Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

tummy tuck or lipo at the derm group image

If you’ve recently had significant weight loss or have given birth to twins, you may be looking for a way to help get rid of excess skin or abdominal fat.  You’ve made huge strides in this chapter in your life, but what you may have gotten as a side effect is a body you don’t recognize. It’s okay, we are here to help.

Whether you are looking to remove a bit of excess belly or back fat, or just want to have a smoother, more youthful looking midsection, there are two ways to go about it. Our board-certified cosmetic surgeons in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut can recommend either a tummy tuck, liposuction, or a combination of the two to get the results you are looking for. So, which procedure is right for you? Let’s break it down.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

For many of you, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is the best way to achieve all of your goals at once. During this procedure, you address two things: Remove excess fat and skin, and tighten up muscles that have either stretched due to pregnancy or weight gain. Tummy tucks are especially effective for older women whose skin has lost elasticity with age or those who have had multiple pregnancies or carried multiples (good work!).

If you are concerned with weight loss or gain after the procedure, it’s important to note that most surgeons will recommend you try and be within 10-15 pounds of your goal weight beforehand. Also, it’s recommended to put off having a tummy tuck until after you’re done having kids to avoid future surgeries.

The only downside with a tummy tuck is that it is an operation, which means you spend a night in the hospital and need to take off work for a couple of weeks to recover. Heavy lifting and household chores will have to wait too. In about four weeks, you can start working out again. By two months, you’ll be healed and back to regular aerobic exercise routines.

Also, be prepared to have a new long scar. The good news is this can be hidden discretely below the bikini line. No one needs to know.

Is it Easier to Just Get Liposuction?

Not everyone has excess skin or stretched muscles. No matter how much you work out, there may be pockets of unwanted fat that just won’t disappear. With liposuction, your doctor will remove excess fat to contour your hips, thighs, stomach and abs, waist, and even chin.

The good thing is it is a much shorter operation than a tummy tuck and has an easier recovery time. That said, it’s not for everyone. It’s great for simply removing fat, but does nothing to help with stretched muscles and excess skin. If your skin is elastic and bounces back on its own, it’s a great choice. Those with darker skin tone and younger people with minimal sun damage tend to have the best elasticity.

While it’s a popular tool for body contouring, it’s not a weight loss replacement. You can definitely drop a few pants sizes and the results are long-lasting, but you will need to maintain healthy habits to manage weight long term.

Should I Have Liposuction and a Tummy Tuck?

Liposuction is often done in combination with a tummy tuck to remove fat pockets during the procedure. It’s also performed along with a few other procedures, including a breast lift or breast implants, or as part of the ever-popular mommy makeover. Another benefit is that the fat removed from your tummy and waistline can be purified and transferred as part of a Brazilian butt lift to create a perkier, fuller backside. There are a lot of options when it comes to body contouring. A consultation will get you the answers you are looking for.

Let’s work together. Request your consultation online or call The Derm Group at (973) 571-2121 to set up your appointment or learn more about our plastic surgery services.

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