You may have stuck to a diet plan and exercise and may have lost weight. However, like most people, you may still not have got a flat-toned tummy. This is one of the most common complaints that plastic surgeons hear.
There are many possible explanations as to why this is common. Childbearing or previous obesity can stretch the abdominal tissues to the point where simply burning off fat cannot create a flat abdomen. Others may have genetically-determined poor distribution of fat, making it very difficult to create a beautiful contour of the abdomen. In many of these cases, body contouring surgery may be the only option to obtain the desired result.
However, you typically have two options to achieve a flat-toned abdomen. One of these is liposuction and the other is tummy tuck surgery. Both are cosmetic surgery procedures and your cosmetic surgeon may recommend any one or both of these procedures. Cosmetic surgeons have also explained the key variables to determine whether tummy tuck or liposuction is the right choice for you. So, which is the best option for you? That’s what we’ll discuss in this article…
- Skin laxity: If there is a noticeable amount of sagging skin, tummy tuck surgery is the best choice. This procedure uses an incision made in the lower abdomen to remove the excess tissue. This incision is typically concealed in the patient’s underwear. Patients with no or very minimal skin laxity can opt for a liposuction procedure. In a liposuction, 4 to 6 round incisions as small as a grain of rice are made to eliminate the fat. It is important that the overlying skin shrinks around the new contour to result in a smooth and natural-looking appearance.
- Muscle laxity: If you have gone through pregnancy or massive weight loss, your abdominal wall will become loose leading to a bulging appearance. Your cosmetic surgeon will determine whether muscle laxity and/or fat is the cause of the underlying problem. In such cases, standard tummy tuck surgery is the best option, in which a hip-to-hip incision is used.
- Patient’s cosmetic goals: You may either be able to tolerate a certain amount of fat around your abdominal area, or then, you may feel that it is a very significant issue. Most cosmetic surgeons will recommend that you first go through liposuction and then wait for about 3 to 4 months to see if you are satisfied with the result. Once the fat has been removed, your cosmetic surgeon can perform the traditional tummy tuck surgery, with excess skin and muscle repair performed both quickly and more efficiently.
- Combination Approach vs. Staging: After a careful evaluation, your cosmetic surgeon may feel that you may benefit from a simultaneous tummy tuck as well as liposuction. However, if there is a large amount of fat that needs to be removed, your surgeon may stage each surgery to minimize trauma and bleeding. Some surgeons prefer tummy tuck after liposuction, whereas others prefer to perform it in reverse order. However, the ideal approach will depend on your cosmetic goals, the surgeon’s skill set, and your underlying anatomy and body structure.
More about the Tummy Tuck Procedure
This is also known as Abdominoplasty and is frequently used to remove excess skin from the abdomen. After weight loss and pregnancy, excess skin often becomes a problem and cannot be fixed with diet and exercise. There are two main types of tummy tuck – partial and full – both of which are performed under a general anaesthetic.
Sagging skin along with excess fat is removed and the abdominal muscles are tightened. Stretch marks and areas of older scarring may be removed along with the excess skin. The operation can take several hours and you will probably have to stay in hospital for a few days afterwards. It will take several weeks of healing before you can return to your daily activities, and the end result will take several months. During this time, the swelling and bruising will subside so you can enjoy the full benefits of your tummy tuck procedure.
More about Liposuction
Liposuction also aims to improve the appearance of your abdomen. Liposuction removes small areas of body fat that cannot be removed through diet or exercise. During this procedure, your surgeon will make small incisions in the skin, break up the fat cells, and remove them with a suction tube. Unlike the tummy tuck procedure, liposuction will not remove excess skin and will not eliminate stretch marks, or tighten abdominal muscles.
Liposuction works best if you have tight abdominal muscles, supple skin, and a normal body weight. It is usually performed under a general anaesthetic, though epidural anaesthesia can also be used. If only a small area is being worked on, a local anaesthetic is also an option. The procedure is usually completed in under an hour.
You may have to stay in hospital overnight after a liposuction procedure. Recovery time can be as little as two to six weeks. Liposuction of the abdomen can also be combined with liposuction in other parts of the body, such as the thighs, arms, and hips.
Sometimes, patients benefit from a combination of tummy tuck surgery and liposuction together. During your consultation with your cosmetic surgeon, she will determine if this is right for you. At prettyu, Dr. S. Suma, is an adept, skilful and empathetic cosmetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgeon. She will work closely with you to not only determine your body image, but also to recommend whether tummy tuck surgery, liposuction, or both are right for you.
She will continue to monitor you closely before and after your surgery and will ensure that you are as comfortable as possible throughout the process. So, if you are planning a tummy tuck surgery or liposuction, do consult with Dr. S. Suma, knowing that you are in the best hands…hands down!
To know more about Tummy Tuck Surgery and Liposuction, as well as the other cosmetic and reconstructive surgery procedures that Dr. S. Suma performs, you can get in touch with her at +91 86 86 042 042 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.prettyu.com.
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