These days, many plastic surgeons are using modern liposuction methods such as the laser-assisted liposuction, power-assisted liposuction, and ultrasound-assisted liposuction.
Laser-assisted liposuction involves the use of laser technology to melt the fat within the target area before removing it with the suction pump. On the other hand, ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses ultrasound waves to melt the fat cells before removing it. Both of these procedures are highly effective, and I personally prefer using them because they involve lesser discomfort for the patient and make the procedure easy for the surgeon. Also, the patient would not suffer from excessive post-operative swelling if laser or ultrasound technology is used.
While removing the fat, the plastic surgeon must make sure that the abdomen is properly contoured. The fat has to be removed carefully, ensuring there is no abdominal asymmetry left behind. After performing liposuction on one target area, the incision is sutured and closed. The same process is then repeated on other target areas until the abdomen has been completely contoured.
Some of the aesthetic improvements in the abdomen would be visible immediately after the intervention; however, complete results would appear once the incisions have healed, the surgical trauma has subsided, and the post-operative swelling and disappeared. In order to keep enjoying the achieved aesthetic improvements, the patient must stick to a balanced diet and maintain a stable weight.
What does a tummy tuck address?
The tummy tuck is yet another common and effective plastic surgery procedure used to treat saggy abdomen. Factors like aging, weight fluctuations, poor skin elasticity, and pregnancies often cause the abdomen to become saggy over time. For example, when you gain drastic weight, it causes your abdomen to expand, thus damaging the elastin. The abdominal wall muscles also separate from each other due to weight gain. Afterwards when you lose weight, the skin fails to go back to its original position because it is no longer elastic. As a result, the skin becomes saggy, loose, and hanging.
If your abdomen has become loose and hanging, you may consider the tummy tuck surgery. The tummy tuck surgically removes the excess skin from your abdomen, tightens the separated abdominal wall muscles, and moves the belly button to a higher position. As a result of these interventions, the abdomen becomes firmer, tighter, toned, youthful, and aesthetically appealing.
So to sum it up, the tummy tuck treats saggy abdomen. It does not treat stubborn fat pockets. There is no doubt that a saggy abdomen has the tendency to affect your overall body profile and definition. You would appear older and your abdomen would appear aesthetically unsightly. Fortunately, the tummy tuck will restore your youthful appearance by treating the saggy abdomen.
Steps of tummy tuck
The tummy tuck is a major operation. It is performed under general anesthesia and entails a number of risks. In fact, the tummy tuck is considered riskier than other plastic surgery interventions. During the initial consultation, the plastic surgeon will examine your abdomen and determine whether the tummy tuck can help restore your youthful appearance. Most patients who undergo this procedure are aged above 35 years. If you are pregnant or in poor health condition, you should avoid the tummy tuck surgery.
The procedure starts with the administration of anesthesia, which is followed by an incision on your abdomen. The incision technique will play an important role in the final results and the size, shape, and visibility of the resulting scars. There are different incision techniques and the preferences differ from surgeon to surgeon. In my practice, I take the patient’s aesthetic goals into account when deciding the incision technique.
After placing the incision, the plastic surgeon will access the belly button and move it upwards so it looks more appealing and youthful. In the next step, the surgeon will tighten the separated abdominal wall muscles. Tightening of these muscles plays an effective part in making your abdomen firmer. Next, the surgeon will remove the excess saggy skin from the abdomen.
The remaining skin would then be re-draped and the incision would be sutured and closed. While doing all this, the plastic surgeon will use his surgical skills, sense of aesthetics, and artistry to make sure the desired contours are achieved and no aesthetic flaws are left behind.
Some of the aesthetic improvements of the tummy tuck surgery would be noticeable right after the intervention; however, complete results of the procedure would take some time to evolve. The post-operative swelling needs to disappear and the incisions need to heal in order for the final results to transpire fully. This can take several weeks and even months to happen.
After the surgery, you will go through a complete recovery process. The first two weeks following the intervention are extremely important. During this time, you should stay in bed and take sufficient rest. Do not stretch or bend your body because that can cause the incisions to split up. Also avoid physical activities for six weeks after the intervention. You may resume work after three weeks, but full recovery would take six weeks.
Many people fail to differentiate between tummy tuck and abdominal liposuction. They don’t know what these procedures address and which one should they choose to treat the aesthetic flaws in their abdomen. If you have stubborn fat pockets in the abdomen that are affecting your overall body aesthetics in negative ways, you should undergo abdominal liposuction. On the other hand, if your abdomen has become saggy, you should consider the tummy tuck procedure. Both procedures deliver effective results, but both are meant to treat different aesthetic flaws.