Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck: Which One is Right For You?

Patients are often frustrated that no matter how much they exercise or eat well, they just can’t tone up their stomachs. There are several reasons why this may be, including pregnancy, massive weight loss, and sometimes genetics. But what is the right procedure, a tummy tuck vs liposuction? Let’s find out. 

What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is in the top 5 cosmetic procedures for men and women in the UK. The popular procedure can create a toned and taut stomach. A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is often used to remove excess skin from the stomach. This could be after pregnancy or weight loss, where no amount of exercise or healthy eating can fix the problem. During a tummy tuck, your surgeon removes sagging skin and excess fat and tightens the abdominal walls. 

The procedure can take 1 to 5 hours, depending on your desired results. The surgery is generally done on an outpatient basis. During the procedure, you will receive general anaesthesia, and that’s why your doctor will advise you to have someone drive you home after the surgery and stay with you for at least the first night. There are different types of tummy tuck procedures:

  • Complete tummy tuck: This is an option when a lot of correction is required. The surgeon will make an incision along your bikini line, about the same level as your pubic hair. The scar length will depend on how much excess skin you have. After removing excess skin, the surgeon manipulates and shapes the muscles and skin for a more contoured abdomen. 
  • Mini tummy tuck: This one involves a shorter incision and is ideal for people with less excess skin. Unlike traditional abdominoplasty, the surgeon won’t reposition your belly button. The procedure takes about 1 to 2 hours, and you may or may not have drains at the incision site. 
  • Circumferential abdominoplasty or belt lipectomy: This is a much more invasive procedure since it also involves the back area. When you have excess fat and skin in the abdomen and back, you may require either a back liposuction or circumferential abdominoplasty. 

After your tummy tuck procedure, the incision site is stitched and bandaged. Your surgeon will also most likely have you wearing a compression garment to enhance the result of the procedure. Your surgeon will also give you specific instructions on caring for your wound and sleep to avoid straining the incision site. You will need to avoid strenuous activities for 4 to 6 weeks. 

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that helps remove excess fat. Liposuction can permanently remove fat cells that store fat, helping you improve your appearance. It is a great option when diet and exercise don’t work. It is, however, not a weight loss solution. 

You can have liposuction anywhere on the body where there are fat deposits. Areas include the abdomen, hips, chest, back, face, chin, cheeks, neck, buttocks, thighs and upper arms. You are a good liposuction candidate if you have an average or slightly above-average weight, have firm skin with good elasticity, are in good health and have pockets of fat that won’t respond to diet and exercise. You are also an ideal candidate if you don’t smoke since smoking increases your risk of developing complications during and after surgery. 

The surgeon makes a small cut in your skin where they insert a suction device known as a cannula. The doctor moves the cannula inside your body to break up and liquefy the excess fat. The liquified fat is then removed through a large syringe or suction pipe. The surgeon then closes the incision. How long the procedure takes depends on how much fat is removed. With liposuction, there is less downtime, and recovery is usually shorter than a tummy tuck. 

What is the Difference Between Liposuction and a Tummy Tuck?

Liposuction and tummy tuck surgeries often appeal to people with similar aesthetic goals, but they are very different. When a person is looking for a smoother, flatter stomach, the two primary cosmetic surgeries that can help you achieve this is liposuction or a tummy tuck. 

Liposuction also aims to flatten and improve the appearance of the stomach. During liposuction, your surgeon will remove excess fat from the abdomen. However, it does not remove excess skin, any stretch marks, or tighten the abdominal wall. 

Liposuction Before and After

Abdominal liposuction with 6-pack etching before and after photos at The Harley Clinic, London

cosmetic surgery consultation at the Harley Clinic will help you find out the best procedure for you and your body. We will talk you through everything so that we can choose the right procedure for you together. 

Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck Results 

Both liposuction and a tummy tuck can produce a smoother, flatter stomach. Liposuction permanently removes fat from the body. A tummy tuck permanently removes excess skin from the area. But it’s important to know that weight gain and fluctuations can affect the results of both of these procedures. Weight gain and future pregnancy can stretch the skin and increase weight. 

The main difference between the two procedures is the method used to achieve the results. Liposuction leaves your stomach looking flatter with less fat around the stomach section. In contrast, a tummy tuck leaves your stomach looking more toned and flatter. 

If you have a lot of excess skin and you’re looking to achieve a flatter stomach, then a tummy tuck may be a suitable procedure. For fat removal and a smoother-looking stomach, then liposuction could be a better choice. 

Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck Pictures 

Abdominal liposuction and scar revision surgery
Tummy tuck 6 weeks after operation at The Harley Clinic

Can You Get Liposuction Done at the Same Time as Your Tummy Tuck? 

It’s common to perform different plastic surgeries at the same time. When a patient is already in the surgery room, they often want to take care of multiple areas simultaneously. 

You might be wondering if you can get liposuction and a tummy tuck at the same time together? The short answer is yes; they are frequently done together. It is entirely possible to have abdominal liposuction and a tummy tuck, but don’t expect aggressive liposuction. Liposuction to non-abdominal areas and a tummy tuck often take place at the same time with excellent results. 

Tummy Tuck and Vaser Liposuction

Tummy tucks are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures among men and women. More patients are choosing to combine tummy tuck and Vaser liposuction for midsection definition. 

Vaser liposuction is a less invasive form of liposuction that uses ultrasound technology to liquefy fat before removing it from the body. Vaser lipo can target specific parts of the body to create more definition and improve the visibility of muscles. Something that’s especially popular in the stomach region. 

When you combine the two procedures, a tummy tuck targets excess skin and flattens the midsection. Vaser liposuction sculpts and defines the stomach muscles. They are complementary procedures that can produce excellent results. A benefit of using Vaser liposuction is that it usually creates less swelling than traditional liposuction.  

Both procedures will leave a tummy tuck scar. As a more extensive procedure, tummy tucks typically leave large scars. For instance, a full abdominal will may leave a scar that runs horizontally along the lower abdomen and around the belly button. However, liposuction tends to leave a smaller scar

It’s impossible to avoid all scarring when an incision is made. But, your plastic surgeon will do their utmost to create a minimal-looking scar that’s concealed in the natural creases of the body. Over time, scarring should fade, turning from red and raised to pale and much flatter. Scarring needs time to heal, just like the rest of the body after cosmetic surgery. 

Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck What to Choose

To get the best results, your doctor will create an individual treatment and recovery plan. The right procedure or combination of procedures is based entirely on your body and the results you’re looking to achieve. Although both a tummy tuck and liposuction can produce similar results, they are very different, so it’s important that you make the right decision. 

Whether it’s a tummy tuck, breast augmentation, or liposuction, the right candidate should be healthy. They have a stable weight and are healthy. But they may have areas that have stopped responding to diet and exercise. Perhaps you have recently lost a significant amount of weight and have excess skin around your stomach. 

If you’re concerned with loose skin, then your plastic surgeon may suggest a tummy tuck. However, if you have stubborn fat deposits, your surgeon may suggest Vaser lipo or traditional liposuction target the problem area. The right procedure for you depends on your individual case. 

Cosmetic Surgery at The Harley Clinic 

Book a consultation today at the Harley Clinic to discuss your options and determine if you’re suitable for cosmetic surgery. 

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