How to choose between liposuction and tummy tuck

Liposuction and tummy tuck can both effectively enhance the appearance of the midsection.

If you would like to improve the contours of your midsection, there are a few treatments worth considering. A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a procedure in which excess fat and skin is removed from the abdomen. Liposuction, on the other hand, removes deposits of fat from the target area to reduce unwanted bulges.

Read on to find out more about each of these procedures and which one is right for your particular needs...

What does liposuction involve?    

During a liposuction procedure, your surgeon will make very small incisions in the target area before inserting thin cannulas under your skin. A special medical vacuum is then used to suction out fat cells.

The treatment is ideal for those who would like to recontour areas of the body in which there are stubborn deposits of fat. It is not a weight loss procedure, but rather a body contouring treatment.

What does a tummy tuck involve?

During a tummy tuck procedure, excess skin and fat are removed from the lower abdomen and the underlying muscles are tightened to improve the overall shape of the area.

The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic and typically takes between two and three hours to complete.  

What kind of results can you expect?

If you choose to undergo liposuction, you can expect a flatter stomach with fewer bulges. The results of liposuction are permanent as long as you maintain a stable body weight.

If you opt for a tummy tuck, you will notice that your abdominal wall feels stronger and more stable. Any excess skin will have been removed, and just like liposuction, these results are considered permanent as long as your weight does not fluctuate over time.

Are the procedures safe?

Both liposuction and tummy tuck surgery are considered safe as long as they are performed by a fully qualified surgeon. There are, however, some risks to consider.

Some of the possible risks of liposuction include wound healing issues, numbness, fluid accumulation and contour irregularities. These risks are rare, but can be discussed in detail at your initial consultation.

When it comes to tummy tuck surgery, some possible risks include changes in sensation, fluid accumulation and tissue necrosis. Tissue necrosis occurs when the fatty tissue within the abdominal area is damaged. If you have any questions or concerns about these possible risks, it is best to raise them with your surgeon before undergoing the procedure.  

How do the recoveries compare?  

The recovery for liposuction and tummy tuck differs, and this is an important consideration when deciding which treatment suits you best.

When it comes to liposuction, you can expect some swelling at the site of treatment, as well as draining and bleeding at the site of your incisions. It might be necessary to wear a compression garment as this can help to manage swelling and promote healing.

You should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity until your surgeon gives you the go ahead. Following liposuction, you should be able to resume most of your normal activities within 48 hours or so.

A tummy tuck, on the other hand, involves a longer recovery period. You are likely to experience some pain and discomfort after surgery, and your surgeon may prescribe some medications to manage these side effects. You will need to wear a compression garment as you heal. It generally takes around six weeks to recover from tummy tuck surgery, and you will need to see your surgeon for follow-up appointments in this time.

If you are interested in liposuction or tummy tuck surgery, please don't hesitate to get in touch to arrange a consultation with Dr Pouria Moradi.