Patients frequently come to Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery in Michigan with a desire for a flatter stomach, but are unsure of whether they should choose lipo or a tummy tuck to achieve their goal.
The two procedures target different aspects of an undesirable-looking belly: Liposuction is the surgical removal of fatty tissue from a specific area, while a tummy tuck focuses primarily on eliminating loose, drooping skin and tightening the abdominal region. The surgeries can be performed separately or together, so a closer look at what each does is warranted.
More About Liposuction
Liposuction is a powerful technique that can be used to remove fat from regions all over the body, from the chin and neck area to the buttocks and thighs. It is commonly used to remove fatty tissue that has accumulated at a patient’s midsection.
Essentially, the procedure involves a small 1 centimeter or less incision, the insertion of a hollow tube, and the vacuum-like removal of a specific amount of fat. Lipo is intended for aesthetic reasons, not as a method of weight loss.
A potential result of this procedure is less pinchable fat, but continued looseness of the skin. This is due to skin that remains behind and sags once the underlying fat has been removed. If a person is significantly overweight, and then loses a large amount of the fat—whether through diet and exercise or liposuction-abdominal skin that gradually stretched and grew to accommodate the extra and larger fat cells might not shrink back to fit snugly over the now flatter contours.
More About a Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck, as the name implies, is a surgical procedure that focuses on the abdomen. While it may involve some amount of fat removal, it is actually made up of several components that work in conjunction to give a patient a slimmer look.
In general, loose, deflated skin is pulled tight and the excess is removed. An abdominoplasty does also include incisions made to preserve a belly button in its proper location, as well as the surgical tightening of abdominal muscles and tissues that have grown lax.
Liposuction and Tummy Tuck Together
Liposuction may be enough to achieve a desired look. On the other hand, fat removal might not be necessary due to a patient’s own efforts to lose weight, and solely loose skin can be the issue.
For whatever reason, patients unsure of whether to choose one procedure, the other, or both should consult with Dr. Pramit Malhotra, who can more fully explain the benefits of each and tailor a plan that will provide the best results for each specific person who seeks his care.