Difference between Liposuction and Tummy Tuck

*Collaborative post.

According to flawless.org (2022), there are various similarities between liposuction and tummy tucks, making it natural for people to think about cosmetic surgery to get confused about their differences. A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that aims to remove excess fat cells, skin, and tissue, while liposuction solely focuses on suctioning out and liquefying fat cells.

This does not mean that one approach is better than the other; they are best suited for different patients. People with excess skin and fat they would like to eradicate can benefit from a tummy tuck as liposuction does not involve any form of skin excision. On the other hand, liposuction would be better for you if your skin is relatively stretched. The following are the differences between liposuction and tummy tuck.

Difference between Liposuction and Tummy tuck image

Tummy Tuck

Also called abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is usually used to remove extra skin from the stomach. A person may have excess skin after pregnancy or weight loss, which cannot be fixed with exercise and diet. Tummy tuck surgery for men is gaining popularity, with men seeking to minimize the effects of aging and weight fluctuations. Tummy tucks are in two types, full and partial, where both are done under general anesthesia.

Excess fat and sagging skin are removed during the procedure, and abdominal muscles are sometimes tightened. Also, areas with older scarring and stretch marks may be removed with the excess skin. This surgical procedure takes several hours, and you probably will stay in hospital for several days afterward.

Healing takes several weeks, and you cannot fully resume your daily activities before you heal. You will also endure several months of swelling and bruising before enjoying all the benefits of a tummy tuck (American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, 2021).

Liposuction

Liposuction also enhances the appearance of the abdomen. As depicted in the name, liposuction aims to remove small areas of body fat, which cannot be shifted through exercise and diet. The surgeon makes small incisions or cuts in the skin during the operation, splits up fat cells, and extracts them through a suction tube.

A liposuction procedure does not remove excess skin, eliminate stretch marks, or strengthen abdominal muscles. The procedure is more effective on people with supple skin and tight abdominal muscles with normal body weight. Liposuction is done under general anesthetic, but epidural anesthesia can also be used. If the surgeon only has to work on a small area, they can use local anesthesia instead, and the procedure is completed within an hour. You will also stay in the hospital for one night after the operation, with recovery time between two to six weeks. Please consider that liposuction is not limited to the abdomen as it can also work on the thighs, arms, and hips (healthline.com, 2022).

What is Included in a Tummy Tuck

Your surgeon will make a horizontal cut across the hips when performing the procedure between the belly button and pubic area. The incision enables the surgeon to repair muscles by lugging them together and sewing them using medical-grade nylon.

After repairing the muscles, excess skin is cut away, and the remaining skin is sewed together. The outcome is a smoother and flatter stomach with an almost invisible scar on the hip area. You can permanently maintain the outcome of a tummy tuck with exercise and a proper diet. If you gain weight substantially, you will undo the outcome of the tummy tuck and have to do it again in the future.

A tummy tuck is a more invasive procedure than liposuction. Whereas liposuction removes excess fat only, the tummy tuck reconstructs abdominal muscles and removes excess skin (healthline.com, 2022).

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Who is Best Suited for a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is ideal for any healthy individual with stubborn fat on their abdomen that they cannot lose with exercise and diet. You are a prospective candidate for abdominoplasty if you have a protruding or sagging abdomen due to previous surgeries, weight loss, pregnancy, or age with no preexisting health conditions.

What is Included in Liposuction

Liposuction is less invasive than a tummy tuck, and it can be done on almost any body part with excess fat, such as under the chin, legs, arms, back, and stomach. The doctor inserts a solution of anesthesia, water, and saline into the target fat cells during the procedure. The fat is then sucked out using a cannula to give a more sculpted figure.

There is no removal of skin with liposuction. This is why the procedure is most preferred for eliminating small fat deposits. Additionally, it is essential to understand that liposuction is not a way of losing weight, and it will not help you lose significant weight amounts. Although eliminating the fat cells is long-lasting, liposuction will not keep you from gaining weight. You will have to sustain your new figure with regular exercise and a proper diet (American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, 2021).

Who is Best Suited for a Liposuction?

This procedure is ideal for a healthy person having stubborn fat deposits unresponsive to exercise or diet.

Possible Complications

As with all types of surgery, a tummy tuck and liposuction can cause complications and side effects. The following are the risks associated with each procedure.

Tummy tuck. Among all cosmetic procedures, tummy tucks carry more risks of complication. The most common complications are infections and wound complications that cause patient readmission to the hospital. Other risks include:

  • Tissue necrosis
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Sensation changes

Liposuction. The risk of complications with liposuction goes higher when a larger area of your abdomen is being worked on. Some probable risks include:

  • Accumulation of fluid
  • Irregular contours
  • Numbness
Can Liposuction and Tummy Tuck be done Together?

Although both procedures may look the same but are completely different, their results and goals seem similar. Nowadays, patients who may want the benefits of liposuction and a tummy tuck can have what is known as lipoabdominoplasty, which is a combination of both procedures. The major contouring is done through a tummy tuck, while the final contouring and finishing are completed with liposuction. So, you can have the best of both procedures.

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