Liposuction or Tummy Tuck? How to Choose

When you’ve lost that youthful, flat tummy you had pre-baby, it can be frustrating and a blow to your self-confidence — especially when you feel less than amazing in your favorite outfits. Dr. R. Michael Johnson and Dr. Sunishka Wimalawansa of Advanced Plastic & Hand Surgery understand your predicament and offer life-changing solutions. As accomplished, board-certified plastic surgeons serving the Kettering and Dayton, Ohio, communities, the doctors are experts at performing liposuction and tummy tucks so you can have a natural-looking, contoured midsection once again.

If you’re ready to tighten that tummy, which procedure should you choose: liposuction or a tummy tuck? The doctors explain the differences to help you have a better understanding of each one. Ultimately, they advise you on which will help you achieve your long-term goals.

Is liposuction the solution for me?

Liposuction is a good choice if you want to remove small, stubborn pockets of fat that won’t budge no matter how much you exercise or eat healthy foods. So, for example, if you have a tummy “pooch” or love handles, and your skin is tight enough to adjust to the fat reduction that results from liposuction, this procedure may be the boost you’re looking for to get back to a slimmer, more contoured shape.

Remember that liposuction isn’t meant for overall weight loss, but rather it’s an excess fat removal procedure that works best if you’re close to your ideal weight, have enough skin elasticity, good muscle tone, and some stubborn fat pockets you’d like to live without. Additionally, liposuction is a less-invasive procedure than a tummy tuck, since it targets specific areas of fat, rather than reshaping your entire abdominal area.

What does a liposuction procedure involve?

During liposuction, Dr. Johnson or Dr. Wimalawansa make a few small incisions around your abdomen in the specific targeted areas of fat and use a small tube, or cannula, to loosen the fat cells. Once the fat loosens from under your skin, the doctors suction the fat away. Depending on the areas being treated, you may need a local or a general anesthetic so you don’t feel any pain during the procedure.

After liposuction, you’ll have some visible bruising and temporary swelling and discomfort in the treated areas. You wear a compression garment for several weeks after treatment to help your skin adjust to your newly contoured waistline. It can take a few months for the swelling to completely go away before you see the full effects of your liposuction treatment, and when you do, you’ll emerge with an enhanced midsection and a more positive self-image.

A tummy tuck is the solution if you want to remove excess skin

Unlike liposuction, a tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, addresses loose, excess skin around your belly that you are left with after major weight loss or having babies. In both situations, the skin around your abdomen stretches out, and even if you’re near your ideal weight, your skin may no longer be elastic enough to adjust to your slimmer body. A tummy tuck takes care of loose skin as well as loose abdominal muscles, if necessary.

Before performing a tummy tuck, the doctors determine if muscle laxity, in addition to skin laxity, is contributing to your belly bulge. It’s common after weight loss and pregnancy to have abdominal muscles that aren’t able to return to their once firmer position. If that’s the case, the doctors can repair your muscles and remove excess skin during the same tummy tuck procedure.

Since abdominoplasty is a more invasive procedure than liposuction, recovery time can take longer, so that’s another factor to consider when choosing between the two surgeries.

Know your goals

Choosing a plastic surgery procedure is easier if you know your aesthetic goals. Are you bothered by a small, jiggly pooch of skin in your lower abdominals, or does a large amount of excess skin make it difficult to wear certain clothes? Do you have realistic expectations of the outcome?

Knowing the answers to these questions can be helpful when you come to Advanced Plastic & Hand Surgery for a liposuction or tummy tuck consultation.

It also helps to be open-minded about plastic surgery procedures. If the doctors recommend either treatment, are you open to their recommendations even if they’re different from what you originally had in mind? In some cases, it may be beneficial to have both liposuction and a tummy tuck for the most favorable outcome.

Deciding to undergo a plastic surgery procedure isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. Fortunately, Dr. Johnson and Dr. Wimalawansa have years of experience as highly skilled plastic surgeons, so you can rely on their recommendation for the best results, whether you choose a tummy tuck or liposuction — or both.

Call the office location that’s most convenient for you to make an appointment for a consultation. It’s the first step toward your new, enhanced figure.

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